Deer Hunts Available on Choctaw Island

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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s newest Wildlife Management Area will be open to permit deer hunting this season. The 9,000-acre Choctaw Island WMA in Desha County is now the only public land "inside the levees" of the Mississippi River in the state of Arkansas. The property was purchased in October, 2001.

The acreage represents some of the most ecologically significant and productive habitat in the state. It is regarded as a prime area for hunting and fishing.

There will be 50 permits available for each of two modern gun hunts, 50 permits for a muzzleloader hunt and an additional 50 permits for youths. The two modern gun hunts will be held Nov. 1-3 and Dec. 6-8. Muzzleloading will be allowed on Choctaw Island from Oct. 11-13 and youths, under 16 years of age, will be allowed to hunt Nov. 28-30.

The 2003 deer hunt permit applications may be picked up at Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offices, license dealers around the state or by applying online at Online applications are not only error-free, but will also provide email notification and online permit payment if drawn. For those hunters who have access to the Internet, applying online is the preferred method.

Applications must be submitted by June 30 to be included in the computerized drawing. Applicants are required to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number. Applicants under 16 must be hunter education graduates and provide a valid hunter education number.

Other rules for the deer hunt applications:

  • Up to four hunters can apply together for the gun and muzzleloader hunts.
  • A $10 administrative fee will be required for those applicants who are drawn.
  • A preference point system will again be used. Separate preference rankings are in effect for youth, modern gun and muzzleloader permit hunts on Choctaw Island.
  • Applicants who have accumulated 12 points in the AGFC’s “point system for hunting and fishing violations” in the last three years, will be disqualified and their preference points will be reduced to zero.

The permit schedule this year includes: deadline for applications, June 30; first drawing and notifications mailed, late July; $10 permit fee due, early August; second drawing and notifications mailed, late August. All permits will be mailed in late September. For more information on the permit system, phone (501) 223-6440 or (501) 223-6359.