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Arkansas Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Hunting is an all-year activity in Arkansas because there is at least a hunting season every month of the year. There is also an open season to take some games in the state, while other games are only available during specific hunting seasons.

There are many hunting options in the state with a variety of wildlife for both residents and non-resident hunters.

Arkansas Hunting Regulations

The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission is in charge of enacting hunting laws and regulations in the state. Also, some private Wildlife Management Areas have their own regulation for hunters in their areas. The Commission advises hunters to check the laws and regulations for areas where they plan to hunt.

The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission regulates hunting activities on lands that they own or lease out for the taking of wildlife. Some of the regulations include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to violate any signposted by the commission on the lands.
  • It is a prohibition for hunters to post any sign of their own on the lands.
  • It is unlawful to destroy any building, structure, sign constructed on the land by the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission
  • You may not eradicate crops, fruits, rocks, or other objects on the land. An exception to this regulation is made for shed deer antlers.
  • It is unlawful to burn objects that are not combustible in the camp built on these lands.
  • Hunters are prohibited to burn grass or wood in campsites.
  • You may not neglect a burning fire or allow a fire to burn uncontrolled.
  • It is illegal to bait games or wildlife. An exception to this law is made for baits or traps to lure furbearers.
  • It is a prohibition to expurgate timbers or make use of inorganic defoliants on trees.
  • You may not construct any building, shelter, or camp on lands.
  • It is unlawful to abandon any personal possession or Wildlife management areas. Exceptions are made for cameras and removable stands that are legally allowed by the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.
  • It is illegal to make use of boats in a careless and inattentive way. Violation of this law can lead to a ban of 1 year for the perpetrator.
  • You may not make use of any other cutting instrument asides from knives that are specifically used for hunting.

Vehicles Regulation

Motorized vehicles like amphibious automobiles, terrain vehicles, etc. are prohibited in Wildlife Management Areas. This regulation also limits motorized vehicles from operating on roads or any form of terrain built for wildlife.

Hunters that have mobility impaired access permits are allowed to make use of ATVs, but there may be some restrictions to this.

However, there are some exceptions to this regulation for leased Wildlife Management Areas. They include the following:

  • Access to bicycles and ATVs is not illegal on open roads for WMAs like Jim Kress and Cherokee. But it is compulsory for the hunters to have a valid Arkansas license while traveling in these vehicles.
  • Motorized vehicles are allowed to operate on main roads in WMAs like Big Timber Upland Demonstration areas. But ATVs are prohibited.
  • In WMAs like Gum Flats, Lake Greeson, and Casey Jones, ATVs are allowed on the open road trails. But there is a prohibition on motorized vehicles on boundary lines cleared by the state forestry commission.
  • ATVs are permitted on assigned roads on the Big Timber WMA for hunters to gain access to campsites when it is open season. ATVs are prohibited except on assigned and open roads
  • Every natural WMA in the state is restricted to foot access.
  • Electric bikes are allowed in some WMAs of the state.

Hunting Equipment Regulations

It is unlawful for traps to be used in Wildlife Management Areas except when it is open season. Also, firearms and rifles with more than .22 calibers are only allowed for some game seasons like elk, bear, and during daylight hunting for predators such as bobcats, coyotes, and foxes in the state.

Muzzleloaders are allowed during firearm seasons, with exceptions made for those with more than .40 calibers, which are prohibited for WMA. But exceptions are made for muzzleloading and contemporary firearms during game seasons like elk, deer, and bears.

Also, during elk, bobcat, coyote, and fox seasons, the use of firearms to hunt in broad daylight is legal. But there may be exceptions for some Wildlife Management Areas and lands that are privately owned and used for hunting.

Even though firearms are allowed during hunting seasons, there is a prohibition to make use of them except the firearm is legal for the season at that point in time.

