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Deer-specific hunting regulations

September 29, 2019 at 4:00 a.m.

Antler-point restrictions

The end of the main beam and all points 1-inch long count as points in regard to antler-point restrictions.

Youth hunters

Youths 6-15 years of age may harvest any buck without regard to antler size or points.

Three-point rule

A legal buck must have both antlers shorter than two inches (button buck) or have three or more points on one side of his rack.

The three-point rule applies statewide unless mentioned below.

12-inch inside spread or 15-inch main beam rule

• A legal buck on Dr. Lester Sitzes III Bois D'Arc WMA, Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA, Hope Upland WMA, Lafayette County WMA, McIlroy Madison County WMA, Mike Freeze Wattensaw WMA, Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain WMA, Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA and Moro Big Pine Natural Area WMA must have either: both antlers under 2 inches; an inside spread of at least 12 inches; or at least one main beam 15 inches or longer.

15-inch inside spread or 18-inch main beam rule

A legal buck in deer zones 16, 16A and 17 and on Bayou Meto WMA, Buck Island WMA, Cut-Off Creek WMA, Dave Donaldson Black River WMA, Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA, Freddie Black Choctaw Island WMA Deer Research Area East Unit, Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA, Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA, St. Francis National Forest WMA, Sheffield Nelson Dagmar WMA and Trusten Holder WMA must have either: both antlers under 2 inches (button buck); an inside spread of at least 15 inches; or at least one main beam 18 inches or longer.

Other legal definitions

• On Bald Knob, Big Lake, Cache River, Felsenthal, Holla Bend, Overflow, Pond Creek, Wapanocca and White River NWRs; Rex Hancock Black Swamp and U of A Pine Tree Experimental Station WMAs any buck deer may be legally harvested during all deer hunts.

• On Greers Ferry Lake WMA any buck may be legally harvested during the deer muzzleloader Mobility Impaired permit hunt.

• On Hobbs State Park Conservation Area, Nimrod Lloyd Millwood WMA and Johnson County WRA on Dardanelle WMA any buck may be legally harvested during the deer modern gun mobility impaired hunt.

Legal huntingequipment


• Long, recurve and compound bows -- Must have at least a 35-pound pull. Scopes, string locks and mechanical string releases may be used. Deer, turkey, bear and elk hunters must use arrowheads at least 7/8-inches wide (mechanicals OK). Poison may not be used on arrows.

• Crossbow -- Crossbows must have at least a 125-pound pull and a mechanical safety. Deer, turkey, bear and elk hunters must use arrowheads at least 7/8-inches wide (mechanicals OK). Poison may not be used on arrows. Scopes may be used


• Muzzleloading rifles must have a barrel at least 18 inches long and be at least .40 caliber. Magnifying sights may be used. The use of shot is not legal. Legal muzzleloaders are loaded through the muzzle and are not capable of firing a cartridge. Electronic pulse ignition muzzleloaders allowed.

• Muzzleloading handguns must have a barrel at least 9 inches long and be at least .45 caliber if they shoot conical bullets (200 grains or heavier). If round balls are used, the minimum caliber is .530.

• A hunter may carry a muzzleloading handgun of any caliber as backup to a muzzleloading rifle.

Modern gun

All modern guns may be used during modern gun deer season with the following exceptions. You may not use the following for deer:

• Buckshot in a .410 shotgun.

• Shot smaller than No. 4 buckshot in any shotgun.

• Rimfire cartridges, military or full-metal jacketed ammunition.

• Any centerfire rifle or pistol smaller than .22 caliber.

• Handguns with barrels shorter than 4 inches.

Air rifles that do not meet all of the following requirements:

• Are at least .40 caliber.

• Shoot a single, expandable slug.

• Produce at least 400 feet/pounds of energy at the muzzle.

• Are charged from an external tank.

In zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B, deer hunters may use only:

• Shotguns (.410 or larger) with slugs.

• Muzzleloading rifles.

• Pistols with barrels from 4-inches to 10-inches long and chambered for straight-walled centerfire cartridges .30-caliber or larger. Only lead, lead alloy, soft nose and/or hollow point bullets may be used.

• Large bore air rifles (see above)

Hunters may use modern guns, muzzleloaders or archery equipment during the modern gun season. They may use muzzleloaders or archery equipment during muzzleloader season.

Bowhunters must wear hunter orange during muzzleloader and modern gun seasons, but may harvest does according to archery regulations for that zone.

Baiting Deer

Baiting is the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve to lure or attract wildlife to, on or over an area where hunters are attempting to take them. An area is considered baited for 10 days following complete removal of bait.

• Hunters may bait and feed deer on private land outside of the CWD Management Zone year-round.

• Baiting is not allowed on wildlife management areas.

It is unlawful to feed wildlife within the CWD Management Zone (Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Scott, Sebastian, Stone, Van Buren, Washington and Yell counties) with the following exceptions:

• You may bait to hunt deer and elk on private land from Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

• Food plots may be used year-round.

• Baiting bears on private land may begin 30 days before bear season opens, however, before Sept. 1, bears may only be baited with dog food, cat food, pastries/bread, cooking oils/grease, non-wildlife meat scraps, popped popcorn, fish and fish byproducts.

• Baiting furbearers or quail is allowed during open seasons on private land.

• Incidental feeding of wildlife from active livestock operations is allowed.

• Normal agricultural, gardening or soil stabilization practices are allowed.

• Bird feeders, squirrel feeders and birdbaths are allowed.

• Grain completely submerged in water is allowed for feeding waterfowl.

Deer hunting near water

• Swimming deer may not be hunted.

• Deer may not be driven or captured from a boat.

• Deer may not be hunted from a watercraft on public water.

Sports on 09/29/2019

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