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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Area hunters among those winning elk hunting permits at annual Buffalo River Elk Festival,

Twenty-one applicants won permits to hunt elk on public land during two seasons this year. Winners were drawn during the Buffalo River Elk Festival, June 24, in Jasper.

Applications for this year’s public land drawings were available from May 1-15. Despite the 15-day application period, 7,953 people applied. According to Wes Wright, AGFC Elk Program Coordinator, this is the highest number of applicants since 2007.

This year’s public land elk permit winners were:

Either-sex elk permits John Cox, Nashville; Shauna Harp, Bella Vista; Joel Howard, Benton; Edward Merritt, Ward; Johnathan Moreland, Dumas; and Ichiro Stewart, Glenwood.

Antlerless elk permits Nicholas Brown, Bella Vista; Tyler Choate, Little Rock; Jamie Fooshee, Bee Branch; Timothy French, Manila; Timothy Hepler, Huntsville; Donnel Housley, Searcy; Aaron Marshall, Mena; John McCain, Springdale; Presley Melson, Mountain Home; Charles Prestridge, Oden; Christopher Stark, Rogers; and Gary White, Conway.

In addition to the 18 permits available through the online application system, attendees of the festival had the opportunity to apply in person for one of three public land hunting opportunities. Winners for these permits also had to be present at the drawing to win. Just over 600 people entered onsite. The winners of those permits were:

Jim Bowles, Knoxville; Louis Schluterman, Charleston; and David Hales, Conway. This year’s seasons on elk zones 1-4 are Oct. 2-6 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3. The youth hunts are set for Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 28-29. Hunting on private land in Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties follows the same dates as the public hunts. Permission from a landowner is the first step in hunting on private land.

Permits are sold only through the license feature on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website, and are added to a hunter’s existing license. This is a quota hunt, which means a hunter must call the AGFC Wildlife Hotline each day to check the zone quota status. Limit is one elk.

Additionally, deer hunters may take an elk (limit one, either sex) if it is encountered outside the five-county area listed above. The hunter must immediately report the harvest by calling 870-204-0576.

Visit for more information on elk hunting in Arkansas.

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