Game and Fish seeks feedback on proposed regulation changes

An early "velvet buck" archery season is among proposed regulations changes.
(Courtesy photo/Arkansas Game and Fish)
An early "velvet buck" archery season is among proposed regulations changes. (Courtesy photo/Arkansas Game and Fish)

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is proposing a number of changes for the 2024-25 hunting season and 2025 fishing year and seeks feedback in a survey to run through March 15.

More than 155 regulations changes are being considered during the review process, said Jessica Feltz, Game and Fish conservation social scientist. Roughly half of the changes are considered administrative.

"There are a lot of places where the code book needs minor changes to clarify or simplify the regulations, and other regulations that are out-of-date or need changes in wording because scientific names of species changed," Feltz said in a briefing to the panel of commissioners before the survey was posted.

"Those changes are all being listed in the survey, but we have placed them together in the survey for people to read through and make any comments without going through each one and bogging down the survey process."

There's an added incentive to complete the survey beyond the opportunity to voice your support or opposition to proposed changes. After the survey is complete, respondents will be sent to a webpage where they can enter to win prizes, including gift cards for sporting goods retailers as well as outdoor merchandise provided through the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. All information collected for the prize drawing is separate from the survey and cannot be traced back to an individual's responses on the anonymous survey.

Among the hunting regulations being considered are proposals to:

Eliminate the private land antlerless only modern gun hunt.

Require GPS tracking collars with capabilities for behavior correction on all dogs pursuing wildlife, except retrievers while in the act of retrieving birds.

Restrict nonresidents pursuing deer with dogs to only the last nine days of modern gun season where deer dogs are allowed and limit them to one deer each.

Allow straight-walled, center-fire rifle cartridges during modern gun season in deer zones 4 and 5.

Open a special three-day "velvet buck" archery deer hunt the first full weekend of September.

Allow nonresidents only one turkey in their seasonal bag limit and create a nonresident turkey license at a cost of $325.

Open frog-gigging season June 1 instead of April 15 and reducing the daily limit to 10 bullfrogs.

Increase spearfishing daily limits to match hook-and-line limits where spearfishing is allowed.

Prohibit the harvest of trout, other than rainbow trout, from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.

Limit white-fronted goose season to only be open when duck season is open.

In addition to these proposals, Game and Fish is taking public opinion on two subjects for future discussion:

Input on a prohibition on all surface-drive motors (mud motors) on wildlife management areas.

Input on opening the statewide muzzle-loader season to straight-walled, center-fire cartridges of .30 caliber or greater.

Many other proposals, including captive wildlife regulations changes and management area-specific hunting changes, are available in an online public comment survey, which will be available at through March 15.

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