Doe-only hunt puts a new look on upcoming deer season

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas deer hunters have an additional five-day opportunity to pursue their favorite activity this season.

A doe-only hunt by any method is scheduled for Oct. 31 through Nov. 4. That’s Monday through Friday. Modern guns, muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows will be allowed, but the hunt is for designated zones, not statewide.

The new doe-only hunt is for Deer Zones 6A, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17. This basically is south Arkansas, some of central Arkansas and a bit of north-central Arkansas. Deer Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 4B, 5, 5A, 5B, 6, 7, 8 and 11 will be closed. The bag limit on this special doe hunt is the zone limit. No WMAs will be involved in the doe only hunt.

Any doe taken by a hunter in this new season will count toward his or her season bag limit, both zone and statewide. There is a generous six-deer statewide limit for next season. Most zone limits are less than six, but a hunter can take deer in more than one zone up to the statewide limit of six.

Bearcat Hollow project habitat work day set

LURTON — The Arkansas Wildlife Federation will be hosting a campout weekend, on Friday Sept. 23-25 to continue working on the Bearcat Hollow habitat restoration project. The long-term project will dramatically improve habitat in a heavily-forested area of Arkansas where diversity is lacking.

Turkeys will benefit from creation of nesting and brood habitats, permanent water sources and improvements in mast-production. Many other species, including grassland or early-successional birds and grazing or browsing animals such as deer and elk, will also benefit from restoration of these natural systems. Oak woodlands in the region have declined due to fire suppression in the early 1900s, and restoring these areas is a huge undertaking.

Some food will be provided on Saturday. Volunteers will need to supply special needs and camping equipment. Please bring work gloves and any tools. Proposed work includes bush-hogging open fields, removing old fence wire and posts, plant fields with clover, replace 2 gates, stream clean up, and adding woody debris to ponds for aquatic life.

Waits wastes little time setting records

LITTLE ROCK — D. Victor Waits of Holts Summit, Mo., is making a career of setting state fish records in Arkansas.

He holds the state record for river redhorse (8 pounds, 2 ounces) and shovelnose sturgeon (5 pounds), both taken from the Spring River. He recently added golden redhorse and northern hog sucker – again from the Spring River.

The golden redhorse — 1 pound, 2 ounces — was enticed by worms May 27. The northern hog sucker, also 1 pound, 2 ounces, fell for worms, too. Both fish were caught upstream from Hardy, in the same spot where Waits landed the record sturgeon. 

Melissa Jones, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s coldwater coordinator in the Fisheries Bureau, identified both fish.

Both species are new to the list of state records.