Alcohol Possession While Hunting

It is a prohibition to possess any type of alcoholic beverage while hunting in a WMA controlled by Arkansas Fish and Games Regulation. An exception to this regulation is made for:

  • The possession of Alcohol in Private inholdings of Arkansas
  • The possession of alcohol in vehicles that are on open roads and operating in line with hunting laws.
  • The possession of Alcohol in boats on water bodies in the state, as long as the operation is in accordance with hunting laws.
  • The possession of alcohol in a boat or water vehicle while taking part in fishing activities, as long as the operation is in compliance with laws of the state.

Camping Regulations

According to the Fish and Game Commission in Arkansas, camping while hunting in the state should not be more than a period of two weeks, and must be within a specific area designated for campsites. Also, it is unlawful for any active camp to remain unhabituated for more than 2 days. It is a prohibition to cause any form of disturbance within a camp from 10 pm onwards.

This regulation also prohibits the use of a campsite for more than a month period per annum. It is not compulsory for non-hunters to have a permit while hunting alongside a licensed hunter in the state. There is also a prohibition on loaded firearms within camp areas and parking lots in the state.

Arkansas Hunting License Permit and Tags

Arkansas offers various types of license permits and tags for residents and non-resident hunters in the state. They include the following:

Residents’ Sportsman License

This Arkansas hunting license is only available to residents of the state. Anybody with the license will be able to hunt all wildlife and games in the state with contemporary firearms, archery, and muzzleloader firearms. Holders of this license are also allowed to take the total bag limit for deer hunting in Arkansas. The license comes with tags for hunting turkey and deer, and it costs $25.

Resident Wildlife Conservative License

This is another Arkansas resident's license that grants hunters access to take wildlife and games like furbearers, squirrels, quails, migratory birds, and a deer. The license comes with a tag to hunt deer, and it costs $10.5.

General Wildlife Management Area Use Permits

This license will allow hunters to be taken, trap, and bait all types of games and wildlife in all Arkansas WMA in open seasons. However, you may still require additional permits to hunt turkey and deer in the state. This permit is free.

Resident Trapper Permit

This is another resident-only permit that allows licensed hunters in the state to be able to trap bears. This permit is free.

Resident Hunting Guide License

This license allows resident hunters to help another person, usually, a beginner hunter, to take wildlife on any hunting land that is not under the purview of the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission. It costs $25.

Resident Special Hunting Guide License

This license provides the same freedom as the Resident Hunting Guide License. But it grants access to hunting on lands owned and commissioned by Wildlife management areas. It costs $150.

Deferred Hunter Education License

This is a permit that will allow a person to hunt in Arkansas without completing a hunter education course. The permit is free of charge and will expire after one year.

Non-Resident Annual All Game Hunting License

This is a license issued to non-residents that want to hunt in Arkansas, and it allows the taking of wildlife and games like bears with the use of contemporary firearms, muzzleloaders, and archery. The license comes with tags for deer and turkey hunting and costs $350.

Non Resident 5 Days All Game Hunting License

This is another Arkansas nonresident hunting license that allows the taking of all game and wildlife with the exception of bears. The permit is only valid for 5 days and it comes with tags for deer and turkey hunting. It costs $180.

Non Resident 3 Days All Game Hunting License

This license gives nonresidents 3-day access to hunt all types of wildlife except bears. It comes with tags for deer and turkey and costs $125.

Non Resident 3 Days All Game Hunting License

This license is an Arkansas out of state hunting license hunting access for just a day, and they will be allowed to take all types of game and wildlife except bears. The license comes with a tag each for deer and turkey and costs $55.

Non Resident Annual Small Game Hunting License

This license allows the hunting of small game animals by nonresidents. It costs $110.

Non Resident 5 Days Small Games Hunting License

This license grants nonresidents access to hunt small game animals in the state. It costs $70.

Non-Resident Trapper’s Permit

With this permit, a licensed non-resident hunter in Arkansas will be able to trap furbearers. It costs $125.

Non Resident Hunting Guide License

With this license, a nonresident in the state will be able to assist another person, usually, a beginner hunter, to hunt and take wildlife in land areas that are not owned by the state Fish and Game Commission. It costs $150.

