Jim Gaston, Outdoor Hall of Fame member, dies at 73
LAKEVIEW – Jim Gaston, a giant in Arkansas outdoor recreation and tourism, died recently at the age of 73.

He went to work at Gaston’s White River Resort when his father bought the business in 1958. It had six cottages and six boat slips. He built the resort into a property consisting of 400 acres, two miles of river frontage, 79 cottages, a 125-seat conference center, a restaurant, a private club, a 3,200-feet airstrip and with a seasonal staff of 75 to 100.

Gaston was an inductee into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame, commissioner emeritus of the Arkansas Parks, Travel and Recreation Commission and president of the Arkansas Tourism Development Council.
Henry Moore, former Game and Fish commissioner, dies
TEXARKANA – Henry Moore III, a former member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, died recently at the age of 82.

Moore was a lifetime sportsman and was appointed to the Commission in 1975 by Governor David Pryor. He served until 1982. He was on the boards of directors of State First National Bank in Texarkana, People's Bank of Lewisville and Buhrman Pharr Hardware in Texarkana. He was the founder and president of Holly Mound Land Company and Hunting Club.

The Henry Moore Waterfowl Rest Area on Sulphur River Wildlife Management Area in Miller County is named for him.
29 Arkansans win elk permit permits at Jasper drawing
JASPER – Twenty-nine Arkansans are wearing broad smiles these days. They are winners of 2015 public land elk hunting permits.

Their names were drawn from several thousand applications during the Buffalo River Elk Festival in Jasper. The drawing was from a squirrel cage with youngsters picked from the crowd doing the drawings. Both the applications and the permits were free.

This fall will be the 18th year of elk hunting in Arkansas. Three more permits will be given in fundraising auctions, two of these for youths. The hunt dates are Oct. 5-9 and Nov. 9-13 with youth hunters in action the Saturday and Sunday before these dates. Public land permit holders are required to attend an orientation on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m. at Carroll County Electric Co-op in Jasper. Private land elk hunting with permits issued through landowners will be Nov. 9-13 in Newton, Boone, Searcy, Madison and Carroll counties.

Hunters are allowed to choose their weapons from archery, including crossbows, muzzleloaders, modern rifles, modern shotguns and handguns. Minimum specifications are set for these weapons. In the past 17 years, virtually all elk hunters have used modern rifles.

The public land hunting is on Buffalo National River, Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area and Bearcat Hollow Wildlife Management Area. Hunters are assigned to specific zones within these public lands.

The 2015 elk permit winners:
Oct. 5-9:
Zone 1, either sex: Shane Murphy, Perryville
Zone 3, antlerless: Leslie Williams, Brinkley
Zone 3, antlerless: Bob Lanius, Camden
Zone 1, antlerless: Derek Gellerman, Jasper
Zone 4, antlerless: David Keels, Yellville
Nov. 9-13:
Zone 1, either sex: Olivia McClelland, Enola
Zone 1, antler less: Steven Miller, Searcy
Zone 1, antler less: Joseph Crouch, Marion
Zone 2, youth either sex: Evan Ridenhour, Waldron
Zone 2, either sex: Ronna Rodman, Beebe
Zone 2, antlerless: Dustyn Loy, Perryville
Zone 2, antlerless: Matthew Gauger, Gamaliel
Zone 2, antlerless: Erica Starkey, Greenbrier
Zone 2, antlerless: James Chambers, Nashville
Zone 2, antlerless: Adam Reid, Amity
Zone 3, youth either sex: Ava Clark, El Dorado
Zone 3, either sex: John Rye, Lonoke
Zone 3, antlerless: Zackery Yancey, Peach Orchard
Zone 3, antlerless: Christopher Gage, White Hall
Zone 3, antlerless: Charles White, Hope
Zone 3, antlerless: Sam Philip, Centerton
Zone 3, antlerless: Jon Shelton, Jonesboro
Zone 4, either sex: Phillip Payne, Norfork
Zone 4, either sex: Michael Jaco, Vilonia
Zone 4, antlerless: Larry Gann, Hot Springs
Zone 4, antlerless: Larry England, Bentonville
Zone 4, antlerless: Jesse McMahill, Wideman
Zone 4, antlerless: William James, Benton
Zone 4, antlerless: Michael Cole, Cave City

Commission sets 2015-16 deer seasons
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission set the state’s deer hunting seasons last week, with modern gun deer season opening Nov. 14, archery season opening Sept. 26, and muzzleloader season opening Oct. 17. The deer season dates are part of the 2015-16 general hunting regulations approved during the Commission’s monthly meeting.

