The Ultimate Guide to AGFC Deer Season: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Hunt

Introduction AGFC Deer Season

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) deer season is an exciting time for hunters in Arkansas. It provides an opportunity to test your skills and enjoy the great outdoors while pursuing one of the state's most popular game animals. However, a successful deer hunt requires careful preparation and knowledge of the rules and regulations set by the AGFC. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful AGFC deer season.
The Ultimate Guide to AGFC Deer Season: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Hunt

Understanding AGFC Deer Season: Dates and Regulations

Deer Zone 1:

As autumn casts its golden hue over Arkansas, Deer Zone 1 hunters gear up for a promising season. With the call of the wild resonating in the heart of every hunting enthusiast, knowing the specific dates and regulations becomes as crucial as the gear you carry. Let's delve into the timeline that shapes the essence of the hunt from fall to winter.

Archery Hunting: A Season of Precision

From the first rustling leaves of fall on September 23, 2023, until the leap year's closure on February 29, 2024, the archery season remains open. Bow hunters have the unique opportunity to blend with nature over this extended period, mastering their craft in the stillness of the woods.

Muzzleloader: The Echo of Tradition

Muzzleloader seasons, cut from a historical cloth, present two distinct hunting intervals. The first session runs from October 21 to October 29, 2023, and the second from December 9 to December 11, 2023. These windows beckon those who cherish tradition and the unique challenge that muzzleloading presents.

Modern Gun Hunts: The Call for the Contemporary Hunter

Power and precision mark the modern gun seasons in Deer Zone 1. Hunters can shoulder their rifles for the initial season stretch starting November 11 through December 3, 2023, and then again in post-Christmas hunts from December 26 through December 28, 2023.

Special Hunts to Note

Delving into specialized hunts, a Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt is slated for the end-year days of December 29 through December 31, 2023. In the spirit of fostering a new generation of hunters, Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts are on the books for November 4-5, 2023, and again in the New Year on January 6-7, 2024.

Bag Limit and Harvest Rules: Ethical Considerations

The regulations set a bag limit emphasizing selective hunting—up to five deer, with no more than two being bucks, providing a varied yet responsible approach to harvesting. It's important to remember that button bucks are included as antlerless deer, yet they must be checked accordingly and do not count towards the buck limit.

Conservation Efforts: Adherence to CWD Guidelines

CWD remains a pertinent concern; thus, regulations within Deer Zone 1 reflect the ongoing commitment to wildlife health. Hunters participate in these efforts by following set guidelines, thereby ensuring both the longevity of the sport and the preservation of the deer populations.

Preparing for the Season Ahead

As Deer Zone 1 swings open its metaphorical gates to a diverse calendar of hunting dates, hunters are reminded to immerse themselves in preparation—marking calendars, researching, practicing—and planning for a successful and sustainable season that echoes with the sounds of nature and the heartbeat of Arkansas's hunting legacy.

 

Deer Zone 2:

Deer Zone 2 enthusiasts are setting their sights on the upcoming 2023-24 deer season, strategically planning their hunts around a detailed schedule. Ensuring you're well-informed of the hunting dates and regulations will not only enhance your chances for a rewarding season but also support vital conservation efforts.

Archery Season: Extended Opportunities

The extended archery season spans from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, presenting archers with a broad temporal canvas to practice their precision and patience in the serenity of natural settings.

Muzzleloader Season: A Nod to the Traditional

For muzzleloader hunters, there are two distinct windows to partake in this time-honored method. The first opens in the heart of fall, from October 21 to 29, 2023. As winter's chill begins, the second session beckons from December 9 to 11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunt: Harnessing Technology

The modern gun hunts offer two periods. The primary season launches on November 11 and concludes on December 3, 2023. Post-Christmas hunts provide another opportunity, from December 26 to 28, 2023.

Special Hunts for Specific Groups

To encourage responsible hunting practices from an early age, Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts are available on November 4-5, 2023, and in the new year on January 6-7, 2024. Additionally, there is a Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt at the year's end, from December 29 to 31, 2023, focusing on population management and offering an ethical hunt.

Bag Limits and Ethical Considerations

Deer Zone 2 hunters are restricted to a bag limit of five deer, ensuring a sustainable population. Included in this quota, hunters may harvest no more than two antlered bucks across the archery, muzzleloader, or modern gun methods. For those utilizing archery, up to five antlerless deer can be taken, while those using a combination of muzzleloader and modern gun can take up to three antlerless deer.

Zone Notes and Conservation Measures

Hunters must leave their canine companions at home, as no dogs are permitted for deer hunting in this zone. Furthermore, while there are no antler-point restrictions in place, it is mandatory to check button bucks as antlerless deer. Significantly, these button bucks do not contribute to the quota of a hunter's buck limit.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Compliance

Adherence to CWD regulations is critical in Deer Zone 2. As part of these measures, hunters may encounter research deer identified by collars or ear tags, which are legally harvestable. Upon taking such a deer, it is essential to tag, check, and report the harvest using the provided contact number (833-289-2469) within 12 hours.

