Antlerless hunt aimed at overall herd improvement

LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Arkansas's modern gun deer hunters will be in action the earliest in many decades Oct. 13-17 when a five-day antlerless hunt takes place over much of the state.

The hunt is held over a weekend this year to increase participation and doe harvest.

Wildlife biologists and many hunters were concerned in recent years because of too many female deer in comparison with the number of male deer. Adjustment of hunting regulations has helped make major strides toward solving this issue. Last season, with the help of the five-day doe hunt in a number of deer zones, more does than bucks were checked by hunters.

This year's antlerless hunt opens Saturday, Oct. 13, and continues through Wednesday, Oct. 17. Archery hunters can take bucks during the week.

Deer zones that are closed for the antlerless hunt are 3, 4, 4A, 4B, 5, 5B, 7 and 11. These are in northeast and eastern Arkansas, part of the western Arkansas River valley and part of the Ouachita Mountains.

Wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges are separate zones from the deer zones in which they are located. The Ouachita and Ozark National Forests, WMAs and NWRs are not open for the modern gun antlerless hunt. This hunt only applies to private land, not public land.

Zone bag limits and statewide season bag limits apply to the antlerless hunt as do all other regulations for modern gun deer hunting. Hunters are required to check the does and button bucks they take within 24 hours by several methods. These include toll-free phone calls to 866-305-0808, online to or by iPhone or Android applications. Confirmation numbers will be issued when the deer are checked.