By Ronnie Weston| May 1, 2013 at 1:53 PM CDT - Updated July 25 at 3:11 PM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 9, archery season opening Sept. 28, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 19. The deer season dates are part of the 2013-2014 general hunting regulations approved during the Commission’s monthly meeting.
Season dates for the 2013-14 deer hunting season:
Archery – All zones: Sept. 28-Feb. 28, 2014.
Modern Gun- Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 9-Dec. 1.
Zone 4: Nov. 9-10.
Zone 5: Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 16-17.
Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 9-Dec. 8.
Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 9-17.
Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 9-Dec. 15.
Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 9-Dec. 25.
Muzzleloader – Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 14-16.
Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 29-31.
Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed.
The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28. Youth modern gun deer hunts will be held Nov. 2-3 and Jan. 4-5, 2014. A private land antlerless-only modern gun deer hunt in zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 will be held Oct. 12-16.
The Commission also approved a pair of changes to bear hunting regulations for Bear Zone 2, moving the zone’s archery bear season opening day to Oct. 1 and reinstating a 150-bear quota for the zone.
The 2013 elk hunting season will take place in two segments, Oct. 7-11 and Oct. 28-Nov. 1. The first segment of elk season previously has been held in September.
The Commission also set deer season opening dates for 2014. Archery season will open Sept. 27, 2014; muzzleloader season will open Oct. 18, 2014, and modern gun season will open Nov. 8, 2014.
*Approved a strategic plan for the agency that outlines the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s mission, vision and goals, and articulates the Commission’s core values.
*Reviewed the 2012-2013 deer harvest. AGFC Deer Program Coordinator Cory Gray told Commissioners that hunters checked a record 213,487 deer, an increase of 11 percent from the 2011-2012 deer season.
*Approved a $40,000 budget transfer to help in the development of the Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area in Benton County.
*Approved a $96,519 budget increase for an Enforcement Education trailer.
*Approved a $64,000 budget increase from surplus Recreational Boating funds to purchase patrol boats for the Enforcement Division.
*Approved clarification of fishing regulations related to trout fishing and commercial turtle harvest restrictions. Language regarding trout waters was inadvertently deleted from previously adopted trout permit requirements, and portions of Randolph County were added to regulations governing turtle harvest.
*Approved the adoption of the Arkansas Aquatic Nuisance Species Plan. The National Invasive Species Act of 2006 requires all states to have an aquatic nuisance species plan. Arkansas’s plan has been developed by a task force representing state and federal resource management agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private aquaculture interests, civic groups and private individuals.
*Authorized AGFC Director Mike Knoedl to employ third-party contractors with expertise in oil spill remediation to assist the AGFC in the wake of the Mayflower oil spill.