LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Deer hunters in nine Arkansas cities will have the chance to begin filling their freezers a few weeks sooner this fall.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission opened registration for Urban Archery, which will allow some Arkansans to hunt an unlimited number of deer, right in their backyard.
Residents in Bill Shoals, Cherokee Village, Fairfield Bay, Heber Springs, Helena-West Helena, Horseshoe Bend, Hot Springs Village, Lakeview and Russellville were the selected cities for the early hunting season.
“We need a safe way to hunt deer, and obviously shooting deer in places like that is not safe and that’s why we turn to urban bow hunts,” Jeff Williams of the Arkansas Game and Commission said.
The AGFC said they host special bow hunting seasons to help lessen the overabundance of deer production in small rural cities.
But before hunters grab their bow and arrow, there are a few requirements.
“Hunters who sign up for these hunts must pass a proficiency test,” Williams said. “They must demonstrate their skill with a bow.”
If an arrow happens to fly through a nearby home, Williams said the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said they have that covered too.
“Towns pay a small fee to the city’s that buy insurance policies for that very reason,” Williams said.
Carrol Bowden lives in Russellville. He said the biggest issue with deer roaming the streets could be prevented.
“There’s quite a herd of deer up here and a lot of people feed them and that’s what attracts them and keeps them close by,” Bowden said.
However, Williams said bow hunting should ease the overcrowding and even provide food for some families in need.
“The deer that a hunter harvests in an urban deer hunt are donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry,” Williams said. “After that, there’s no limit to the number of deer that can be taken.”
The AGFC’s Hunter Education Division will be offering this class for free on June 10 in Little Rock and will be the last day to register for Urban Archery season.