Joshua Armstrong of Cave City and Kevin Lawrence of Brockwell were two of the 18 winners of elk hunting permits at the seventh annual Buffalo River Elk Festival held recently in Jasper.
Armstrong won a youth elk hunt permit for the 2004 December hunt, while Lawrence took home a permit for the 2004 September Bull Elk hunt.
The permits were awarded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The hunters were selected at the festival from a squirrel cage of over 7,400 applicants. Two other hunters won permits through fund-raising activities of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
As in past seasons, this year's elk hunting will be on public lands of the Buffalo National River and the AGFC's Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area, as well as adjacent private lands within Elk Zones 1 through 4. The two-segment season will be Sept. 20-24 and Dec. 6-10.
Just four of the hunters will be in the field in September. The other permits are for the December hunt, when weather will be cooler. One of the 18 permits for hunting in Elk Zones 1 through 4, mostly public land, was earmarked for a hunter under 16 years old. The action came from commissioners of the AGFC, who often look for chances to involve and encourage young people of the state to participate in hunting and fishing. This was the permit that Armstrong won.
This permit is unique in another way, too. It specifies either-sex elk, meaning Armstrong can kill either a bull elk or a cow elk. Since Arkansas elk hunting began in 1998, each permit on the zones 1 through 4 hunting has specified which kind of elk could be taken. The youth permit will be for the December segment of the 2004 elk hunt.
To be eligible to win the elk permit, youths must have successfully completed a hunter education course. The September hunt will be by four winners of bull permits, two drawn Saturday and two others who were high bidders at fund-raising events sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which donates most of the proceeds to the Game and Fish Commission for elk program work.
Other public lands permit winners:
September Bull Elk hunt Permit Winners:* Walton Short, Magnolia, Zone 3* John Conner III, Little Rock, Zone 4 * Lonnie Young, Batesville, Zone 2
December Bull Elk hunt Permit Winners:* Ronald Coleman, Fayetteville, Zone 1 * Larry Hefley, Lonsdale, Zone 2 * Richard Alexander, Fort Smith, Zone 4
December Antlerless Elk hunt permit winners:
Zone 1* Brandon Craine, Jonesboro * David Weathers, Brookland * William Conner, White Hall
Zone 2* Jerry Price, Elkins* Josiah Goodman, Green Forest * Jake Harvey, Jonesboro
Zone 3* Randy Smith, Greenbrier * Michael Belt, Sheridan* Michael Couture, Pine Bluff
Zone 4* Bobby Nixon, Clinton * Glen Shuffield, Bismarck * William Camplain, Austin
The applications and permits were free, although many hunters sent donations earmarked for elk program work. A separate elk hunt, with a quota of 10 elk, will be on private lands in Newton, Boone and Carroll counties where some of the elk are considered a nuisance by some cattle raisers and farmers.