Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK — An unfortunate technical issue that appeared during the opening weekend of Arkansas’s deer and bear archery hunting seasons has been resolved and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is asking any hunters who were unable to check their bear during the last week to try to submit their information to help manage Arkansas’s bear population.
“The online application that handles bear checks went down, but most of our hunters were able to follow up by calling the checking number by phone and complete their reporting,” Myron Means, large carnivore program coordinator for the AGFC, said. “We are just reminding anyone who was unable to check their bear to try again now that the system is running. The system should be functional throughout the rest of Arkansas’s remaining bear seasons.”
Means says the quota for hunting in Bear Zone 1 has not been reached yet, so hunters still have plenty of opportunities to harvest a bear.
“We only had 170 bears of the 400-bear archery quota checked so far,” Means said. “Even with some additional checked bears coming from people entering in their information late, I don’t expect the quota to be filled for a little while.”
Bear Zone 2 does not have a quota, as hunters rarely reached the quotas set for this area due to most of its huntable area being public land, where baiting is not allowed.
“Bear Zone 1 has more private land and inholdings, where landowners can use bait to bring in bears to harvest,” Means said. “That allows landowners to help manage the bear population at a level that reduces any human/bear conflicts. Once the quota is reached, bear season ends for that year to ensure the population remains at a healthy level.”
Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/bear for more information about bears and bear hunting in Arkansas.