Tags: Gun Control | hunting in Arkansas

Hunting in Arkansas: Three Things to Know About Urban Deer Hunting in Cities and Suburbs

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 03:58 PM

Hunting in Arkansas isn't just a backcountry activity. There are occasionally hunting "seasons" within town or city limits, generally to rid urban areas of "nuisance" deer – that is, deer that don't know they aren't supposed to eat Aunt Martha's flower border.

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Now, obviously hunting in urban areas presents special challenges, so there are fairly sensible restrictions on how one can harvest pesky cervids that prey on backyard lettuce beds.

Nevertheless, as the Russellville Courier News noted in a recent article, quoting Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) assistant chief Brad Miller, "Deer in cities are often controlled by Buicks and Chevys, and that's completely not the way to go."

Here are a few important points to keep in mind before you head out onto Main Street looking for hungry whitetails.

There Is No Set Season
Urban deer hunts are arranged ad hoc, city-by-city, depending on deer counts and complaints. The Deer Friendly website lists dozens of articles about various Arkansas towns and the various efforts they go through to establish an urban deer hunt in response to resident complaints. Such a hunt is enacted on a case-by-case basis; deer are not a listed "nuisance animal" in Arkansas.

You Can't Use Guns
Generally speaking, only bowhunters may kill deer within city limits in Arkansas – and there are specific regulations as to the type of bow, its pull, and so forth.

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You Still Need a License – and More
In fact, you need far more than just a state hunting license. For the urban deer cull scheduled for Russellville for winter of 2013, it was required that prospective hunters "pass the International Bow-hunter Education Course; attend an urban hunt orientation; pass a shooting proficiency test; possess a valid Urban Bow-hunting Permit; hunt only in designated areas; shoot from elevated stands, unless an exception is granted by the city; cover harvested animals from sight before transporting or moving them; donate the first deer – required to be a doe – to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry; and hunt only using a longbow," according to an article in the Russellville Courier News.

The best course of action is to contact the AGFC and ask. They even have classes relating to deer hunting in general, and which cover urban deer culls.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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