Arkansas, the “Natural State”, is about equally divided between lowlands and highlands. It is a land of many rivers, lakes, thick forests, and fertile soil. It has over 17 million acres of forestland. Arkansas is also the “Duck Hunting Capital Of The World” and home to the “Championship Duck Calling Contest”.
The estimated population of whitetail deer in Arkansas is about 1 million. In the 2009-2010 Arkansas hunting seasons, 187,074 whitetail deer were taken with 88,710 being buck. 71% of the Arkansas deer were taken by gun, with Union County topping the Arkansas whitetail deer harvest.
Black bear are mostly taken in the north and western parts of Arkansas. 533 black bear were taken in the 2009 Arkansas hunting season with 302 bear being male. 74% of the black bears were harvested from zone 1 by hunters.
Hunters bagged 10,111 turkeys during the 2010 hunting season. You will need a permit if hunting on a WMA (wildlife management area). Turkey broods have been down the past few years. Some of the reasons for this may be: predators, controlled burns during nesting, questionable Molded corn in deer feeders, or the weather conditions. The Arkansas Game commission is working on restoration.
Arkansas waterfowl hunting is excellent. There are estimated to be 3 million Arkansas ducks in 2009. During the season, 1,093,044 ducks were bagged by AR hunters. Arkansas leads in total mallard harvest in the U.S. (2009). Duck hunting is popular along the Mississippi Flyway in Arkansas. Geese numbered 76,289 for the 2009-2010 season.
Arkansas elk are hunted by permit only. In 2009, 21 were taken. Arkansas feral hogs may be hunted anytime and anyplace on private land. On WMA feral hogs can be hunted during any hunting season.
Alligators may be hunted in Arkansas. The southeast and southwest are best for hunting alligator. 26 permits were given out in 2009 and 12 Arkansas alligators were harvested (the weather was a factor in this). In zone 1, a 12 foot 11-inch alligator was taken.
Fur taking is also allowed for beaver, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, mink, muskrat, red fox, striped skunk, otter, raccoon, opossum, and nutria. In Arkansas, a Hunter’s Education Certificate is required for those born before January 1, 1969. You also need a permit to hunt of the WMA (wildlife management area).
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