Favorable weather is in the forecast for the second part of the 2013 Arkansas elk hunt in Buffalo River country.
The hunt is a combination of permit winners on public land and permits given through landowners on private land.
There are 20 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. The permit winners are drawn during the Buffalo River Elk Festival on Jasper’s courthouse square in late June. The applications and the public land permits are free.
The public land hunters are required to attend a hunter orientation session Sunday, Oct. 27, at Jasper. Then they will hunt Monday through Friday, Oct. 28-Nov. 1.
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. Virtually all in the past have used modern rifles.
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 five-county EMAP zone. On this private land hunt, landowners sign their property up and receive transferable permits. Participation in the EMAP program is $35 per year. There is a quota of 28 elk on private land: 8 either sex, and 20 antlerless permits.
Elk hunting on private land is in one zone, consisting of private land in Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties except for a portion of Boxley Valley, which has never been open to elk hunting.
The private land hunt also opens Monday, Oct. 28, and will end Nov. 1, or the evening that the 2834 elk quota (8 bulls, 20 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. AGFC biologists at the check stations will take samples from elk for testing. No diseases or other health issues have been found in the 16 years of limited permit hunting.
Logo courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission