October 25, 2006: Posted at 9:45 PM CDT
Little Rock - Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week adopted a recommendation by the agency's Wildlife Management Division to shorten the spring 2007 turkey hunting season.
The recommendation for a shorter season was based, in part, on a continuing effort to stabilize and rebuild the state's turkey population. Commissioner Freddie Black of Lake Village said the decision to reduce the number of hunting days was a difficult one.
"We made this tough decision because it is right for the resource and we believe it is right for the hunter in the long term," Black said.
AGFC Turkey Program Coordinator Mike Widner had recommended implementing a long-term conservative season structure to include a shorter spring turkey season and a later opening date.
"The conservative season structure should serve to increase gobbler carryover, maximize productivity and subsequently stabilize the recent and continuing declines in turkey populations and harvest," he explained.
The spring 2007 turkey season youth hunt will be April 7 to 8 for most of the state and Mar. 31 to April 1 for zone 17. The statewide turkey season will be April 14 to May 4 in zones 1, 2, 3, 4b, 5, 5b, 6, 7, 7a, 8, 9 and 10; April 14 to 27 in zones 1a, 4, 4a, 5a and 9a and April 7 to 29 in zone 17.
The bag limit for the spring season will be two legal turkeys in zones 1, 2, 3, 4b, 5, 5b, 6, 7, 7a, 8, 9, 10 and 17 and a single legal turkey in zones 1a, 4, 4a, 5a and 9a. Hunters will not be able to harvest more than one legal turkey per day and no more than one jake. Hunters will also be restricted to no more than two total turkeys per season.