The dropping of zone doe quota permits for doe days in some zones is part of the deer management plan of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The change is effective this season for deer zones 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11. Deer zones 1 and 10 changed from zone doe permits to doe days last year.
Brad Miller, AGFC's deer program coordinator, said, "Managing deer populations across the state requires maintaining a controlled harvest, particularly of female deer." The zone doe quota permit was initiated in 1993 and used until 1997. It was brought back in 2003 and used until this year.
Miller explained, "These (zone doe) permits allow for a conservative harvest of does, while offering some doe hunting opportunity. This management strategy proved successful with the deer population in these areas responding positively. From 1998 to 2002, the zone bag limit was modified and a doe was added in the seasonal bag limit. During this time multiple does were allowed to be harvested throughout the muzzleloader and modern gun seasons. A very liberal doe harvest and long season structure resulted in a population decrease due to over-harvesting of the female segment. The zone doe quota permit was reinstated in 2003 and maintained for many of the original zones until today."
Deer numbers have responded over much of Arkansas and in the zones with the permits.
Both bucks and does have also generally improved in many areas in body weights and in antlers (racks) for the bucks.
Miller said, "Based on the increased deer population in the current zone doe quota permit zones (2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11) and the successful removal of deer zones 1 and 10 from the permit system, we proposed removing the zone doe quota permit requirements for zones 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11. Removal of these zones from the permit system will increase opportunity for all hunters, not just those successful in drawing a permit.
"Furthermore, removal of these zones from the permit system will allow all deer zones across the state to be managed via doe days, thus simplifying regulations."
In the zones that formerly had doe permits, during muzzleloader season, does can be taken on Oct. 1-21.
In the modern gun season, does can be taken In zones 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 on Nov. 14-15.
In zones 1, 1A, 6A, 8A and 10, does can be taken on Nov. 14-18.