If you have a hankering to hunt elk in Arkansas, this is the time to apply.
The application period is the month of May and both the applications and the 25 available elk permits are free.
There are a few requirements. Applicants 16 or older must have a current Arkansas sportsman hunting license or an Arkansas lifetime hunting license. They also must be at least 6 years old to hunt big game in the state - elk, deer, bear and turkey.
All applications must be made online on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s website, http://www.agfc.com/licenses/Pages/PermitsSpecialElk.aspx.
One additional permit for the 2013 hunt is issued to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for fundraising. Eighty-five percent of the proceeds from this granted permit are returned to Arkansas for wildlife habitat work. In addition, a youth permit is given to the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and Arkansas Wildlife Federation for fundraising activities.
Three permits will be issued to Arkansas residents who complete applications during the Buffalo River Elk Festival at Jasper in late June. For these, the winners must be present.
Two hunts, five days each, are scheduled this year – Oct. 7-11, and Oct. 28-Nov. 1.
Permit winners will be notified by phone or mail and will receive an information packet by mail. Hunters will be required to attend an elk hunting orientation and training session held the day before the opening of each hunt.
Improving elk habitat near the Buffalo River is another benefit of the permit process. Many applicants send donations to the elk program for food plots, prescribed burning and other work in the elk range. A donation is not a requirement for permit application, and a donation does not improve chances of being drawn for a permit.
Applications for private land elk hunt permits can be made June 1-July 15, and applicants may be resident or nonresident hunters. Applications must include a $35 application fee, and only one application per property will be accepted. Landowners will be contacted to verify an applicant’s eligibility. Complete applications must be postmarked on or before July 15. Call 501-223-6440 to receive a paper private land elk hunt application by mail.