Urban archery deer hunt applications available

Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

LITTLE ROCK – The application period for Arkansas’s special urban bowhunts for the 2022-23 deer hunting season is now open.

The hunts, which begin Sept. 1, offer Arkansas bowhunters an early opportunity to get into the woods. It’s also the most effective method available for wildlife managers to assist cities in maintaining white-tailed deer populations at levels which reduce conflicts with homeowners and drivers.

The following areas will have urban hunts for the 2022-23 season:

  • Bull Shoals
  • Cherokee Village
  • Fairfield Bay
  • Heber Springs
  • Helena / West Helena
  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Hot Springs Village
  • Lakeview
  • Russellville

All hunters must pass a shooting proficiency test, pass the International Bowhunters Education Program (IBEP) course, and attend an orientation before receiving their urban hunt tags. The proficiency test and IBEP course help coordinators maintain a safe hunting experience, while the mandatory orientations will give participants a rundown of rules and tips to help make their hunt successful and avoid any possible conflicts with landowners who live near their hunting area. While hunters may only hunt on private properties where they have gained permission, there are common areas that are open to hunting as well.

Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Participating hunters must possess a valid Arkansas Sportsman’s Hunting License. Deer harvested during urban hunts do not count toward a hunter’s seasonal limit. There are no limits to the number of deer that can be harvested in urban hunts and all antler restrictions are lifted. All deer harvested must still be checked to the appropriate urban deer zone.

The ABA manages all of the hunts except the Bull Shoals and Lakeview hunts. They charge a $ 50 orientation fee to offset the cost of equipment and cover insurance for the hunts with the participating cities. Hunters may register online at http://www.arkansasbowhunters.org/urbanhunt. Registration closes July 11 at 11:59 pm Participants who do not register in advance may still sign up at an orientation, but will be charged an additional $ 5. Maps and specific requirements for each city, as well as a list of orientation days, is available at www.arkansasbowhunters.org/urbanhunt.

Hunters interested in the Lakeview and Bull Shoals hunts should contact the president of the Bull Shoals and Lakeview Urban Bowhunters, Joey Gentry at joey.gentry34@yahoo.com. These hunts also require a $ 50 club membership to offset the insurance the club pays to administer the hunt. Their mandatory orientation is held the first Saturday in August. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

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