JASPER – A diverse group of Arkansas elk hunters will go into the rugged Buffalo River country beginning Monday, Oct. 29, for the 15th year of elk hunting on lands of the Buffalo National River and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Others will hunt on nearby private lands.
There are 23 hunters with the highly-sought public land elk permits, and these are the winners from several thousand who applied for the permits during the month of May. Both the applications and the permits are free.
All the hunters are required to attend a hunter orientation session Sunday, Oct. 28, at Jasper. Then they will hunt Monday through Friday, Oct. 29-Nov. 2.
Each of the hunters can be accompanied by one or more helpers, who must wear the required blaze orange or chartreuse, but the helpers cannot carry center-fire weapons. The elk hunters can choose modern gun, muzzle-loading or archery equipment but not crossbows. Virtually all in the past have used modern rifles.
Public land elk permit hunters:
Compartment 3, Jeffrey Phillips of Wilburn and Jarrett Yingling of Judsonia, either sex youth permits. Larry Roton of Prairie Grove, Justin Holt of Rose Bud, Lyndell Storey of Batesville, Angi Harrover of Leslie, Drake Smelser of Walnut Ridge, Justin Reddell of Jasper, John Hudson of Harrison, and Doug Brents of Cleveland, antlerless permits, Christopher Racey of Little Rock, and Robbie Crocker of Murfreesboro either sex permits.
Compartment 4, Jimmy Cox of Bono, Richard Loggains of Harrisburg, Joseph Snow of Gravette, Brenda Wilson of Amity, Dylan York of Salem, Wesley Fletcher of Monticello, Bill Bell of Mena, Rhett McManigell of Gassville, Michael Shields of Fort Smith and Lee Hankins of White Hall, antlerless permits. Kent Ruddick of Garfield, and Bob Middleton of Paragould either sex permits.
At the same time as the public land hunt, the Elk Management Assistance Program (EMAP) permit hunt will be open on private lands within the 5 county EMAP zone. On this private land hunt, landowners will sign their property up and will receive transferable permits. Participation in the EMAP program is $35 per year. There is a quota of 34 elk on private land: 10 either sex, and 24 antlerless permits.
Elk hunting on private land is restricted to one zone, consisting of all private land in Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties except for a portion of Boxley Valley.
The private land hunt will end Nov. 2, or the evening that the 34 elk quota (10 bulls, 24 antlerless) is met; whichever comes first.
Check stations for the elk hunt are at the Ponca Elk Education Center, Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area headquarters and the Tyler Bend Work Center of the Buffalo National River.
The application period for public land elk hunting permits is the month of May, and both the applications and the two dozen or so permits are free.