Sportsmen May Access Public Areas in Arkansas to Repair Blinds

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Sportsmen May Access Public Areas in Arkansas to Repair BlindsPOCAHONTAS – Due to the recent heavy winds associated with the passage of Hurricane Ike over Northeast Arkansas, a considerable amount of tree limbs and logs have accumulated in some hunting areas and boat lanes. Hunters on the Dave Donaldson Black River and the St. Francis Sunken Lands wildlife management areas will soon get a second opportunity to access these Arkansas Game and Fish Commission areas.

Sportsmen may access St. Francis Sunken Lands and Dave Donaldson Black River WMAs from Friday, Sept. 26, 2008 through Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, in order to remove fallen logs and limbs from waterfowl hunting holes and boat lanes. Debris removal on the Big lake WMA will be carried out by the Big Lake Volunteer Work Group, under the supervision of the AGFC.

Maintenance will only be allowed into the areas during daylight hours. Special permits will not be required.

Maintenance may be done under the following guidelines:

  • Certain levees and roads usually open to vehicular traffic may be closed due to construction or logging operations on Dave Donaldson Black River and St. Francis Sunken Lands WMAs. For maintenance purposes, only ATVs will be permitted beyond signs, locked gates or barricades.
  • Boats, three wheeled, four wheeled, six wheeled or eight-wheeled all terrain vehicles may be used on existing roads or trails to access hunting areas. Trailers may be used with ATVs to transport repair materials and equipment to blind locations.
  • No trucks or other passenger vehicles, farm tractors or implements, including implements for use with four-wheelers, riding mowers or power mowers may be used.
  • Chainsaws mounted on extension poles or any other devices intended exclusively for overhead limb cutting are not permitted.
  • No chemicals, herbicides or defoliants may be used.
  • Chainsaws will be permitted only for the cutting of fallen logs from boat lanes, trails and hunting spots.
  • No standing trees are to be cut or damaged.
  • No new holes or clearings are to be created and existing holes are not to be enlarged by cutting surrounding trees or shrubs. Violations of this restriction may result in the red-lining of the hole and permanent closure of the hole to all waterfowl hunting.
  • Soil may not be plowed, cultivated or disturbed in any manner and no seeds of any kind are to be planted.
  • Cutting of trees, application of chemicals or defoliants, or the enlargement or creation of new openings will result in the permanent closure of that location to hunting.
  • No maintenance may be done in areas that have been closed to hunting by painted boundaries or signs.

The use of all-terrain vehicles for off road travel is restricted to persons actively participating in blind or hunting hole maintenance, and mobility impaired access permit holders as permitted by area regulations. Joy riding is prohibited and violators will be prosecuted.