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2023 Permit Application Schedule

Elk | Public Land

  • May 1, 8 a.m.
    • Application period begins | Apply
      (Select the Special Hunt Applications button)
  • May 15, 11:59 p.m.
    • Application deadline
  • June 23-24
    • Public land permits will be drawn at the annual Ponca Elk Festival.


18 permits will be available for public draw through online applications for Arkansas’s 2023 elk hunting season. All elk permits will be drawn at the Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper, scheduled for June 23-24, 2023. Winners will be notified via email and phone once the draw is concluded. Three additional on-site permits will be drawn at the festival. Only people who attend the festival in person will be eligible for the on-site permit drawing.

  • Only Arkansas residents with a Resident Sportsman Hunting License or holders of a Lifetime Sportsman’s Permit may apply.
  • A $5 nonrefundable application fee is required to apply.
  • Applicants must be 6 or older as of the beginning of the hunt to participate (Oct. 2).
  • Applicants with 18 or more violation points are ineligible to apply.

Public land elk hunts are held on designated areas of the Buffalo National River, Gene Rush WMA, Richland Valley Sonny Varnell Elk Conservation Area and Bearcat Hollow WMA.

Elk | Private Land

  • May 15
    • Permits go on sale


  • Permits will be sold through the online license and permitting website.
  • Permits will be added to the hunter’s license.
  • There is a $5.00 application fee.
  • Applicants must be 6 or older as of the beginning of the hunt to participate.
  • It will be up to the hunter to obtain landowner permission in accordance with AGFC Code of Regulations.

Core Elk Management Zone Map

The Private Land Elk Hunt takes place only in the Core Elk Management Zone (Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties). All private land elk permits will be purchased through the AGFC online license and permitting website. Paper applications will no longer be accepted. The quota-based hunt system will still be used as in past years. AGFC must be contacted immediately after harvest by calling 833-289-2469 to receive check station information. Each day, hunters must call the AGFC Wildlife Hotline (833-345-0398) and select option Elk Quota Status to determine if the season quota has been met. Bull hunters must call after 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. each day to see if the quota has been reached. Antlerless hunters only have to call in after 8 p.m. each day. All harvested elk have to be checked online at within 12 hours of harvest. The private land elk season ends early if the quota is reached.  Limit of one elk per person, per year.

Any hunter outside of Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties who incidentally sees an elk while legally hunting for deer may take that elk with a limit of one, either sex per year. Hunters must call 833-289-2469 immediately after harvest for instructions on checking elk and submitting samples.

All elk harvested in Arkansas must have CWD samples taken and submitted. The test is free, and hunters will be given the results in a timely manner. Instructions for sampling will be given when the hunter calls to check the elk as harvested. Visit the CWD page for more information.