Monthly Commission Meeting | 9 a.m. (Little Rock)
May 17, 2018 at 9 a.m.(2017-2018 General Hunting Regs-Approval)
The regular monthly meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be held beginning at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Little Rock Office Complex, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. At that time, regulations and business pertaining to the operation of the Game and Fish Commission and other fiscal and administrative matters will be considered and acted upon, and all interested persons are invited to attend. Additionally, Committee meetings attended by Commissioners and agency staff members will be held throughout the day on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the same location, and all interested persons are invited to attend.
Items on the agenda for the May 17, 2018, 9:00 a.m. meeting will include adoption of proposed regulations that previously were considered at the April 25 and 26, 2018, Commission Meetings, plus various Hunting and Fishing Regulations and regulations pertaining to the Enforcement Division of the Commission, including but not limited to:
- 2018-2019 General Hunting Regulation – Propose general hunting regulations for 2018-19 including, but not limited to, game seasons, bag limits, geographic zones, wildlife management areas (WMAs), weapon restrictions and other manner-of-taking-game requirements for alligator, bear, deer, elk, furbearing animals, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, dove, waterfowl, and other game species. Changes to general hunting regulation include, but are not limited to:
- Establish a voluntary Quail Stamp for purchase (cost $4.50) to support quail habitat.
- Close temporarily quail hunting season on Harold Alexander, Hope Upland, Jack Mountain, Little Bayou, and Robert L. Hankins Mud Creek WMAs.
- Limit quail hunting to shotguns with no larger than a #2 shot.
- Remove youth restriction for Special Permit Quail Hunt on Camp Robinson SUA and J. Perry Mikles Blue Mountain SUA.
- Prohibit hunt or possession of wild turkey jakes, with limited exceptions for youth or if taken legally in another state.
- Limit taking of wild turkey jakes during Youth Turkey Hunt to one jake only.
- Establish Youth Permit Turkey Hunt on Dr. Lester Sitzes III Bois d’Arc WMA.
- Amend alligator regulations to: allow hunters to be assigned CITES tag instead of Temporary Alligator Possession Tag; prohibit youths under age 16 from applying for alligator hunting permits; clarify existing code requiring CITES tag for sale of alligator meat, hide, or parts to individuals outside the state; allow limited alligator season in Alligator Zone 2; clarify code prohibiting taking or possession of alligators or other crocodilians; and clarify code requiring permit to hunt or possess an alligator.
- Eliminate existing Elk Management Assistant Program (EMAP) for private lands and replace program with individual elk permit requirement, plus reduce cost of Private Land Elk Permit from $35 to $5.
- Amend dog restrictions on WMAs to prohibit dogs from being used for squirrel hunting on Lee Creek WMA during first nine days of modern gun deer season.
- Amend regular furbearing season trapping restrictions to allow use of animal bones cleaned of all tissue and viscera as bait while trapping.
- Increase archery bear quota in Bear Zone 1 from 205 to 250 bears.
- Exempt from bear quota for Bear Zone 1 certain state-owned WMAs that have permitted firearm deer hunts, and allow bears to be harvested by permit holders during those permitted firearm hunts.
- Amend game animal/bird bag limits and possession limits to increase penalty for violating bag or possession limits for big game to Class 3, and retain existing Class 1 penalty for small game violations.
- Amend restrictions for fire on Commission-controlled property to prohibit burning of any material or objects that are not completely combustible.
- Amend furbearer season and limits to change season dates and clarify beginning of season at sunrise on first day and ending at sunset on last day.
- Clarify requirements for tagging alligator, bear, deer, and turkey after harvest, including tagging requirements for bonus deer allowed under Deer Management Assistant Program, Private Land CWD Management, and Special Urban Deer Hunts.
- Amend wildlife rehabilitation permit requirements to clarify conditions that allow veterinarians and rehabilitators to treat animals undergoing rehabilitation, and conditions under which rehabilitation permits will be revoked.
- Amend falconry permit requirements to clarify that general and master class falconers must also possess a valid Arkansas hunting license.
- Eliminate existing regulation that prohibits methods for bird calling on certain WMAs.
- Clarify requirement for adult supervision during special youth hunts to allow youths who have completed a hunter education course to participate in youth hunts without a mentor.
- Clarify existing regulation prohibiting the establishment or maintenance of a geocache on any Commission-owned property.
- Clarify existing regulation prohibiting certain firearms and ammunition during modern gun deer seasons to: include prohibiting handguns having short barrel lengths or small calibers; and allow use of certain big bore air rifles for hunting deer, including in Eastern Arkansas Deer Zones 4, 4B, 5, and 5B.
- Amend activities restrictions on WMAs as follows:
- DeGray Lake WRA - clarify weapons that are restricted/allowed and permits required, including requiring a waterfowl hunting permit for DeGray Lake WRA mobility-impaired waterfowl hunt.