Preparing for a Fruitful Season

Armed with the necessary knowledge of dates and regulations, hunters in Deer Zone 2 can look forward to a challenging yet fulfilling season ahead. Careful planning and adherence to the regulations will not only ensure a lawful hunt but also play a part in the conservation of the deer population for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Deer Zone 3:

With the call of the wild resounding across the landscapes of Arkansas, hunters are keenly preparing for the Deer Zone 3 2023-24 season. Understanding the hunting framework within this zone is essential for an effective and conservation-friendly approach to the hunt.

Archery Season: Embracing Tranquility

Archers are granted a generous season running from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024. This extensive period allows ample opportunity to venture through the diverse ecosystems of Deer Zone 3 with bow in hand.

Muzzleloader Season: Echoing Hunting Heritage

Muzzleloader hunters can engage with their craft during two specific intervals: the first unfolds in the heart of fall from October 21 to 29, 2023, and the second during the early winter from December 9 to 11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunt: Precision Meets Power

Modern firearm enthusiasts can look forward to two sessions in the hunt for whitetail. The main season is slated for November 11 to December 3, 2023, with a winter session just after the holidays from December 26 to 28, 2023.

Special Hunts for Emerging Hunters

Deer Zone 3 promotes the tradition of hunting with special seasons for youth. The Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts are set for the weekend of November 4-5, 2023, and again on January 6-7, 2024. Additionally, an exclusive Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt aims to steward future population health from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Bag Limits and the Ethics of the Hunt

Mindful hunting is supported by a bag limit of five deer per hunter, with a maximum of two being antlered bucks, to safeguard the deer population's health. Hunters may procure their limit with any legal method, with tailored opportunities for archery and a combined approach for muzzleloader and modern guns.

Zone Notes for Responsible Hunting

Hunting companions of the four-legged variety must sit this season out, as dogs are not permitted for hunts in Deer Zone 3. Button bucks, while categorized as antlerless deer, require specific check-ins and do not count towards the hunter’s buck limit. Hunters should also note that outside of CWD counties, legal bucks need either to be a button buck or have at least three points on one side of their antlers.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Protocols

Diligence is paramount in counties affected by CWD, like Baxter, Boone, Independence, Marion, and Randolph. Hunters are called to contribute to the management of this disease by following specific regulations and reporting harvests, as required, to help control its spread.

Gearing Up for the Season in Deer Zone 3

As the Deer Zone 3 season edges closer, hunters equipped with this detailed itinerary can anticipate a fulfilling adventure. With a comprehensive plan and a commitment to uphold conservation principles, they will not only aid in sustaining robust deer herds but also partake in the rich heritage of deer hunting in Arkansas.

Deer Zone 4:

As the autumn leaves begin to turn, hunters in Deer Zone 4 are preparing their strategies for the 2023-24 season. Given the unique structure of this zone, especially with CWD considerations, hunters must be particularly mindful of the schedule and regulations.

Archery Season: Uninterrupted Pursuit

Zone 4 archers can look forward to an uninterrupted season stretching from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024. This long-span offers ample tranquil days for honing archery skills in pursuit of the elusive deer.

Muzzleloader Season: A Hiatus in Zone 4

It's important to note that unlike other zones, the muzzleloader season in Deer Zone 4 is closed for this period, encouraging hunters to explore other available hunting options.

Modern Gun Hunt: Two Dynamic Phases

Modern gun enthusiasts can prepare for two distinct hunting phases in Zone 4. The first phase is open from November 11 to 19, 2023, and later, hunters can capitalize on the short but exciting post-holiday season from December 26 to 28, 2023.

Special Hunts for Youth and Population Management

Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts provide occasions to foster the new generation's love for hunting on November 4-5, 2023, and then as the new year begins on January 6-7, 2024. Deer Zone 4 also initiates a Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29 to 31, 2023, concentrating efforts on responsible deer population control.

Bag Limits Within and Outside CWD Zones

Adhering to bag limits is fundamental for achieving a sustainable hunt:

In parts of Zone 4 outside the CWD Management Zone, hunters can fill a tag for three deer, with a limitation of two bucks. This can include two bucks taken through archery or modern gun, alongside three does via archery and one doe via modern gun.
Within the CWD Management Zone boundaries, a similar bag limit applies, but with no restrictions on the antlered deer and simplified counts for antlerless deer.

Zone Notes for an Ethical Season

Firm guidelines in place within Deer Zone 4 reflect an emphasis on ethical hunting practices:

Dogs are not to accompany hunters, ensuring a fair chase during the hunt.
Legal buck definitions vary by location, with a necessity for button bucks to meet specific criteria outside the CWD zones.
CWD protocols are to be closely followed, especially in Jackson and Randolph counties, to support conservation efforts.

