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Flood zones reopen for Christmas deer hunts

Date12/22/2011
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LITTLE ROCK –Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Loren Hitchcock has authorized opening the state’s private land flood prone zones in advance of the upcoming modern gun, muzzleloader and youth deer hunts. Last week, commissioners gave the director of the AGFC the authority to open any closed flood prone region based on the recommendation of the chief of the wildlife management division.

Several areas around the state have been closed to deer hunting due to high water. Reopening the zones will give hunters more opportunity to help control Arkansas's growing deer herd.

David Goad, AGFC’s Chief of the Wildlife Management Division said that most zones are within a foot or so of opening back up on their own. “Although there is a little rise occurring at some gauges, it's expected to be very short lived. With a few days until the Christmas hunt, we believe there will be enough fall to allow for those zones that haven't opened on their own to go ahead and open,” Goad explained. “Our reasoning is based on potential falling water levels at particular gauges and we want to provide as much opportunity for kids after Christmas as possible,” he explained.

In areas where flood prone zones don't open by gauge readings, deer hunting season will be open from Dec. 26-Jan. 8 in flood prone regions A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I. Beginning Jan. 9, hunters should consult the flood zone hotline at 800-440-1477 or go to http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingFloodProneRegions.aspx to determine if their flood zone is open for deer hunting.