Deer Season Unchanged; Harvest Down

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No additional days will be added to the Arkansas's deer modern gun season this year. Commissioners from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had asked agency biologists to look at the extension after concerns about a reduced deer harvest this season.

Early numbers from deer camps and check stations reveal that the harvest is down at this point in the season. Arkansas's deer population has been estimated at about one million animals. That number is consistent with figures in the past.

Commission vice chairman Jim Hinkle of Mountain View, who had originally requested the study, said there was not sufficient data at this time to extend the season. 'I think we should continue as is. We'll look at final numbers after the season and make a decision for next year's gun deer season,' he said. Hinkle added that he had received a great deal of input from the public on their thoughts about an extended season.

Commissioner Mike Freeze of England echoed Hinkle's comments and said he too had received public responses to the proposal. 'I also received an enormous amount of input from the public. We need the best data possible to make this decision. We're as concerned as the public on this issue,' Freeze said.