Gearing Up for Deer Zone 4

As the days shorten and the anticipation for the deer season grows, hunters in Deer Zone 4 can approach the season with confidence, equipped with the knowledge needed to navigate the zoning complexities. Whether poised with a bow or a gun, the combined respect for hunting traditions and modern conservation efforts will undoubtedly yield a rewarding experience for all.

Deer Zone 4A:

As the season transitions into the rich tones of fall, hunters in Deer Zone 4A are refining their strategies for the 2023-24 hunting season. With distinctive dates and limits to consider, ensuring familiarity with these details is crucial for a rewarding and compliant season.

Uninterrupted Archery Season

Archers in Deer Zone 4A can immerse themselves in the long stretch of bowhunting season that spans from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024. This continuous period offers the perfect setting for those who appreciate the quiet challenge of archery.

Muzzleloader Season: Open Intervals

In contrast to Zone 4, Deer Zone 4A offers two scheduled opportunities for muzzleloader hunters. The first occurs in the full swing of autumn from October 21-29, 2023, and the second during the pre-winter days of December 16-18, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunt: Phased Opportunities

For modern gun hunting, there are two distinct intervals. Zone 4A’s first phase commences on November 11 and extends until December 10, 2023. The second, shorter phase allows hunters to revisit their pursuit right at the end of the year from December 26-28, 2023.

Special Hunts for Youth Engagement and Population Management

The Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts on November 4-5, 2023, and January 6-7, 2024, are pivotal in nurturing the traditional pastime among younger sportspeople. Also, a Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29-31, 2023, aids in responsible herd population management.

Specific Bag Limits in Deer Zone 4A

Maintaining balance and sustainability, hunters in Zone 4A are allowed a bag limit of three deer, with no more than two being bucks, achievable across the various hunting methods permissible in the zone.

Zone 4A Ethical Hunting Practices

In Deer Zone 4A:

Pursuit with dogs is prohibited to ensure fair chase conditions.
Legal bucks are defined as button bucks or those with at least three points on one side, allowing for an ethical and regulated hunting practice.
Button bucks are part of the buck limit in this zone, placing an emphasis on strategic and selective harvesting.
Preparing for the Deer Zone 4A Season
As the time nears, hunters are poised to engage with the wilderness of Deer Zone 4A equipped with the knowledge of season dates, bag limits, and ethical considerations. This preparation and respect for the hunting tradition promise a fulfilling experience that supports the conservation ethos treasured by the Arkansas hunting community.

Deer Zone 5:

As the 2023-24 deer season looms on the horizon, hunters in Deer Zone 5 are executing their plans and strategies in line with the detailed schedule and distinctive regulations of their region.

Broad Archery Season Window

Archers in Zone 5 are afforded a considerable stretch for hunting, from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024. This lengthy season provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the sport within the serene backdrops afforded by the zone.

Modern Gun Hunting Periods

The modern gun season for Zone 5 is split into two distinct phases. The first occurs from November 11 to 19, 2023, with the second taking place during the festive season from December 26 to 28, 2023.

Specialized Hunts for Youth and Conservation

Zone 5 seeks to instill hunting traditions in the young with the Special Youth Modern Gun Hunt on November 4-5, 2023, and again to welcome the new year on January 6-7, 2024. Additionally, conservation efforts are supported by the Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Zone Bag Limit Considerations

Maintaining ecological balance, Zone 5 stipulates a bag limit of three deer with no more than two bucks. Hunters are able to seek these using archery or modern gun tactics, supporting fair chase principles.

Ethical Standards and Buck Definitions

Adherence to ethical hunting in Zone 5 includes no hunting with dogs, button bucks qualifying towards the buck limit, and specific requirements for bucks to be legally taken.

Deer Zone 5A:

Deer Zone 5A's seasonal framework closely mirrors that of Zone 5 with slight variances in the hunting methods and bag limits.

Navigating the Archery and Muzzleloader Seasons

Zone 5A provides a full archery season from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, along with additional muzzleloader slots from October 21-29 and December 16-18, 2023, offering hunters diversified methods to engage with the hunt throughout the season.

Modern Gun Hunt and Special Hunts Integration

The modern gun hunt is set for November 11 to December 10, 2023, complemented by a post-Christmas hunt from December 26 to 28, 2023. Zone 5A also prioritizes youth engagement and species management through the same specialized hunts as Zone 5.

Bag Limits and Hunting Practices

With a bag limit of three deer and the potential for two bucks, which can be achieved through archery, muzzleloader, or modern gun, Zone 5A hunters need to pay close attention to the specific quotas for antlerless deer, encouraging responsible hunting practices.

Zone-Specific Notes

Hunters in Zone 5A should note the prohibition of dogs and the criteria for what constitutes a legal buck, which carries over from Zone 5, endorsing ethical and sustainable hunting approaches throughout the season.

