AGFC modifies proposals for CWD management

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) heard modified proposals in hopes of slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Arkansas. The commission was presented the first proposal at their May 19 meeting.

The following modified proposals will be voted on at a special meeting of the AGFC on June 24. Establish a CWD management zone consisting of Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties. Prohibit feeding within the CWD management zone except for, baiting will be allowed October 1 through December 31 for hunting, food plots will be allowed, incidental feeding of wildlife during active livestock operations will be allowed, backyard bird feeding will be allowed, grain scattered or distributed from normal agricultural practices will be allowed, feeding wildlife by hand (ducks at the pond) will be allowed and bait for AGFC approved management, research and control of wildlife will be allowed.

Also proposed are to issue extra deer tags to landowners within the CWD management zone to help decrease deer density. Hunters using these tags will be required to submit samples of harvested deer for CWD testing. Deer and elk killed within the CWD management zone must remain within that zone except deboned meat, cleaned skull plates, hides, teeth and taxidermy products. Prohibit scents and lures containing natural deer urine statewide, prohibit rehabilitation of deer statewide, liberalize season structure on public and private land where CWD is present by lifting antler restrictions and increasing bag limits.

More proposals are to establish a core elk management area consisting of Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties. Hunters outside the core elk management zone may take any elk they see while deer hunting with a limit of one elk of either sex. Increase the quota on private land elk hunting within the core elk management zone. All elk harvested statewide must be submitted for CWD testing. Create a non-commercial hunting enclosure permit for all high-fence deer facilities, require CWD samples from all deer that die in these facilities, require annual inspections in these facilities, require facilities to maintain accurate harvest records and no new permits will be issued after July 1, 2017.

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