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Register to participate in one of nine urban archery hunts this fall

BY Randy Zellers

ON 05-17-2023


May 17, 2023

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

LITTLE ROCK — Deer hunters interested in an early chance to fill their freezer and help feed fellow Arkansans can learn how to register for one of nine urban archery hunts beginning today at Registration for the 2023 Arkansas urban hunts is available until early July.

According to the Arkansas Bowhunters Association, one of three groups to coordinate with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to conduct urban bowhunts in the state, the application period for the six hunts they administer will end July 11. That is the date of their first orientation meeting to go over this year’s rules for the hunts and conduct shooting proficiency tests.

Urban deer hunts are scheduled for the following cities in 2023-24:

  • Bull Shoals

  • Cherokee Village

  • Fairfield Bay

  • Heber Springs

  • Helena-West Helena

  • Horseshoe Bend

  • Hot Springs Village

  • Lakeview

  • Russellville

Urban archery hunts are more than an added opportunity for hunters. They’re a sound technique to manage deer populations where deer have become too abundant and have caused conflicts with people. If deer populations become too dense, they can become a nuisance and even a danger to people. This is especially true in semi-rural and suburban communities on the fringes of large blocks of forest and agricultural land. The AGFC has worked with some of these cities and towns for more than two decades to explore solutions that are inexpensive and effective. Urban hunts have proven one of the best tools wildlife managers can use to reduce these populations.

Deer in urban area
Because the hunting may take place fairly close to residential areas, all hunters who participate must attend an orientation where they must pass a proficiency test with the archery equipment they intend to use during the hunt. An orientation fee also is collected by the partnering organization, which covers the insurance policy for the hunt most cities require.

In addition to orientations and shooting proficiency tests, all hunters must have passed the International Bowhunters Education Program (IEBP) course to participate. The AGFC’s Hunter Education Division will be offering this class for free on June 10th in Little Rock.  Visit to register.  

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. However, a hunter’s first deer in an urban hunt must be donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing ground meat to food pantries around the state.

In addition to being a great way to help hungry Arkansans and get an early taste of deer burger yourself, urban hunts also are the best opportunity an Arkansas hunter has at getting a buck in velvet, which is a goal for many bowhunters. The heat of early season hunting isn’t for everyone, but the hunts may continue through the rest of deer season, giving ample opportunity to put some tags on deer.

Visit to learn more about urban bowhunts and how to register for each hunt planned this season.

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