Deer Zone 6:

Anticipation is building for hunters targeting Deer Zone 6 this 2023-24 season, as diverse hunting methods and dates promise an engaging hunt, balanced with responsible wildlife management strategies.

Generous Archery Season

Archers can embrace the full breadth of the season running from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, enjoying the quiet woods and the challenge of the bow hunt for an extended period.

Muzzleloader Windows for Tradition Enthusiasts

Two distinct spans offer the tradition-rich opportunity for muzzleloader hunters: initially from October 21-29 and then as the winter sets in from December 9-11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunt: Leveraging Firepower

Zone 6 modern gun hunters can pursue their game during two phases appropriately spaced for strategic planning: the primary season from November 11 to December 3, 2023 and a later chance between the holidays from December 26-28, 2023.

Targeted Hunts for Youth and Stewardship

The Special Youth Modern Gun Hunt aims to engage the younger crowd on November 4-5, 2023, and then again on January 6-7, 2024. Additionally, private landholders can manage populations through an Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Zone Bag Limits: Balancing Harvest and Conservation

A limit of five deer, which can include up to two bucks, encourages selective hunting and maintains the integrity of the deer population.

Zone Notes to Remember

Utilization of dogs is permitted during the modern gun season (November 11 - December 3, 2023), offering traditional hunting experiences.
While CWD counties have no antler point restrictions, other counties require a button buck or at least three points on one side for legal bucks.
Button bucks are recognized as antlerless, adding nuance to the management of your season's harvest.
CWD considerations play a pivotal role in the zone, with special rules applying for counties such as Crawford, Franklin, Independence, Johnson, Madison, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Stone, Van Buren, and Washington.

Deer Zone 7:

Concurrently, hunters in Deer Zone 7 are being apprised of similar dates and regulations for a successful pursuit in the upcoming deer season.

Extended Archery and Muzzleloader Opportunities

Deer Zone 7's archery season also spans September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, while the muzzleloader hunters get their shot during the same periods as Zone 6(October 21-29 and then as the winter sets in from December 9-11, 2023), emphasizing the tradition and skill of this particular hunting method.

Modern Gun Hunt and Specialty Hunts

The modern gun season aligns with Zone 6 (the primary season from November 11 to December 3, 2023 and a later chance between the holidays from December 26-28, 2023), as do the special hunts catering to young hunters and those focusing on sustainable herd management.

Bag Limits and Legal Considerations

Zone 7 hunters are held to the same sustainable bag limits as Zone 6, fostering a healthy ecosystem and deliberate hunting practice.

Notes for Zone 7 Hunters

Similar to Zone 6, the use of dogs aligns with the traditional game pursuit.
Button buck requirements and the differentiation between CWD and non-CWD counties follow suit, with a nuanced approach to bagging and checking deer.
Ensuring compliance with CWD regulations is emphasized, particularly in the counties of Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Pope, Scott, Sebastian, and Yell.

 

Deer Zone 8:

As hunters in Deer Zone 8 ready themselves for the autumnal call of the wild, it's essential to note the comprehensive schedule and rules that will set the stage for a successful and ethical hunting season in 2023-24.

Wide-Ranging Archery Season

From early fall's onset on September 23, 2023, to the winter's leap day of February 29, 2024, archery enthusiasts will have a full season to perfect their craft in the quiet woods of Zone 8.

Muzzleloader Season: A Blast from the Past

Muzzleloader aficionados can anticipate two segments of the season, first from October 21-29, 2023, and a brisk winter follow-up from December 9-11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunting Dates: Split Sessions for Success

Zone 8 sportsmen and women can target their game with modern firearms in two separate sessions, primed for the chase from November 11 through December 3, 2023, and a bonus round timed for post-Christmas from December 26-28, 2023.

Special Modern Gun Hunts for Youth and Private Land

Youth engagement in hunting traditions is supported with Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts on November 4-5, 2023, and again to ring in the New Year on January 6-7, 2024. Landowners also have the opportunity for a focused Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt to manage herds, slated from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Bag Limits: A Balanced Approach

With a ceiling of five deer, of which no more than two can be bucks, hunters are incentivized to hunt responsibly and contribute to Zone 8's healthy deer populations.

Zone 8 Ethical Hunting Practices

During the main modern gun season (November 11 - December 3, 2023), the assistance of dogs highlights the traditional hunting methods of Zone 8.
Definitions for legal bucks diverge between standard counties and those within the CWD area, where button bucks play a different part in the buck limit.

Deer Zone 9:

Deer Zone 9 shares the season's ethos with Zone 8 but with tailored dates and bag limits aligned with its specific environmental and wildlife management needs.

Archery Season: Quiet Pursuit in Zone 9

The archery season mirrors that of Zone 8, accommodating a vast range of hunting preferences from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024.

Modern Gun: Focused Periods of Hunting

The modern gun season extends across November 11 through December 17, 2023 and picks up again for the festive season from December 26-28, 2023.

