Arkansas is known for its plentiful deer population, generous bag limits and beautiful, abounding public hunting lands.
The Natural State is home to nearly 1,000,000 white-tailed deer. Deer hunting in Arkansas serves not only as a sport but also as a wildlife management tool.
However, the deer population hasn’t always been prolific. In the 1920s, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was already taking steps to increase the dwindling deer population caused by overhunting. As late as the 1940s, the deer population remained bleak with hunting closed in several counties.
Fortunately, progress was made thanks to deer refuge systems and restocking programs, and with the help of AGFC, record harvests have become the norm with each deer season. In March 1993, the white-tailed deer was designated as the official mammal of the State of Arkansas.
Frequently Asked Questions: Tagging and Checking Big Game
Immediately upon harvest and before moving your deer, you can check your game via the internet, through the new AGFC mobile app or by phone at 833-289-2469.
If you are using the AGFC mobile app to check game and are not connected to internet or cell service, you’ll receive a notice on your screen that your submission is pending upon validation. When your device returns to service or internet connection, you should sync your app by selecting the sync button. Once the submission goes through, you will receive your confirmation on the app screen, via email and in your app inbox.
- Immediately upon taking a deer (before moving it), fill out the appropriate deer tag from your license or in the guidebook and complete all information, except Check #, legibly and in ink (you may substitute a piece of paper for this tag). Fasten the tag to the ear or antler. The original tag must remain as attached to the deer until point of final storage.
Duplicate harvest information reflecting the name, address, species, sex, date taken and check confirmation number must remain with all portions until point of final storage, including while in transit.
Carcass ID Tag
- For deer harvested on private lands, use this deer zone map for zone numbers.
- For deer harvested on public lands, use this WMA Deer Zone Map for zone numbers.
- Call 833-289-2469, visit www.agfc.com or use the AGFC mobile app to check your deer within 12 hours of harvest.
- After checking game, record the check number on your tag.
- Entrails may be removed, but evidence of the animal’s sex must remain until checked. Deer may be quartered in the field, but the head must be kept within arm’s reach of all four quarters of the animal until checked.
- No deer/elk may be transported out of the CWD Management Zone without following these procedures.
- No big game animal may be transported across state lines before being checked unless normal travel routes require a hunter to cross a state line to check the animal.
- If you choose to give away all or a portion of your game after it has been checked, you must use a game transfer form.
Your youth hunter will need to migrate their customer ID number into the new licensing system. For help on creating an account and signing in, watch this video. After the youth account has been created, you can follow the instructions in the video linked below to add the youth to your app account.
After adding the youth to your mobile app, you will also need to acquire the free YCID product to have deer tags to check against. To procure the YCID tags, follow the steps below:
- Select Buy Licenses and Permits and confirm that the child’s account is correct. If it is not, select Switch Account to pull up the right one.
- The Youth Conservation ID (YCID) is listed under the hunting licenses available when signed in to a youth’s account. You can find it by scrolling to the bottom of the hunting products tab.
- Select Add to Cart or select the name to read more details about the Youth Conservation ID. Be assured that this product is free.
- Select the cart icon in the top right corner of the screen. Scroll through available donation options, fill-in your contact details, view and or agree to the terms and conditions, and then select Complete Transaction.
- The Youth Conservation ID as well as the included deer and turkey tags should now be visible under Licenses and game check.
Youths must be at least 6 years old to harvest and check big game. DO NOT CHECK THE DEER UNDER THE MENTORS’ OR PARENTS’ NAMES.
Deer camps, processors and taxidermists must maintain records when storing all wildlife. All portions of each deer in storage must be labeled with the following information: Hunter name, customer identification number from license, address, date of harvest, species and game check number. A sample Carcass Identification Tag is available in the Arkansas Hunting Guidebook.
Wildlife Management Areas and National Wildlfie Refuges have their own Zone Numbers, available in the individual WMA regulations listed in the back of the Arkansas Hunting Guidebook.
When your check is complete, you will receive an alphanumeric confirmation code that is four spaces long. Please store this number on your phone with a screenshot or write it down for future use. If you have an account with the AGFC app, it will store the confirmation number for you, but checking other people’s deer for them without an account or checking via phone or website requires you to manually save the confirmation code.
The text of the confirmation code message will be, “Your game check was submitted successfully. Your game check number is _ _ _ _. Remember to record this number on your tag!”