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Low temps could mean high harvest.

ARKANSAS HUNTERS ARE GETTING used to the cold weather and bagging waterfowl. With a new year upon us, bird hunters may also be eligible for turkey season.

Hunters will also have the opportunity to speak out on any new rules or regulations proposed by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission at a series of meetings to be held across the state on Jan. 8.

Limited Permits for Spring Turkey Season

Since Dec. 17, Arkansas turkey hunters have been able to apply for limited permits on several Arkansas Game & Fish Commission wildlife management areas for the 2008 spring turkey season.

The spring 2008 turkey season will begin with the youth hunt on March 29-30 for zone 17 and April 5-6 for the rest of the state. The rest of the season will be April 12-May 2 in zones 1, 2, 3, 4B, 5, 5B, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9 and 10; April 12-25 in zones 1A, 4, 4A, 5A and 9A; and April 5-27 in zone 17.

The bag limit for the spring season will be two legal turkeys in all zones. Hunters will not be able to harvest more than one legal turkey per day and no more than one jake. Hunters also will be limited to two turkeys per season. There is a one legal turkey limit for both the youth and quota permit hunts. Turkeys taken during a youth or quota permit hunt count as part of the season bag limit.

Applications may be submitted at Agfc. com and will be available from license dealers and AGFC offices throughout the state. The application period is open through Jan. 17, 2008.

Hunters to Have Their Say at Public Meetings

Hunters may voice their opinions about hunting regulations and seasons at one of 11 public meetings across the state on Jan. 8.

The meetings are part of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission's annual hunting regulations process. They are held to give hunters and other interested parties the opportunity to make comments and proposals for the 2008-09 hunting seasons. Comments may be verbal or written. Written comments may be submitted at one of the meetings or mailed to the AGFC, Hunting Regulations Proposals, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock 72205.

The 11 meetings will be held from 7-9 p.m. AGFC personnel will make an initial presentation and accommodate those wishing to speak. Visitors may arrive and leave at any time during the meeting. Meetings will take place in Jonesboro, Brinkley, Monticello, Camden, Hope, Hot Springs, Fort Smith, Russellville, Fayetteville, Mountain View and Little Rock. Visit hunting/public-meeting.aspx for a list of meeting locations.

Deer and Turkeys Looking for Acorns

Deer and wild turkeys are beginning to spend the entire day in pastures, open fields and food plots, due to the meager acorn crop in parts of the state disappearing. Acorns from the white oak group are very scarce in the north half of Arkansas because of the extremely cold weather that occurred the first week in April this spring. Some red oak acorns, which take two years to develop, are present but not abundant in most areas.

One of the downsides to a poor acorn crop is that most wildlife are in poorer physical and reproductive condition at the end of the winter, including deer, turkey, quail, squirrels, and deer mice.

Concerned landowners and sportsmen will undoubtedly attempt to assist wildlife through the winter by providing supplemental food. Biologists prefer food plots and other habitat work over supplemental feeding, but done correctly, this could benefit wildlife in a time of food scarcity.

Vice President Hunts, Shops in Stuttgart

Vice President Dick Cheney stopped in Arkansas County on Dec. 4 for some waterfowl hunting. Cheney told a Little Rock television station that "Arkansas is one of the great hunting states in the country, especially for waterfowl and ducks, and so I get invited down here periodically. I can't come all the time, but every once in a while, when I can, I do."

Cheney also patronized Mack's Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, purchasing suspenders and ammunition.
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Title Annotation:OUTDOORS: Notes; laws of Arkansas. Commission on Game and Fish
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Dec 24, 2007
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