Youth and Conservation: A Dual Focus

Youth engagement in hunting traditions is supported with Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts on November 4-5, 2023, and again to ring in the New Year on January 6-7, 2024. Landowners also have the opportunity for a focused Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt to manage herds, slated from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Bag Limit Nuances in Zone 9

The hunters in Zone 9 are bound by a limit of four deer, managing two bucks max, with additional specifics catered to archery, muzzleloader, and modern gun harvests.

Hunting Notes for Zone 9

Equipped with an understanding of the differences inside and outside the CWD Management Zone, hunters must strategize for ethical hunts, with distinctions in button buck regulations making a significant impact.

 

Deer Zone 10:

With autumn in sight, hunters focusing on Deer Zone 10 are gearing up for a season laden with bountiful game and strategic hunting regulations.

Extensive Archery Season

Targeting a traditional yet challenging hunt, archery enthusiasts will have a full season from September 23, 2023, through February 29, 2024, to immerse themselves in the wilderness of Zone 10.

Muzzleloader Intervals

The nostalgic hunters favoring muzzleloaders can anticipate two dedicated opportunities, running from October 21-29 and a late-year venture during December 9-11, 2023.

Modern Firearm Windows

Zone 10 invites modern gun hunters to participate in the hunt across two main phases. Actions begin November 11, culminating on December 3, 2023, and settle again briefly after the Christmas frost from December 26-28, 2023.

Special Hunts: Youth and Conservation

With an eye on the future, Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts are available November 4-5, 2023, with an encore in the new year January 6-7, 2024. The Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt also aims for prudent herd management from December 29-31, 2023.

Bag Limits for Sustainable Harvests

Zone 10 promotes sustainable hunting practices with limits set at five deer, ensuring no more than two may be bucks, helping maintain ecological balance and the sport’s longevity.

Zone 10 Notes

Hunters in Zone 10 can utilize dogs during specific periods, expanding traditional hunting techniques.
For legal buck qualifications, hunters will need to identify button bucks and those with at least three points on one side of the rack accordingly.

Deer Zone 11:

Hunters in Deer Zone 11 are also mapping out their approach to the upcoming hunting season with a similar set of dates and regulations as their Zone 10 counterparts.

Archery Through the Seasons

Starting September 23, 2023, to the extra day of February 2024, archers have a vast timetable to track, aim, and score in Zone 11.

Muzzleloader Moments

Engaging with muzzleloaders is slotted for the autumn days of October 21-29 and a winter session from December 9-11, 2023, providing a sentiment of the hunt's heritage.

Cohesive Modern Gun Seasons

Alongside Zone 10, Zone 11 offers the same dual sequences for modern gun hunts, beginning November 11 until December 3, 2023, and resuming for a brief period post-Christmas, from December 26-28, 2023.

Focus on Youth Hunts and Deer Management

Adolescents gain experience with guided hunts on the weekends of November 4-5, 2023, and January 6-7, 2024, while Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt emphasizes species stewardship from December 29-31, 2023.

Zone 11 Bag Limits

Mirroring Zone 10, a five-deer limit with considerations for buck and antlerless deer is enforced to support conservation.

Zone-Specific Considerations

Dog companions are permitted during the hunt within specific dates, honoring Zone 11’s hunting traditions.
Zone 11 accommodates hunters with nuanced bagging expectations for legal bucks and special note for button bucks regarding the buck limit.

Deer Zone 12:

For those with their sights set on Deer Zone 12 during the 2023-24 season, an extensive span of dates welcomes a wide range of hunting styles, fortifying sustainable management of the deer populations.

Archery Season: The Long Draw

Zone 12 offers an undisturbed archery season starting September 23, 2023, through to February 29, 2024, inviting quiet moments of precision in nature’s embrace.

Muzzleloader's Select Opportunities

A select period for muzzleloader hunting is available from October 21-29, allowing traditionalists to engage with the land in the way of their forefathers.

Segmented Modern Gun Hunts

Hunters can ready their modern firearms for an expansive window from November 11 to December 17, 2023, with an additional sprint after Christmas from December 26-28, 2023.

Youth Hunts and Specialty Hunts for Population Control

Zone 12 nods to the passing of the torch with Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts scheduled for November 4-5, 2023, and January 6-7, 2024, and sustains herd health with a Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29 to 31, 2023.

Bag Limits: Creativity and Conservation

Guided by conservation ethics, Zone 12's bag limit is set at five deer, only two of which may be bucks, presenting a canvas for strategic hunting approaches.

Zone 12 Regulatory Practices

The inclusion of dogs in the hunt is permitted during the modern firearm dates, embracing a traditional hunting style.
Hunters must evaluate legal bucks as either button bucks or those with three points on one side of the rack, aside from within the CWD Management Zone where antler restrictions are lifted.

