October 28, 2021

"Arkansas Pulling The Wool", Part II

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If you’re planning to go to Arkansas to hunt deer as a non-resident, you better pay close attention. There are some rule changes and evidently it’s a pretty well kept secret. Whether it’s intentional or not remains to be seen. I don’t believe that it is. I think it is more a matter of somebody not thinking the process through.

In case you are just joining this story, on Saturday I brought you the story about Arkansas’ changes in deer hunting quotas for non-residents. The new law gives different deer and turkey quotas to non-residents than for residents AND different quotas depending on which license you buy, i.e. quotas for a full season non-resident licensee is different than a 3-day or a 5-day one.

I have no beef with Arkansas changing license fees for non-residents or even changing quotas, although I don’t think this change will not do much good for some fence sitters. I believe some non-resident hunters may opt to go somewhere else to hunt and maybe this is ultimately what ADFG wants. Time will tell. My complaint, which is one that was brought to my attention by George Atkinson of Texas, a long-time hunter to Arkansas. As he related to me, when he bought his license for another season of hunting, he and his hunting companions, many from other states, had no idea the law had changed.

I’ll also be the first to admit that it is ultimately the responsibility of the hunter to know the rules governing his sport and to look for any new rule changes prior to embarking into the woods in search of game. But at least let’s make the task of finding that information a little bit easier.

I began a hot line of email communications with different people at the Arkansas Game and Fish Department. They have been kind, courteous and professional. If you will recall from Saturday’s story, I got a link given to me from the information officer, Kim Cartwright, that directed me to information about fishing licenses. I returned her email explaining the error.

It is now Monday morning and my mailbox has been very busy, much more so than most Monday mornings. The first email I got was once again for Kim Cartwright, information officer. She gave me a link to a place I had been many times before through my search efforts. It contained license pricing information but nothing about quotas for deer and turkey.

Once again I replied of the error and followed that up with another email to Kim to make sure she completely understood what I was asking for. I got a response back from Keith A. Stephens, title unknown, giving me THE LINK that explains deer and turkey quotas for non-resident hunters.

Tom,
I’ll try to help you out. On page 16 of our printed hunting guidebook is a breakdown of the various hunting licenses. It clearly states how many tags are attached to each license. Here’s the link for your readers: http://www.agfc.com/data-facts-maps/publications/guidebooks.aspx. It is located under the ‘Data, Facts and Maps’ button on the homepage. From that guidebook, I’ve copied the information you are concerned with. Let me know if you need anything else.

Licenses

$300.00 Nonresident Annual All Game Hunting License (NBG)
entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers. Valid through $300.00 Nonresident Annual All Game Hunting License (NBG) entitles the to hunt all game species except furbearers. Valid through June 30. deer tags and four turkey tags are included with this license.

$150.00 Nonresident 5-Day All Game Hunting License (AG5) entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers for the five-day period specified. Two deer tags and two turkey tags are included with this license.

$100.00 Nonresident 3-Day All Game Hunting License (AG3) entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers for the three-day period specified. One deer tag and one turkey tag are included with this license.

$80.00 Nonresident Annual Small Game Hunting License (NRH) entitles the holder to hunt migratory birds, quail, rabbit and squirrels. Valid one year from date of purchase.

$55.00 Nonresident 5-Day Small Game Hunting License (SG5)
entitles the holder to hunt migratory birds, quail, rabbit and squirrel for the five-day period specified.

I began to retrace my footsteps and to make a long story short, the information I’m looking for is short of easy to find. Not only that, it is a pdf format file that contains the information. I’m no novice when it comes to finding my way around a website and as a web designer myself, I understand the importance of easy navigation.

Once I opened the pdf Hunting Guidebook, I knew to look under licenses in the table of contents because Keith told me that’s where it was. That information is somewhere between page 14 and 18.

I returned Keith’s email with a couple of questions.

This is what I was looking for. Now for a question. Don’t you think it would be important to include this information on the website, easily seen, where someone would be about to purchase a non-resident hunting license online? Or at least an easily recognized link to this page?
To add to the “inconvenience factor” anyone who is on dial-up Internet, will not download a pdf because it takes so long. This would further impede the process.
For clarification, I’m not trying to be a pain here. I hope that you will understand this problem and better provide information to your users.

While I was emailing between Kim Cartwright and Keith Stephens, evidently someone at some time had forward on to Arlene Green the webmaster for ADGF, my previous emails. She also sent me an email.

Page 16 of the Hunting Gidebook http://www.agfc.com/pdfs/guidebooks/06-07_guidebook.pdf shows the number of deer that can be taken with each non-resident license.

We will make sure our website reads a little more clearly about the non-resident tags in the future.

We all will anxiously await the changes and hope that in the meantime nobody gets charged with poaching game because they didn’t know of the rule changes.

One more time for anyone who might not be aware of the quota changes for non-resident deer and turkey hunters, here they are.

$300.00 Nonresident Annual All Game Hunting License (NBG) entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers. Valid through June 30. Four deer tags and four turkey tags are included with this license.

$150.00 Nonresident 5-Day All Game Hunting License (AG5) entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers for the five-day period specified. Two deer tags and two turkey tags are included with this license.

$100.00 Nonresident 3-Day All Game Hunting License (AG3) entitles the holder to hunt all game species except furbearers for the three-day period specified. One deer tag and one turkey tag are included with this license.

Tom Remington

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