LITTLE ROCK — With a month left before the opening day of archery deer season, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is busy distributing this year’s hunting guidebook. Copies will begin arriving in sporting goods stores and AGFC regional offices throughout Arkansas in the next few weeks. But for folks who want to get the inside line on hunting seasons and regulations, an online version is available to view and store on your phone.
Each year, avid hunters begin calling in July asking when the guidebook will come out with the latest regulations and season dates. Although most regulations are passed by June, and the official Code of Regulations is updated, the printed version of the guidebook is not published until the end of August each year.
“We want to make sure any new regulations that may have occurred during summer are covered in the guidebook,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Communications Randy Zellers. “We also want to give our field staff enough time to review changes to make sure all dates and limits are correct and everyone is on the same page when asked a question. Most of the team reviewing the guidebook have to fit it into the conservation work they’re doing.”
Just as with last year, each Arkansas Hunting Guidebook has been enhanced with water-resistant game tags for hunters to use on deer and bear they harvest.
“Hunters can still check their deer by phone, agfc.com or the AGFC’s mobile app and skip tagging the deer as long as it stays within their possession until it gets home,” Zellers said. But some hunters who have not checked their deer or who may leave their deer at camp while they continue to hunt still need a tag on the deer claiming it as theirs.”
The tags in the guidebook are not required. Hunters can use any material they wish to tag a deer, and wildlife officers have seen everything from duct tape to notebook paper used. The tags in the regulations books, however, do offer a durable, water-resistant material that is easy to write on for hunters to stick in their wallet if they wish to use them.