Deer Zone 13:

Echoing the hunting timeline of Zone 12, Deer Zone 13 hunters also have a full range of dates to plan their successful hunt.

Archery Through the Seasons

Akin to Zone 12, the archery season for Zone 13 spans from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, endorsing the stealth and skill of bow hunting.

Muzzleloader's Select Opportunities

A select period for muzzleloader hunting is available from October 21-29, allowing traditionalists to engage with the land in the way of their forefathers.

Segmented Modern Gun Hunts

Hunters can ready their modern firearms for an expansive window from November 11 to December 17, 2023, with an additional sprint after Christmas from December 26-28, 2023.

Fostering Young Hunters and Managing Wildlife

Zone 13 stresses the importance of youth in hunting heritage with designated weekends, as well as conservation-driven Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunts.

Zone 13 Bag Limits and Legal Highlights

The bag limit mirrors Zone 12, five deer with a maximum of two bucks, fostering intelligent and ethical wildlife engagement.
Legal buck definition and CWD zone considerations require careful compliance and understanding by all hunters.

 

Deer Zone 14:

Heading into the 2023-24 hunting season, Deer Zone 14 offers a diverse approach to deer hunting, with generous dates laid out to optimize time spent in the wilderness.

Archery Season: Expansive and Uninterrupted

Archers in Zone 14 can take advantage of the uninterrupted season from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, offering a comprehensive timeframe to engage with nature and its challenges.

Muzzleloader: Precise Timings for Tradition

Those who prefer the traditional muzzleloader approach can prepare for two intervals: one fall passage from October 21-29 and a winter stint from December 16-18, 2023.

Modern Gun: Defined Seasons for Precision

Modern gun hunters in Zone 14 have the schedule set with two clear windows, earmarked from November 11 to December 10 and a quick, post-festivity season from December 26-28, 2023.

Specialized Youth Engagement and Population Management

With a focus on future generations, special youth hunts are fixed for November 4-5, 2023, and a winter session on January 6-7, 2024. To responsibly manage deer populations, Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunts are from December 29-31, 2023.

Zone 14 Bag Limits for Responsible Harvest

Zone 14 sets a bag limit for hunters at four deer, which may consist of no more than two bucks, encouraging responsible and sustainable harvest practices.

Additional Zone Notes for an Ethical Season

Hunters can incorporate dogs during the hunt within the dates of November 11 - December 10, 2023, adhering to Zone 14’s hunting traditions.
Legal buck definitions adhere to clear criteria, ensuring consistency and fair opportunity within the hunt.

Deer Zone 15:

Parallel to Zone 14's approach, Deer Zone 15 also offers methodical and thoughtfully planned dates to ensure an effective season.

Longstanding Archery Opportunities

Zone 15 aligns its archery season with Zone 14, from September 23, 2023 - February 29, 2024, allowing for silent, stealthy hunts under the archery premise.

Muzzleloader: Precise Timings for Tradition

Those who prefer the traditional muzzleloader approach can prepare for two intervals: one fall passage from October 21-29 and a winter stint from December 16-18, 2023.

Modern Gun: Defined Seasons for Precision

Modern gun hunters in Zone 15 have the schedule set with two clear windows, earmarked from November 11 to December 10 and a quick, post-festivity season from December 26-28, 2023.

Youth Participation and Antlerless Hunts

Special youth modern gun hunts and the Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt echo Zone 14’s dates, emphasizing the importance of youth learning and population control.

Zone 15 Bag Limits

The balanced bag limit shared with Zone 14 champions ecological health and ethical hunting endeavors in line with the overall goals of the hunting season.

Considerate Hunting in Zone 15

Utilizing dogs during the hunting season is allowed from November 11 - December 10, 2023, honoring local hunting traditions.
Button bucks and legal buck definitions require specific consideration, reinforcing the importance of ethical hunting.

 

Deer Zone 16:

As the 2023-24 deer hunting season unfurls, hunters eyeing Deer Zone 16 will have a range of dates and specific regulations to optimize their experience and uphold conservation standards.

Prolonged Archery Season

Focused on the thrill of the silent hunt, archery enthusiasts in Zone 16 can delight in a full season from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, offering numerous opportunities for engagement with their prey.

Muzzleloader Season: Traditional Hunting Awaits

The zone welcomes muzzleloader hunters to relive the old-world charm of hunting with two periods: one in the heart of fall, October 21-29, 2023, and a late autumn opportunity from December 9-11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunting: Extended Pursuit

A rather extensive modern gun season spans from November 11 to December 28, 2023, granting hunters a broad window to track and harvest with the aid of modern technology.

Youth Hunts and Population Management

Zone 16 aligns with fostering the next generation of hunters, offering Special Youth Modern Gun Hunts on November 4-5, 2023, and January 6-7, 2024. Concurrently, responsible deer herd control is enabled by the Private Land Antlerless-only Modern Gun Hunt scheduled for December 29-31, 2023.

