Youngest Hunter Scores the Best in Early Elk Hunt

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MOUNT JUDEA – Ryley McCuiston may have been a substitute as an elk hunter, but he took the prize of the early 2014 elk hunt in the Buffalo River country of northwest Arkansas.
Youngest Hunter Scores the Best in Early Elk Hunt

Youngest Hunter Scores the Best in Early Elk Hunt

McCuiston was also the youngest of the eight hunters in the field for the five days of that hunt. He downed a 6×8 bull elk in the Bearcat Hollow area of the Ozark National Forest in eastern Newton County on the hunt’s second day. The term 6×8 means six points on one side of the antlers and eight points on the other side.

 

McCuiston lives at Cord in Independence County and is 10 years old. His permit came from a fundraising auction of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. The winning bid for the youth permit was by Dr. Allyn Ladd who bought it for his daughter. When the daughter chose not to hunt, Ladd gave the permit to McCuiston, son of close friend and hunting buddy Justin McCuiston.
Bearcat Hollow is the newest Arkansas elk area. It is a remote and rugged area where extensive habitat work was done a few years ago. Almost immediately, elk moved into the area along with deer, turkeys and bears.
Brian Smith of Bismarck also hunted Bearcat Hollow with his antlerless permit and took a cow elk.
Stephen Davenport of Cleveland (Conway County) scored with a 6×6 bull elk in western Searcy County. He was hunting a spot known locally as the Margaret White Field.
Witt Stephens III of Little Rock took a 4×5 bull on the Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area.
Kent Ruddick of Garfield filled his permit with a cow elk from the Richland Valley Sonny Varnell Conservation Area of western Searcy County.
Rodney Dodson of Fouke got a 6×6 bull in the Wallace Field area near the Buffalo River. He took it early on the first morning of the hunt.
The second segment of the 2014 elk hunt will be five days beginning Monday, Oct. 27. Twenty hunters will be on public land with permits won in the 2014 elk hunting application and drawing process. Dozens of other hunters will be on private land with permits received through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Elk Management Assistance Program.