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Post #1  Post subject: Arkansas Creates 1st CWD Zone, Passes Special CWD Regs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:29 pm 
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Little Rock, AR 72205

June 24, 2016


AGFC passes special regulations to slow CWD

LITTLE ROCK
Commissioners voted unanimously today during special meeting to approve a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone made up of Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy and Yell counties.

CWD has been found in five of these counties since first being discovered in Arkansas in late February. The AGFC has circulated proposals to slow the spread of the disease for the last month through 11 public meetings throughout the state, a live call-in show on AETN and an electronic survey at agfc.com.

.........Feeding wildlife will be prohibited within the 10-county CWD management zone. However, baiting for the purpose of hunting will be allowed September 1 through December 31, when more than 95 percent of Arkansas’s deer harvest takes place. We opened the time frame up slightly to include September because we have three urban hunts within the CWD management zone which open in September,” said Brad Carner, AGFC chief of wildlife management. “Baiting is a useful tool to increase the harvest in these areas where we need to reduce deer density.”

.......... Food plots are not included in the feeding prohibition, nor are backyard bird-feeding stations, hand-feeding of wildlife or normal agricultural or livestock practices.

......... The AGFC will issue extra deer tags to landowners near known CWD-positive cases to help reduce deer density. “Landowners do not have to harvest additional deer, but samples from all deer harvested through these CWD management tags will be required.” Carner said.

..........Transportation of deer and elk harvested within the CWD management zone also will be restricted. Only deboned meat, cleaned skulls, antlers, teeth, hides and taxidermy products may be removed from the CWD management zone. “Hunters will be allowed to transport the whole deer or elk within the 10-county zone to take them home or to a processor, but will not be allowed to leave the zone with anything but the approved portions of the animal,” Carner said.

.......... Hunting limits will be increased within deer zones where CWD has been found. An additional doe will be allowed during modern gun season and the three-point rule will be removed in those zones (deer zones 1 and 2) to help increase harvest. Button bucks in those zones will be counted as antlerless deer to promote harvest.

............ Scents and lures using natural deer and elk urine will be prohibited statewide.

.......... The rehabilitation of deer will be prohibited statewide. Recent research has indicated that at least 75 percent of rehabilitated fawns die within 100 days of release. With only 100 or so fawns rehabilitated per year, such low survival was not enough to warrant the risk of spreading CWD throughout the state. “With CWD being present in yearlings we’ve sampled, it’s possible that a fawn infected with CWD may go to a rehabber and be reintroduced to a new area and spread the disease,” Carner said. “It’s also possible that the fawn may contaminate the facility and any deer rehabbed there later could get the disease.”

.......... Hunters outside of Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties may now harvest any elk they see during regular deer hunting season with a limit of one, either sex. This is to contain the elk to the current range and prevent them from spreading CWD to any new areas. All hunters who kill elk will be required to submit a sample for CWD testing as well.

........... A proposal to create a non-commercial hunting enclosure permit for high-fence deer facilities was tabled.

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Post #2  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Passes Special Regulations To Slow CWD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:41 pm 
Are these new regs effective immediately ?


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Post #3  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Passes Special Regulations To Slow CWD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:56 pm 
I understand they are sabotmaker, except I'm thinkin' that urine based scents aren't supposed to be banned until 2017 so as to give store owners a chance to get rid of their stock. They also clarified today that man made mineral licks or mineral blocks used for huntin' purposes will be considered feeding and be banned within the current 10 county CWD Management Zone. They also clairified several new, and relaxed, deer regulations specific to deer zones 1 and 2.

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Post #4  Post subject: Re: Arkansas Creates 1st CWD Zone, Passes Special CWD Regs
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:39 am 
Unless I'm missin' somethin', looks like nothin' is gonna change outside the new CWD Zone except maybe the use of deer urine, and I'm really not sure now if that's still gonna be statewide or not. They weren't very proficient in gettin' the last minute changes to the proposals out to the public so I'm kinda still in the dark about that one in spite of what I told sabotmaker above.

Some of their discussions yesterday related to CWD type regs that aren't included in the CWD proposals and at times I had a hard time differentiating between what was CWD Zone related and what wasn't. Guess we'll find out whenever the Huntin' Guide books come out. I'm "thinkin'" there's probably gonna be several incidental changes concerning limits and permits and hunts and so on. So I think it'll really pay everybody to get familiar with the regs before takin' to the woods this fall, and every fall thereafter since CWD regs will probably be changin' fairly often for years to come.

There was also some good discussion about why Yell and Logan County was included in the CWD Zone with a couple of Commissioners askin' that if no more positives were found around the Russellville area this next deer season could Yell and Logan be taken out of the CWD area. I think the answer was yes that this CWD deal will be fluid so we can expect management changes to come at the discretion of the Director anytime he and G&F staff feels changes are warranted.

But still, it didn't sound like they would be in any rush to compress or expand the new Zone nor create any new one's whenever more positives are found. They said they will do all those things but not necessarily the minute a new positive appears someplace. One thing that doesn't bode well for us is they said they didn't think they have found the extent of CWD yet. But they said they were hopin' to have a better handle on it's extent after they start testing harvested deer this fall.

One positive development that came out of the meeting is they are in negotiations with the University of Arkansas to provide in-state testing for themselves and just as importantly for Arkansas' hunters. The University would have to get certified and set up before they could start testin' but it was said they maybe could be ready by October or so if things (money) fall into place soon enough. But whatever the cost to G&F or to the state, I think this is one deal that's really gonna be needed to keep hunter numbers up this fall, and a lot of falls to come.

All in all I think it was a good discussion yesterday between Commissioners, with them grillin' staff and really not seemin' to rubber stamp anything. The meetin' was a lot different in a good way from what their regular monthly meeting have turned into where all the discussion and questions takes place within individual committees before they all come together and officially vote on proposals the next day at the public part of their meeting ..... :mad:

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