Arkansas Fishing License Permits and Tags

Fishing license, permits, and tags that are available in Arkansas include the following:

Combination Sportsman License

This license provides holders with the privilege of both a Resident Fishery Conservation License and a Resident Sportsman License. It costs $35.5.

Resident Fishery Conservation License

Residents of Arkansas with this license will be able to fish in various water bodies of the state. They can make use of a fishing tackle for this purpose, but a Trout Permit will be required to erect trout in some water bodies in the state. It costs $10.5.

Resident 3 Day Trip Fishing License

This will allow a resident of Arkansas to fish various water bodies in the state for just 3 days. To make use of a sport fishing tackle within these 3 days, you still have to obtain a Trout Permit. It costs $6.5.

Resident Trout Permit

This permit is for licensed resident fishers in Arkansas that want to keep trout in a water body for a specific period. It costs $10.

Non-Resident Trout Permit

This permit is required to keep trout on water bodies by non-residents that already own a license to fish in the state. It costs $20.

Non Resident Fishing License

This license allows residents to fish in Arkansas water bodies. Nonresidents can also make use of a fishing tackle and retain it in the water with a Nonresident trout permit. It costs $50.

Non Resident 3 Day Trip Fishing License

This license allows non-residents to fish in Arkansas water bodies, but it will only be valid for a period of 3 days. Nonresidents can also make use of a fishing tackle and retain it in the water within the 3 days period, with a Nonresident trout permit. It costs $16.

Non Resident 3 Day Trip Fishing License

This license allows non-residents to fish in Arkansas water bodies, but it will only be valid for a period of 7 days. Nonresidents can also make use of a fishing tackle and retain it in the water within the 7 days’ period, with a Nonresident trout permit. It costs $25.

Resident Fishing Guide License

This license is limited to residents only, and it allows the holder to guide other beginners. There are no fishing privileges attached to this license.

Non Resident Fishing Guide License

This license allows nonresidents in the state to guide other beginners. But it comes with no other privilege attached.

Arkansas Wildlife Game and Fish

Wildlife and games available for hunting in Arkansas include the following

Arkansas Deer Hunting

Because about 90% of the hunting lands in Arkansas are privately owned, hunters that are in charge mostly have the say on how deer can be taken on their property. But the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have an assistance program for the taking of deer to help these landowners and deer hunters in the state make the most favorable decisions.

Arkansas Elk Hunting

The establishment of Elk hunting in Arkansas began in 1998 and hunter's permits are drawn at random for them to hunt elks in public lands. Private landowners issue hunting permits based on a quota system. Hunters that hunt elk on private lands are mostly required to write the management for permission to hunt.

Arkansas Bear Hunting

Previously, bears were more abundant in Arkansas and widely distributed in the state. However, overhunting and human encroachment led to their alarming decline in number in the early 1990s. But when the state Game and Fish Commission was established in 1927, strict regulations were created against the hunting of bears and the figures slowly began to increase again.

Arkansas Alligator Hunting

Alligators in Arkansas are dispersed in small densities throughout various locations of the state. There are two major regions in the state that contain fairly high numbers of alligators, the southeast and southwest regions. Currently, alligator sport hunt takes place in Arkansas.

Arkansas Rabbit Hunting

The 2 commonest rabbit species in Arkansas are the swamp rabbits and cottontail rabbits. They inhabit dense wood areas of the state, fence rows that are overgrown, and also brush piles.

Arkansas Squirrel Hunting

Squirrels are abundant small games in Arkansas and they inhabit almost all habitats in the state. The two most common squirrel species in Atlanta are the fox and gray squirrels.

Arkansas Quail Hunting

Quail hunting is one of the most common small games hunting in Arkansas. They are evenly distributed in the state.

Arkansas Waterfowl Hunting

There are about 3,800 acres of land provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for the hunting of Waterfowls in the state. This is due to the state waterfowl rice incentive organized by the Natural Resource and Conservation Service in the state.

