Edna Stout of Cave City and Edward Bernd of Guion were two of the 26 hunters who won elk hunting permits for 2008.
As it is every year, the highlight of the 11th annual Buffalo River Elk Festival was the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's drawing for elk hunting permits.
Almost 8,000 people applied for this season's hunt. The two-segment season will be held Sept. 22 to 26 and Dec. 8 to 12.
Again this year, the highlight was an on-site registration and drawing for one of the coveted permits. Loretta Trammell of Mountain View was the lucky winner of that permit.
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.
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. Two of the 26 permits for hunting in Elk Zones 1 through 4, mostly public land, were earmarked as youth elk permits for hunters under 16 years old. This is the seventh year for youth elk permits. Commissioners of the AGFC continue to look for chances to involve and encourage young people of the state to participate in hunting and fishing.
The youth hunter permits are unique in another way, too. It specifies either sex elk, meaning the youth hunter can harvest either a bull elk or a cow elk. Since Arkansas elk hunting began in 1998, permits other than youth elk permits for elk hunting zones 1 through 4 have specified which kind of elk could be taken. The youth permits will be for the December segment of the 2008 elk hunt.
To be eligible to win the elk permits, 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.
Youth Elk Hunt Permits (December hunt, either sex): Brent Shelton, Jacksonville, Zone 3; Nathan Creasey, Siloam Springs, Zone 3.
September Bull Elk Hunt Permits: Robert Burks, Hot Springs, Zone 1; Gary Jashinsky Jr., Cabot, Zone 2.
December Bull Elk Hunt Permits: Kyle Waller, Heber Springs, Zone 1; Donna Waldo, Lamar, Zone 2; Glenn Tatham, Bismarck, Zone 4; Loretta Trammell, Mountain View, Zone 4.
December Antlerless Elk Hunt Permits:
Zone 1: Donald Davis, Bay; Aida Cabrera, Forrest City; Todd Wimberly, Conway.
Zone 2: Edward Bernd, Guion; Tim Sharp, Camden; Virginia Sullivan, Oil Trough.
Zone 3: Payton Burgess, Pine Bluff; George Morgan, Benton; Sherry Kentner, Benton; Edna Stout, Cave City; Christy Wheeler, McCrory.
Zone 4: Joshua Douglas, Plainview; Laurence Duranleau, Hot Springs; Bobby Greene, Wynne; Barbara Mallett, Bull Shoals; Tyler Young, Western Grove.
Permits purchased through auctions by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Horace Smith Jr., Ormond Beach, Fla., Zone 3 (September hunt); Mike Pallone, Rose Bud, Zone 4 (September hunt).
The applications and permits were free, although a number of applicants sent donations earmarked for elk program work.