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Apply for an Arkansas Elk Hunting Permit


LITTLE ROCK — Hunters interested in pursuing Arkansas’s largest big game animal can apply for a limited hunting permit draw from 8 a.m. May 1 through 11:59 p.m. June 1 at the AGFC’s licensing site (www.agfc.com/license) under the “Special Hunt Permits” tab.
Fifteen permits (Five either sex and 10 antlerless) will be available for public draw through online applications this season. All elk permits will be drawn at the Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper, scheduled for June 28-29. Winners will be notified via email and phone once the draw is concluded. Three additional on-site permits (one either sex and two antlerless) will be drawn at the festival. Only people who attend the festival in person will be eligible for the on-site permit drawing.
Only Arkansas residents may apply for an Arkansas public land elk hunting permit. Applicants must have a valid Resident Sportsman Hunting License or must be a holder of a Lifetime Sportsman’s Permit. Applicants must be 6 years or older as of the beginning of the hunt (Oct. 5) to participate. Anyone with 18 or more violations points is ineligible for the permit.
Hunters with access to private land in elk country use a quota system instead of drawn permits. Any resident may purchase a Private Lake Elk Permit (labeled PLE in the AGFC licensing system) for $5 in addition to a valid resident Sportsman Hunting License.. Nonresidents must purchase a Nonresident Elk Permit (NRE) for $300 in addition to a valid Nonresident Annual Hunting License.
The private land quota is 18 total, 6 either sex and 12 antlerless. Hunters must call each evening to determine if the quota has been met before the next day’s hunt. The season ends early if the quota is filled.
Additionally, hunters may take any elk they see outside of the Core Elk Management Zone (Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties) while legally deer hunting with archery, muzzleloaders or modern guns of at least .24 caliber.
Visit www.agfc.com/elk for more information on elk and elk hunting in Arkansas.



Mature bull elk tend to harems of cows during their breeding season.


Leave ‘abandoned’ wildlife where you find it
Randy Zellers
Deer fawn
LITTLE ROCK – Many species of wildlife have their young in spring, and many well-meaning Arkansans regularly call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to report deer fawns and other young wildlife that look abandoned. But moving these animals can actually cause more harm than good.
Most wildlife cannot be with their young nonstop. They must search out food for their offspring or gain much-needed nutrition to continue nursing them. It’s not uncommon for a doe deer or rabbit to leave her young alone nearly all day while she eats and recuperates from the stress of nursing. Mother and father birds also take many trips scouring the nearby area for food they will bring back to the hatchlings.
It can be a shock to a person to see these young animals in such a helpless position, but this is how these species survive. In fact, the more trips back and forth a mother makes to her young in the wild, the more scent trails she leaves behind for predators to possibly follow.
Often, a doe deer is within hearing distance of her young, even though you may not see her. The best defenses fawns and rabbit kits have are to stay motionless so they blend into their surroundings and stay quiet so they don’t attract unwanted attention. Baby birds almost ready to fly hop around in the tree branches exercising their wings, and often end up on the ground a few times before finally getting the hang of things. Parent birds will continue to feed them on the ground until they fly off on their own.
Moving “orphaned” wildlife works against this plan. Instead of rescuing them, well-meaning people often mistakenly take them from their mothers and have little to no experience or idea on how to help that young animal. Wildlife rehabilitation permittees often are overwhelmed by kidnapped young owls and other birds that were mistakenly “rescued” by well-meaning people.
If you do find a young animal and have taken it from the area, the best practice is to place it back where you found it as soon as possible. In cases where the spot may have been unsafe because of a nearby road or predator, you can move the animal slightly and its mother will find it. Forget the wive’s tales about the mother rejecting the young because of your scent; when she comes back to the area, she will take care of her young regardless.
According to Dr. Jenn Ballard, state wildlife veterinarian for the AGFC, young deer and elk present an additional challenge because it is illegal for a rehabilitator to take them in.
“The transport of live deer can help spread chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease in deer, elk and other cervids,” Ballard said. “Research in Arkansas indicates that it is possible for a fawn to be born with CWD, and that deer could not only infect others at a rehabilitation site, but contaminate their facility, making it possible to spread the disease to any future rehabilitated cervids.”
If you happen upon a fawn, you legally must leave it where you find it. Just because an adult deer was found dead nearby does not mean the fawn is alone. That deer that was hit by a car may not be the fawn’s mother. Even in cases where the mother has been killed, there is still a chance other does are nearby that will take in the fawn as their own if they find them. In either case, that animal’s best chance of living a healthy life in the wild is for people to step aside and let Mother Nature take care of things.
If you know the animal is injured or truly orphaned and it is not a bear, deer or elk, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission keeps a list of licensed rehabilitators available on its website at www.agfc.com/rehab. These rehabilitators do not receive pay for their efforts, have limited space, and often are available only during certain hours, so calling ahead to find one that will take in the animal is highly recommended.