The upcoming deer hunting seasons for the state have been set by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The seasons were approved at today’s meeting of the Commission.
Season dates for the 2012-13 deer hunting season:
Archery – All zones: Sept. 15-Feb. 28, 2013.
Modern Gun - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 10-Dec. 2. Zone 4: Nov. 10-11. Zone 5: Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18. Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 10-Dec. 9. Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 10-18. Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 10-Dec. 16. Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 10-Dec. 25.
Muzzleloader - Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 15-17. Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 29-31. Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed.
The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28. Two special youth modern gun deer hunts will be held. The first is Nov. 3-4 and the second Jan. 5-6, 2013. A proposed antlerless only modern gun deer hunt would be held in zones 1, 1A, 2, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 Oct. 13-17.
A proposal also was made to modify Flood Prone Zone F. The opening and closing of the zone has been based on the level of the White River at St. Charles and the Arkansas River at Lock and Dam 1. The change would be to eliminate the use of the St. Charles gauge and incorporate the Graham Burke Outlet gauge. The closing reading would be 150 msl and the opening reading would be 148 msl. The Lock and Dam 1 closing would remain at 145 msl and opening at 143 msl.
Deer season opening dates for the 2013 seasons were set as well. Archery will open on Sept. 28, 2013; muzzleloader season will open Oct. 19, 2013 and modern gun season will open Nov. 9, 2013.
To see a summary of the 2012-13 hunting regulations, go to: http://www.agfc.com/enforcement/Pages/EnforcementRegulations.aspx .
In other business, the commission:
*Approved a budget increase of just over $91,000 to purchase equipment for the agency’s enforcement vehicles. The equipment includes blue lights, sirens, mounting kits and computer mounting brackets.
*Approved a budget increase of $304,000 for repairing the dam and spillway on Lake Elmdale in Washington County. The dam was damaged during a flood in the spring of 2011.
*Approved two projects that will improve access roads on two fishing areas in the state. A project to gravel an access road and parking area was approved for $5,160 at the Mansfield City Lake access. The city will provide an in-kind contribution of $1,530 toward the $6,690 project. A second project will repair the access road leading to Davis Lake in Franklin County. Cost of the project will be $5,000. Both projects are funded by Marine Fuel Taxes.
*Approved a contract with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to conduct a fish production study of all AGFC-owned hatcheries, net pens and nursery ponds. Cost of the study will be $60,000 and take about 15 months to complete.
*Authorized the director to accept a donation of 1,500 acres of land called Buck Island in Phillips County. The island is located along the Mississippi River. The AGFC has a Conservation Easement on the land, but the American Land Conservancy, which owns the land, has now indicated they would like to donate full title to the agency. The acquisition of the property will be complete once an environmental assessment, along with other real estate and legal issues, are completed.
*Approved the demolition of two dilapidated structures on AGFC lands. One structure is located on Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA and the other is located on Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain WMA.
*Reviewed the deer harvest from the 2011-12 season. Hunters harvested total 192,748 deer during the season. The total was a four percent increase from the previous season’s harvest of 186,165. Buck harvest increased from 82,973 to 85,284 deer while the doe harvest increased from 88,341 to 93,838 deer.