by Arkansas Game and Fish
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission seeks public comment on proposed changes for the 2020-21 hunting seasons.
Many regulation proposals aim to eliminate unnecessary differences in season dates and harvest limits. Many deer zones would be combined or given very similar harvest limits and seasons where biologically possible to help new hunters stay in compliance with regulations.
“This year, we really tried to make a deliberate effort to simplify and clarify regulations wherever we could,” said Brad Carner, chief of wildlife management for Game and Fish. “It is a priority of our director and commissioners to make things as easy as possible to get people out in the outdoors while still protecting the resource.”
The survey includes many proposals, but Game and Fish staff have categorized proposed changes according to the subject matter. Proposals for nearly all game species are included in the survey. A few notable changes being proposed include:
• Combining some deer zones with identical season date structures.
• Moving the private land antlerless-only modern gun hunt from October to December.
• Replacing the current draw system for alligator hunting on private land with a quota system similar to private land elk hunting.
• Increasing the archery harvest quota to 500 bears in the Ozarks, which is bear zone 1.
• Reduce the number of turkey zones from 18 to two, but continue to gather harvest information at the county level.
• Prohibit the take of bearded hen turkeys beginning in 2021.
Public comment resulting from the Game and Fish town hall meeting in Stuttgart brought attention to a possible change in white-fronted goose hunting regulations. Federal frameworks allow a longer season for the species than Arkansas has had in recent years, but it comes at the cost of a lower daily bag limit. Game and Fish staff are asking for public input on the following two options for the 2020-21 white-fronted goose season:
• A 74-day season with a three-bird daily bag limit.
• An 88-day season with a two-bird daily bag limit.
Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/wildlife-management/2020-21-proposed-regs-survey/ to take the survey. Responses will be collected until April 15 so they may be presented to the Commission at its April 23 meeting.