Arkansas Game and Fish report of Feb. 25

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - At last week's monthly meeting in Little Rock, commissioners for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were presented with proposals for the 2009-2010 hunting seasons. The commission will study the proposals and make a final decision at its March meeting.

One major proposed change is to revise several of the current deer zones. The proposal calls for modifying the existing boundaries for deer zones 1, 2, 3, 14 and 15; dividing deer zone 6 into three zones and splitting deer zone 8 into two zones. The proposals were introduced to address goals of the Strategic Deer Management Plant. The new zones will be 1A, 6A and 8A.

Another major proposal for deer season is to remove the zone doe quota permit requirements for zones 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 11 in order to manage the doe harvest utilizing doe days. The zone doe quota permits would be replaced with doe days to manage the doe deer herd in Arkansas.

A proposal was also introduced to change the antler restrictions from a 3-point rule to a 4-point rule in deer zones 16, 16A and 17. The proposal also allows for a buck with at least one main beam 18 inches or more in length, regardless of the number of antler points, to be harvested.

A proposal to add telephone checking was presented to the commission. The proposed change would eliminate all county check stations as well as check sheet programs. Deer Management Assistance Program camps will continue to receive check sheets so biological data can be collected. If approved, the new checking option would begin with the October archery season. Along with the phone checking, online checking will still be available as will the check sheets at DMAP camps. The change will allow more real-time, accurate date for the AGFC biologists.

Proposed season dates for the 2009-2010 deer hunting season:

Archery All zones:Oct. 1 to Feb. 28.

Modern Gun - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11:Nov. 14-Dec. 6.

Zone 4:Nov. 14-15.

Zone 5:Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22.

Zone 4A, 5A, 13, 14 and 15:Nov. 14-Dec. 13.

Zones 4B and 5B:Nov. 14-22.

Zones 9 and 12:Nov. 14-Dec. 20.

Zone 16, 16A and 17:Nov. 14-Dec. 25.

Muzzleloader-Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15:Oct. 17-25 and Dec. 19-21.

Zones 9, 12, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 17-25 and Dec. 29-31.

Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B:Closed.

The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is proposed for Dec. 26-28 with two special youth modern gun deer hunts proposed. The first would be Nov. 7-8 with the second Jan. 2-3, 2010. The January hunt will be either-sex in deer zones 9, 12, 16, 16A and 17. The other deer zones will be buck only. Unlike the November youth hunt, Hunters 65+ years old would not be allowed to participate in the January hunt.

In other business, the commission:

Approved a memorandum of agreement with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to use just over $1 million from AGFC oil and gas lease money. The money is earmarked for use in providing frequent inspection and monitoring of drilling in the Fayetteville Shale Play area as a way to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

Approved the purchase of a 40-acre tract located in the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area.

Approved $350,000 to purchase a conservation easement on Buck Island. The island is located on the Mississippi River near Helena-West Helena.

MONTICELLO, Ark. (AP) - Want to learn how to attract more ducks to your land? The Arkansas Forestry Association along with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, as well as other groups, will be presenting a green tree reservoir workshop to show landowners how. The workshop will be held at the University of Arkansas at Monticello on March 10.

A GTR is a forested lowland that is temporarily flooded during fall and winter to attract ducks - mainly mallards and wood ducks. It is designed to hold water while trees are dormant. This prevents permanent tree damage and possible tree death.

Join southeast Arkansas landowners, hunters, wildlife man­agers and land managers for a workshop on the benefits of managing green tree reservoirs. A $15 registration fee covers lunch and handouts.

Workshop topics include:

What is a Green Tree Reservoir?

Historical Perspective

Waterfowl: Uses and Needs

Responses to Water and Forest Manipulation

Consequences of Mismanagement

Management Planning and Evaluation of Green Tree Reservoirs

Green Tree Reservoir Construction

404 Permits and Guidelines

Assistance Programs


Phil Covington - Regional Biologist, Ducks Unlimited

Jody Pagan - Chief Biologist, Five Oaks Wildlife Services

Luke Naylor - Waterfowl Biologist, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Martin Blaney - Statewide Habitat Coordinator, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Jim Baker - State Biologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Anthony Lobred - Biologist/Senior Environmental Special­ist, US Army Corps of Engineers

For more information on the workshop, call (888) 698-7337.

WALNUT RIDGE - The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be sponsoring a "Bucks and Ducks" Wildlife Habitat Program in Walnut Ridge on Feb. 28. The program will be presented at 115 W. Walnut Street in Walnut Ridge at the Lawrence County Meeting Hall from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Presenters include representatives from the Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and Green Trees.

Topics to be discussed include habitat management practices used for waterfowl, deer, turkey and quail. Other topics include general wildlife habitat establishment, soil sampling, cost share programs to include the Continuous CRP, and a presentation given on hardwoods and cottonwoods.

Farm producers interested in establishing wildlife habitat on their marginally productive croplands and getting rental payments and other incentives should find this workshop very helpful, AGFC private lands coordinator David Long says. "Each participant will receive fact sheets from the Cooperative Extension Office and other wildlife management publications to help guide them in proper management of their property for wildlife," Long explained.

Each year more and more hunting clubs, private landowners and communities try to implement better strategies to manage the wildlife in their area, Long said. "This program would greatly benefit anyone who is interested in or is already trying to improve wildlife habitat by using such things as food plots, buffer zones, timber management, prescribed burning and many other practices to numerous to mention here," he said.

The workshop is free of charge to anyone who wishes to participate. Lunch will be served. Pre-registration is not required, but strongly encouraged in order to prepare for the meal.For more information or to pre-register please call Bryce Baldridge at the Lawrence County Extension Office (870) 886-3741.

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