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Cache River NWR deer hunt impacted by flooding

AUGUSTA - Flooding on the Cache River, according to Cache River National Wildlife Refuge Manager Dennis Widner, is impacting the NWR on-going archery season and the quota gun deer hunt scheduled for Nov. 13 - 17.

Refuge regulations stipulate that deer hunting will close on all refuge lands in flood prone region C when the Cache River gauge at Patterson exceeds 10 feet and will not re-open until the river level falls to or below 8.5 feet. The gauge reading at Patterson is currently exceeding 10 feet and all refuge lands in flood prone region C are closed to deer hunting. All refuge land north of Highway 38 from Des Arc eastward to its intersection with Highway 49 are in flood prone region C.

Widner said that he had been in contact with the National Weather Service. "The river stage predictions are that the Cache River will remain flooded and well above 8.5 on through the gun deer hunt," he said.

Refuge lands south of Highway 38 are located in flood prone regions B and D.  Refuge lands in these two flood zones close to deer hunting when the White River gauge reading at Clarendon reaches 28 feet and reopens when the gauge reading falls back to or below 27 feet.  The White River has not reached 28 feet at Clarendon and refuge land south of Highway 38 is still open to archery hunting.  Current predictions are that the White River will not reach 28 feet and that this part of the refuge will remain open for the Gun Deer Hunt.

Widner cautioned that hunters need to watch the gauge readings in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Additional rain or an error in predictions could change the open status of refuge lands in flood prone regions B and D.


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