- U of A Pine Tree Experimental Station WDA - eliminate access permit requirement.
- Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA - remove certain firearms restrictions and move youth deer permit hunt to the first segment of the statewide youth hunt for first full weekend in November.
- Sylamore WMA - allow additional doe harvest during opening weekend for modern gun deer season.
- Dr. Lester Sitzes III Bois d’ Arc WMA - extend muzzleloader and modern gun deer hunts for 9 days each.
- Lake Greeson WMA - change deer muzzleloader mobility impaired permit hunt to Thursday and Friday before first Saturday in November.
- Cut Off Creek and Little Bayou WMAs - eliminate deer permit requirements.
- Loafer’s Glory WMA - increase youth deer season bag limit.
- Clarify suspension of licenses, permits, tags, and stamps to exempt hunting on private inholdings.
- Amend deer regulations on WMAs to remove antler restrictions for buck deer harvest on WMAs within the CWD Management Zone, including: Bearcat Hollow, Beaver Lake, Blue Mountain, Buffalo National River, Cherokee (those lands that fall within the CWD counties), Cherokee Prairie Natural Area, Dardanelle, Fort Chaffee, Frog Bayou, Galla Creek, Garrett Hallow Natural Area, Gene Rush, H.E. Flanagan Prairie Natural Area, Howard Hensley Searcy County, Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, Jones Point, Lee Creek, Loafers Glory, McIlroy Madison County, Mount Magazine , Nimrod/Lloyd Millwood, Ozark Lake, Ozark National Forest, Petit Jean River, Piney Creeks, Rainey, Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain, Slippery Hollow Natural Area, Sweden Creek Natural Area, Wedington, White Rock, and J. Perry Mikles Blue Mountain SUA Wildlife Management Areas.
- Amend activities restrictions within the CWD Management Zone as follows:
- Clarify existing regulation prohibiting hand-feeding of game animals within Zone.
- Add Benton, Washington, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian counties to the Zone.
- Amend legal buck deer requirements to remove 3-Point Rule for all counties within the Zone.
- Amend regulation to establish a consistent bag limit of deer for all counties within the Zone.
- Amend regulation to establish a tier-based, carcass movement restriction within the Zone.
- Amend special usage restrictions on certain WMAs and lakes as follows:
- Add Cox Cypress and Grand Cypress Lakes to list of waterbodies in George H. Dunklin Jr. Bayou Meto WMA where boating access is allowed from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during regular duck season.
- Clarify in Common Restriction A that during regular duck season boats may not be launched earlier than 2:00 a.m. and must remain occupied at all times in boat staging areas from 2:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m.
- Amend boat motor restrictions on certain WMAs to exclude from Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA the following waterbodies during non-hunting activities: Shirey Bay, Horseshoe Lake, and Hill Slough.
- Amend existing regulation requiring a Non-resident Waterfowl Hunting Permit on certain WMAs to include Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA and Ozan WMA among WMAs where non-residents hunters are required to obtain a permit to hunt waterfowl.
- Amend boating restrictions on certain WMAs to include National Wildlife Refuges among Commission owned or controlled areas where certain dangerous boating operations are prohibited, and clarify exception to allow boats to pass without coming closer than 100 feet within another boat and at a rate of speed that will not create a hazardous wash or wake.
- Amend definition of terms to revise “Resident” definition to clarify that: a natural person must have established domicile in Arkansas for at least 60 days; children younger than 18 are presumed to have same resident status as their custodial parent or legal guardian unless otherwise documented; applicants for Commission-issued licenses, permits, and tags have the burden of proving their resident status; certain types of documentation may be considered for demonstrating proof of residency; and list resident permits, licenses and tags that require an applicant to provide proof of Arkansas residency for one (1) continuous year.
- Change hunting season dates for next two years for: White-fronted, Snow, Blue, Ross’s, and Canada Goose Seasons; Special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Season; and Duck, Coot, and Merganser Season.
- Amend Migratory Waterfowl Hunting Regulations as follows:
- Change required time to be off water on WMAs during regular duck season from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to allow walk-in hunters additional time to be off an area after shooting hours have ended.
- Remove shot shell restrictions for waterfowl hunting on all WMAs.
- Remove certain restrictions for waterfowl bag limits on George Dunklin, Jr. Bayou Meto WMA.
- Effective for the 2019-2020 hunting season, ban operation of all surface drive motors on WMAs during duck season due to excessive noise and availability of walk-in areas.
All persons wishing to be heard on these subjects should submit comments in writing to this office before the start of the May 17, 2018, meeting (preferably by 4:30 p.m. on the day before). Any request to make an oral presentation at the meeting should be submitted in writing to this office on or before May 7, 2018. Copies of any proposed rules or regulations may be obtained at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission main office, at www.agfc.com, or through a written request mailed to the address below.
PAT FITTS, DIRECTOR
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Game & Fish Commission Building
2 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205