The application period for Arkansas Special Urban Bow Hunts for the 2022-23 deer hunting season is now open.
The hunts, which begin Sept. 1, provide Arkansas bowhunters with an early opportunity to start hunting. It is also the most effective method available to wildlife managers to help cities maintain white-tailed deer populations at levels that reduce conflicts with owners and drivers.
These areas offer urban bow hunting: Bull Shoals, Cherokee Village, Fairfield Bay, Heber Springs, Helena-West Helena, Horseshoe Bend, Hot Springs Village, Lakeview, and Russellville.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission coordinates with the Arkansas Bowhunters Association and the Bull Shoals and Lakeview Urban Bowhunters group to administer urban bowhunting opportunities in Arkansas. Partnerships help ensure participating hunters are competent and guide hunters on how to be stealthy and understand the nuances of urban hunting.
All hunters must pass a marksmanship proficiency test, pass the International Hunter Bow Education Program course, and attend an orientation before receiving their Urban Hunting Tags. The Proficiency Test and Bowhunter Training Course helps coordinators maintain a safe hunting experience, while the Mandatory Orientations will give participants an overview of the rules and tips to help them hunt successfully and avoid any potential conflict with landowners who live near their hunting area.
Although hunters can only hunt on private properties where they have obtained permission, there are also common areas open to hunting.
As a stipulation of the hunt, all hunters must donate their first harvested adult deer to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Participating hunters must have a valid Arkansas Sportsman’s Hunting License.