Arkansas Dove Hunting

Doves are the most common migratory birds in all parts of the US. There are 3 types of Dove species available in Arkansas, and they are the Eurasian dove, mourning dove, and White-winged Dove.

Arkansas Crow Hunting

There are 2 types of Crow species available for hunting in Arkansas, the fish crow, and the American crow. The former inhabit forested areas of the state, while the latter can be found in various water bodies like rivers and lakes.

Arkansas Duck Hunting

Duck hunting in Arkansas is common, and there are some Wildlife Management Areas specifically used for duck hunting in the state.

Arkansas Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting is common in Arkansas with various species like gobblers, greenheads available to take in the hunting season.

Arkansas Hunting Season 2020/21

Arkansas gives the opportunity to hunt wildlife and games such as Alligators, turkey, elks, and bears. Hunters with the correct permit, license, and tags are allowed to hunt in the state as long as it is the hunting season.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Arkansas includes the following:

Arkansas Alligator Hunting Season

  • General Season (18th of September to 21st of September and 25th of September to 28th of September)

The license required for alligator hunting in Arkansas is a drawn permit. And there is a limitation for one alligator per hunter in the hunting seasons. Hunters that qualify for alligator hunting will be required to take an educational course.

Arkansas Bear Hunting Seasons

  • Archery Season (26th of September to 30th of November)
  • Muzzleloader Season (17th of October to 25th of October)
  • Modern firearm Season (14th of November to 6th of December)
  • Youth Modern Gun Season (7th of November to 8th of November)

Bear hunting is not allowed in some hunting zones in Arkansas. Also, the baiting of bears is prohibited in public land areas of the state. However, baiting is legal in zones specified for bear hunting on private lands.

Arkansas Deer Hunting Seasons

  • Archery Season (26th of September to 28th of February)
  • Muzzleloader Season (17th of October to 25th of October and 2nd of December to 21st of December)
  • Modern Firearm Season (14th of November to 25th of December)
  • Youth Modern Firearm Season (8th of November to 8th of November and 2nd of January to 3rd of January)
  • Private Land Antlerless Season (29th of December to 31st of December)

The limit for deer hunting in Atlanta is 6 deer in a season and a maximum of 2 bucks in a season. Also, some methods of hunting deer may not be allowed in some parts of the state.

Arkansas Elk Hunting Seasons

  • Public Land Season (5th of October to 9th of October and 26th of October to 30th of October)
  • Youth Hunt season (3rd 0f October to 4th of October and 24th of October to 25t of October)

To hunt elks in Arkansas private and public lands, you need a valid state hunting permit. Youth hunting is always designated for the first 2 days of Arkansas hunting season, and the hunting limit varies for each zone in the state.

Arkansas Turkey Hunting Season

  • Spring Hunting Season (To be Determined)
  • Youth Hunting Season (To be Determined)

Arkansas Small Game Hunting Season

  • Quail Hunting Season (1st of November to 7th of February)
  • Swamp and Cottontail Rabbit Hunting Season (1st of September to 28th of February)
  • Squirrel Hunting Season (15th of May to 28th of February)

There may be variations in season dates for all games in the season based on hunting zones. Also, bag limits and regulations are usually different from one zone to another.

Arkansas Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges for hunting practices available in Arkansas include the following:

  • Dr. James E. Moore Jr. Camp Robinson Firing Range, Mayflower
  • Jack Cox Scatter Creek Firing Range, Paragould
  • Rick Evans Grandview Prairie CEC Shotgun Range, Columbus
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Shooting Sports Complex, Jacksonville
  • Paul H. "Rocky" Willmuth Sport Shooting Complex, Batesville

Arkansas Hunting Land to Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sales in Arkansas and lease include the following:

  • 9391 Poinsett County, AR Hunting Lease. 53 Acres
  • Jackson County, AR Hunting Lease. 79 Acres
  • 9393 Poinsett County, AR Hunting Lease. 80 Acres
  • 9419 St Francis County, AR Hunting Lease. 985 Acres
The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
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