PONCA (AGFC) – Jan Andrews was thousands of miles from home, but she did not hesitate when the opportunity arrived to take an elk.
Five elk suddenly appeared on private land in southern Boone County where Andrews waited, an elk permit in her pocket. "The bull was in front, and I knew from making the phone call the night before that the bull quota had been reached. So I aimed at the cow behind the bull and shot."
One shot is all she needed. She used a .257 Roberts caliber rifle, an oldie but a goodie in hunting circles. "The elk ran about 10 meters and dropped," she said.
Andrews is from Great Britain, and this was her first elk. But she is well acquainted with Arkansas. "I have owned a place up on Gaither Mountain (southwest of Harrison) for about 20 years," she said.
Andrews was participating in the 15th Arkansas elk season and in its private land portion, which is a quota hunt. Permits are $35, and applicants must have signed permission from a landowner to buy one from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
It may have been Andrews' first elk, but she has solid qualifications for hunting. "I am a deer manager in England," she said. "I have killed more than 6,000 deer over the years."
Hunting in England is vastly different from hunting in Arkansas or anywhere else in the United States. "There is no public land hunting in England," she said. "You have to hunt with permission from a landowner. We have no archery hunting at all."
She added, "We don't have (hunter) education like you do here. That is something needed."
About 350 permits were issued to 120 landowners who applied for the Elk Management Assistance Program this year. Some landowners in the Buffalo River country consider elk as nuisances at times. They can apply for the hunting permits in Madison, Carroll, Newton, Boone and Searcy counties.
The public land hunt is on a different format but at the same dates as the private hunt. Any Arkansas resident with a current hunting license can apply online during the month of May for a permit. Drawings for the permits are held in late June at the Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper. Both applications and permits are free for the public land hunts.