Arkansas Deer Forecast Looks Promising
LITTLE ROCK – So far, deer season in Arkansas has been very good. Based on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s online and telechecking harvest numbers, the statewide harvest is already above the numbers for last year. Arkansas’s modern gun season opens this Saturday, Nov. 14.
AGFC deer program coordinator Brad Miller says he expects a great year for deer hunters in The Natural State. “One thing hunters should keep in mind is that Mother Nature has dealt us a couple of obstacles this year. First, those hunters that hunt in the Ozarks and the northern Delta regions should make sure their usual spots haven’t been impacted by last January’s ice storm. Some areas may be inaccessible, and hunters should have a back-up plan,” Miller said. “Secondly, the recent flooding may have closed some areas, washed out roads, or water may still be covering some areas,” he added.
Given that mast production looks good across much of the state, hunters should identify the spots on their area with good acorn production to maximize their chances, Miller says. “Opening weekend has a substantial impact on what our final numbers will look like. The first two days of modern gun accounted for almost 19% of the total season harvest last year,” Miller explained. “I hope the weather is good this weekend so that hunters will want to get out, and the deer will be active. Ideally I’d like to see a cool day with minimal wind,” he added.
A short breakdown of the state’s geographical regions follows:
Ozarks: Reports indicate that acorn production has been poor to fair. Ice damage has been severe in many areas.
Arkansas River Valley/Ouachitas: Field observations indicate moderate to good to excellent acorn production.
Crowley’s Ridge: Reports by regional staff are similar to those of the Ozarks. There has been some ice damage in the area, but acorn production has been fair to good.
Delta Region: Reports from southeastern Arkansas indicate fair to good mast production.
Gulf Coastal Plain: Acorn production by white oaks in the area is good. Additionally, the persimmon crop appears excellent this season.