Bag Limits: Boundaries for Balance

In Zone 16, the balance of nature and sport is safeguarded by a bag limit of four deer per hunter, with a maximum of two being bucks, which can be taken through any legal hunting method.

Zone Notes for a Considerate Hunt

Hunters in Zone 16 should remember:

Dogs are not allowed as aids for deer hunting to ensure an unassisted and ethical hunting experience.
Regulations define legal bucks as either button bucks or those with significant antler measurements, which impact how harvests contribute to the buck limit.

Deer Zone 16A: Adapting to Environmental Needs

Mirroring many of Zone 16's hunting opportunities, Deer Zone 16A adds extra layers of consideration for hunters due to the presence of a CWD Management Zone within its boundaries.

Prolonged Archery Season

Focused on the thrill of the silent hunt, archery enthusiasts in Zone 16A can delight in a full season from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, offering numerous opportunities for engagement with their prey.

Muzzleloader Season: Traditional Hunting Awaits

The zone welcomes muzzleloader hunters to relive the old-world charm of hunting with two periods: one in the heart of fall, October 21-29, 2023, and a late autumn opportunity from December 9-11, 2023.

Modern Gun Hunting: Extended Pursuit

A rather extensive modern gun season spans from November 11 to December 28, 2023, granting hunters a broad window to track and harvest with the aid of modern technology.

Special Hunts and Herd Health

Young hunters in Zone 16A receive the spotlight during specially designated hunting weekends, and private land hunts align with careful game management strategies.

Zone 16A Bag Limits

Zone 16A maintains the four-deer bag limit, paying particular attention to differentiating between the portions of the zone affected by CWD regulations, especially within Ashley County, affecting bag limit specifics for those areas.

Additional Notes for Deer Zone 16A

In Zone 16A, hunters should be cognizant of the appropriate times for hunting with dogs, as well as the criteria for bucks both within and outside the CWD Management Zone.

Button bucks carry different implications for the buck limit depending on whether the hunter is inside or outside the CWD Management Zone.

 

Deer Zone 17:

As the fall tapestry unfolds across Arkansas, Deer Zone 17 hunters are presented with a well-defined timeline for the 2023-24 season that balances the thrill of the hunt with stewardship for future generations.

Archery Season: Embracing the Silence

Zone 17’s archery season offers an uninterrupted window from September 23, 2023, to February 29, 2024, allowing plenty of time for hunters to connect with their environment through the quiet discipline of the bow.

Muzzleloader Season: Reliving Tradition

Muzzleloader enthusiasts can look forward to a dedicated period from October 21-29, 2023, as they recreate a storied historical hunting method.

Modern Gun Hunt: Peak Season Hunting

A substantial period for modern gun hunting offers the Zone 17 community an expansive timeframe from November 11 to December 28, 2023, to employ more advanced hunting techniques.

Special Hunts for Youthful Spirits and Conservation Goals

The Special Youth Modern Gun Hunt occurs on November 4-5, 2023, and January 6-7, 2024, fostering the next generation’s relationship with hunting. Concurrently, the Private Land Antlerless Only Modern Gun Hunt from December 29-31, 2023, reflects a focus on ecological management.

Bag Limits in Zone 17: Management with Generosity

The prescribed bag limit allows for the taking of five deer, adhering to the maximum of two bucks, which may be pursued using any legal hunting technique available within the zone.

Ethical Hunting Paradigms and Zone Regulations

In Zone 17, the cooperative presence of dogs within hunting practices is endorsed from November 11 to December 28, 2023, embracing the full scope of traditional hunting experiences.

Definitions for a legal buck call for either a button buck or those possessing significant antler measurements, adding a layer of strategic selectivity to the hunt.

 

Preparing for the Hunt: Gear and Equipment Checklist

Having the right gear and equipment is essential for a successful deer hunt. Here is a comprehensive checklist of items you should consider bringing with you:

1. Weapon: Whether you prefer a bow, rifle, or muzzleloader, make sure your weapon is in good working condition and sighted in properly.

2. Ammunition or arrows: Make sure you have enough ammunition or arrows for your hunt, and consider bringing extras in case of any mishaps.

3. Hunting clothing: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and choose clothing that will help you blend in with your surroundings.

4. Boots: Invest in a good pair of hunting boots that are comfortable and provide good traction.

5. Optics: Binoculars or a spotting scope can be helpful for spotting deer from a distance.

6. Calls and scents: Deer calls and scents can be useful for attracting deer and increasing your chances of a successful hunt.

7. Field dressing kit: Make sure you have a sharp knife, gloves, and other tools necessary for field dressing and processing your deer.

Scouting for Deer: Finding the Best Hunting Spots

Scouting is an important part of preparing for a successful deer hunt. By scouting out the best hunting spots, you can increase your chances of encountering deer during the season. Here are some strategies for scouting:

1. Look for deer trails: Deer trails are paths that deer use to travel between feeding areas, bedding areas, and water sources. Look for well-worn trails with fresh tracks and droppings.

