Current Arkansas deer hunt is shaping up as a dandy

LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – All indications are the deer hunting season now underway could be one of the best of all time in Arkansas.

With just a few days of modern gun season gone, hunters have checked more than 145,500 deer. This includes the earlier hunts – urban, archery, antlerless, modern gun, muzzleloader and youth.

Weekends generally bring out the most hunters.

The modern gun deer harvest shows that bucks are being harvested at about a 2 to 1 ratio to does. This was the case in the youth hunt, too, but in the muzzle-loader hunt and the archery-only days so far, more doe have been taken. The buck-doe ratio is close to even overall for the current season.

Arkansas's record deer hunt was in 1999-2000 when 194,687 were taken. Last year was the second highest in number of deer checked – 192,512, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Opening weekend of modern gun season is usually the highest in participation, with the numbers of hunters in the field declining as the season progresses. The second highest period of hunter participation will be this upcoming week and weekend with many hunters enjoying a Thanksgiving hunt.

The modern gun season has already ended in some northeast Arkansas zones, while closing dates for other modern gun deer hunts vary across the state. Don't be discouraged if you haven't bagged a deer. Several deer zones also have a second muzzleloader season, a three-day modern gun Christmas Holiday Hunt on Dec. 26, 27 and 28, and of course the two-day youth only hunt on Jan. 5-6. Add to that an archery season that lasts until Feb. 28.

Check the AGFC's Hunting Guidebook for more detailed information. The Guidebook is free and available at any AGFC office and at more sporting goods outlets.