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Deer Season Dates


Arkansas deer hunting is broken into zones. The zones have different bag limits, but the seasonal statewide bag limit is six deer, with no more than two bucks. The statewide limit may be taken in any combinations of zones, as long as each zone's limit is not exceeded. Antler-point restrictions do not apply to hunters 15 and younger. Arkansas Game and Fish has an iPhone App with hunting seasons, regulations and the ability to check your game. You must have a license to hunt in Arkansas.

Bow Season: Bow season typically opens on the fourth Saturday of September. In 2012, it is September 15-February 28, 2013.
Muzzleloader Season: Muzzleloader season typically opens on the third Saturday in October. In 2012, Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4A, 5A, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10, 11, 14 and 15: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 15-17. Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 20-28 and Dec. 29-31. Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed. Hunters may use muzzleloaders or archery equipment during muzzleloader season.
Modern Gun Season Modern gun season typically opens on the second Saturday of November. In 2012, Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 10-Dec. 2. Zone 4: Nov. 10-11. Zone 5: Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18. Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 10-Dec. 9. Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 10-18. Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 10-Dec. 16. Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 10-Dec. 25.
Hunters may use modern guns, muzzleloaders or archery equipment during the modern gun season. Christmas: The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28.
2013 Season: Archery will open on Sept. 28, 2013; muzzleloader season will open Oct. 19, 2013 and modern gun season will open Nov. 9, 2013.
Young Hunters Two special hunts for youth modern gun hunters will be held on Nov. 3-4 and Jan. 5-6. Great places for beginning hunters.
Archery Requirements: Long, recurve and compound bows must have at least 40-pound pull; Crossbows must have at least a 125-pound pull and a mechanical safety. Deer, turkey and bear hunters must use arrowheads at least 7/8-inches wide (mechanicals OK). Poison may not be used on arrows. Scopes may be used.
Muzzleloader Requirements: Muzzleloading rifles must have a barrel at least 18 inches long and be at least .40 caliber. Magnifying sights may be used. The use of shot is not legal. Legal muzzleloaders are loaded through the muzzle and are not capable of firing a cartridge. Electronic pulse ignition muzzleloaders allowed. Muzzleloading handguns must have a barrel at least 9 inches long and be at least .45 caliber if they shoot conical bullets (200 grains or heavier). If round balls are used, the minimum caliber is .530. A hunter may carry a muzzleloading handgun of any caliber as backup to a muzzleloading rifle.
Modern Gun Requirements: All modern guns may be used during modern gun deer season with the following exceptions. You may not use buckshot in a .410 shotgun, shot smaller than No. 4 buckshot in any shotgun, rimfire cartridges, military or full-metal jacketed ammunition, any centerfire rifle or pistol smaller than .22 caliber or handguns with barrels shorter than 4 inches.
Checking Deer: You must tag game immediately upon taking a deer or turkey (before moving it). Remove the appropriate deer or turkey tag from your license and complete all information except “Check #” legibly in ink. Fasten the tag to the ear or antler of a deer or leg of a turkey. The tag must remain with the animal until final processing and storage. You can check game in Arkansas three ways. The easiest is with the Arkansas Game and Fish App for the iPhone. Look in the App Store for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and follow instructions. You can also check game by visiting the Arkansas Game and Fish website. The final way to check game is to call 866-305-0808.

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