2. Identify bedding areas: Deer will often bed down in thick cover during the day. Look for areas with dense vegetation and signs of deer activity, such as flattened grass or bedding depressions.

3. Locate feeding areas: Deer are herbivores and rely on vegetation for food. Look for areas with abundant food sources, such as acorns, crops, or browse.

4. Use trail cameras: Trail cameras can be a valuable tool for scouting. Set up cameras in areas where you suspect deer activity and check the photos regularly to see what deer are in the area.
The Ultimate Guide to AGFC Deer Season: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Hunt

Tracking and Reading Deer Sign: Tips for Successful Hunting

Once you have identified potential hunting spots, it is important to be able to track and read deer sign effectively. Here are some tips to help you do so:

1. Learn to identify different types of deer sign: Deer leave behind various signs that can indicate their presence. These include tracks, droppings, rubs (where deer rub their antlers on trees), scrapes (areas where deer paw the ground), and beds.

2. Look for fresh sign: Fresh sign indicates recent deer activity. Look for tracks and droppings that are still moist and have not been weathered.

3. Pay attention to the direction of travel: By examining tracks and other sign, you can determine the direction in which deer are moving. This can help you set up in a location where you are more likely to encounter deer.

4. Use sign to predict deer behavior: By understanding deer sign, you can gain insights into deer behavior. For example, a scrape may indicate that a buck is marking his territory, while fresh tracks leading to a bedding area may indicate that deer are using that area for cover.
The Ultimate Guide to AGFC Deer Season: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Hunt

Choosing the Right Hunting Method: Bow, Rifle, or Muzzleloader

The AGFC allows hunters to use a variety of weapons during deer season, including bows, rifles, and muzzleloaders. Each method has its own advantages and considerations. Here are some tips for choosing the right hunting method:

1. Bow hunting: Bow hunting requires a higher level of skill and patience compared to rifle hunting. It allows for a closer encounter with the deer and can be more challenging. Make sure you are proficient with your bow and practice regularly to ensure accuracy.

2. Rifle hunting: Rifle hunting allows for longer-range shots and can be more forgiving in terms of accuracy. However, it is important to choose the right caliber rifle for deer hunting and practice shooting at various distances to ensure accuracy.

3. Muzzleloader hunting: Muzzleloader hunting is a traditional method that requires additional skills and knowledge. It can be more challenging due to the longer reload times and limited range. Make sure you are familiar with your muzzleloader and practice loading and shooting before the season.
The Ultimate Guide to AGFC Deer Season: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Hunt

Stalking and Ambushing Techniques: Strategies for a Successful Hunt

Stalking and ambushing are two common techniques used in deer hunting. Here are some strategies for each:

1. Stalking: Stalking involves quietly moving through the woods in search of deer. It requires patience, stealth, and the ability to read the terrain. Use cover such as trees, rocks, or vegetation to hide your movements and move slowly and quietly.

2. Ambushing: Ambushing involves setting up in a strategic location and waiting for deer to come to you. Choose a location near deer trails, feeding areas, or bedding areas and use natural cover to hide your presence. Stay still and quiet, and be prepared for a shot when the opportunity arises.

Field Dressing and Processing: Tips for Handling Your Deer

Once you have successfully harvested a deer, it is important to properly field dress and process the animal to ensure the meat stays fresh. Here are some tips for handling your deer:

1. Field dressing: Field dressing involves removing the internal organs from the deer to cool the meat and prevent spoilage. Make sure you have a sharp knife and gloves, and follow a step-by-step guide to field dressing to ensure you do it correctly.

2. Cooling the meat: After field dressing, it is important to cool the meat as quickly as possible. Hang the deer in a cool, shaded area or place it in a cooler with ice or ice packs.

3. Processing the meat: Once the meat has cooled, it can be processed into various cuts such as steaks, roasts, or ground meat. If you are not comfortable processing the meat yourself, consider taking it to a professional butcher.

Safety Tips and Etiquette: Best Practices for a Safe and Respectful Hunt

Safety should always be a top priority while hunting. Here are some important safety tips to follow:

1. Always treat your weapon as if it is loaded and keep it pointed in a safe direction.

2. Be aware of your surroundings and know what is beyond your target before taking a shot.

3. Wear blaze orange or other highly visible clothing to ensure you are seen by other hunters.

4. Follow all AGFC regulations and respect private property boundaries.

5. Practice good hunting etiquette by being respectful to other hunters and the environment. Leave no trace and clean up after yourself.

Conclusion

By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable AGFC deer season. Remember to familiarize yourself with the dates and regulations of AGFC deer season, prepare your gear and equipment, scout for deer, track and read deer sign, choose the right hunting method, use stalking and ambushing techniques, handle your deer properly, and practice safety and etiquette. Good luck and happy hunting!

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