AGFC said the regions in Arkansas where it will be legal are the Gulf Coastal Plan and portions of the Delta in southern Arkansas. The season will be from Dec. 10-16 but may close earlier if the quota is reached.
“We’ve set the quota at 25 bears for Zone 4 and five bears for Zone 3,” Myron Means, AGFC Large Carnivore Program Coordinator, said.
According to AGFC, hunters need to call the wildlife hotline (800-440-1477) before they start their hunt to check the harvest number and make sure the quota hasn’t been reached.
"I’ll be updating that hotline every day at noon and every evening at 6 p.m. The season will end in the respective zone if the quota is reached or Dec. 16, whichever comes first,” Means said.
However, Means says hunters should avoid shooting any female bears with cubs, as the warmer weather may have more female bears out feeding instead of denning up. Even though it's legal to shoot one, it's important to think of the fact that her cubs are the future of the population.
“If you can tell that it’s a female, honestly it would be best to let her pass. We worked on a video to help hunters tell the difference between boars and sows, but obviously if a cub is with the bear, it’s a sow,” Means said.
There are also around 15 bears that biologists are researching in Arkansas and Means cautioned that he'd "preferred hunters pass on shooting" them.
AGFC staff have outfitted some of the female bears with tracking collars to track their movements throughout the year, including during hunting season. So far, 13 of the dedicated 15 collars have been placed, AGFC said.
Hunters may use modern guns, muzzleloaders and/or archery equipment with the statewide limit being one bear per season.
For more in-depth information from the AGFC on the process of hunting black bears, click here.
Hunters successful in killing a bear must immediately check their bear through the AGFC’s mobile app, website or call (877) 731-5627 and report it.