Season dates for the 2015-16 deer hunting season:

Archery –
All zones: Sept. 26-Feb. 29, 2016.

Modern Gun -
Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Nov. 14-Dec. 6.
Zone 4: Nov. 14-15. Zone 5: Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 21-22.
Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Nov. 14-Dec. 13.
Zones 4B and 5B: Nov. 14-22.
Zones 9, 12 and 13: Nov. 14-Dec. 20.
Zone 16, 16A and 17: Nov. 14-Dec. 25.

Muzzleloader –
Zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 10 and 11: Oct. 17-25 and Dec. 12-14.
Zones 4A, 5A, 14 and 15: Oct. 17-25 and Dec. 19-21
Zones 9, 12, 13, 16, 16A and 17: Oct. 17-25 and Dec. 29-31.
Zones 4, 4B, 5 and 5B: Closed.
The statewide Christmas holiday modern gun deer hunt is Dec. 26-28.
Youth modern gun deer hunts will be held Nov. 7-8 and Jan. 2-3, 2016.
A private land antlerless-only modern gun deer hunt in zones 1, 1A, 2, 3, 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A and 17 will be held Oct. 10-14.

The 2016-17 deer season opening dates will be:
Deer (special youth modern gun): Nov. 5, 2016 and Jan. 7, 2017
Deer (archery): Sept. 24, 2016
Deer (muzzleloader): Oct. 15, 2016
Deer (private land antlerless only modern gun): Oct. 29, 2016
Deer (modern gun): Nov. 12, 2016

The Commission also approved 2016 turkey season dates:
Zones 1, 2, 3, 4B, 5, 5B, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9, 10 and 17: April 16-May 1, 2016.
Zones 4, 4A, 5A and 9A: April 16-24, 2016.
Zone 1A: Closed.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation reported 11 new cases of chronic wasting disease in deer harvested in Macon, Adair and Cole counties during the 2014-15 deer hunting season.

None of the dreaded disease has been found in Arkansas’s deer herd at this time.

A buck harvested near Centertown in Cole County (Jefferson City) was the first case of the fatal disease outside a six-county CWD containment zone of Adair, Chariton, Linn, Macon, Randolph and Sullivan counties (all in northeastern Missouri). Previous cases were in Macon, Linn and Adair counties.

The new cases bring the total number of Missouri free-ranging deer that have tested positive to 24 since the disease was found in 2010 at a private hunting preserve in Linn County. CWD has been found in 11 captive deer in Macon and Linn counties.

“We will provide an update of final results once all testing has been completed for the season,” said Jason Sumners, MDC deer biologist. “We will continue to monitor the spread of the disease through more CWD testing this coming fall and winter. We are also updating our efforts to help contain the spread of the disease and will be working out the details.”

Cory Gray, deer program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said, “Some people may not understand why we have strict regulations concerning the importation of live cervids and certain parts of carcasses into Arkansas from other states, but our intent is to maintain a healthy, disease free deer herd,” Gray said. “We are getting a great deal of cooperation from hunters in our campaign to keep out CWD. Biologists and hunters have a common interest – a healthy, productive, sustainable deer herd,” he added.

CWD causes the degeneration of the brain in members of the deer family; it has no known cure.

National survey shows Arkansas deer rankings improving

 Deer in Arkansas are on the increase in terms of numbers and hunter success, according to a national survey by Quality Deer Management Association.

Arkansas is moving up in comparison to other states, the survey also shows. A significant shift in Arkansas deer hunting has been the achievement of a virtual 50-50 ratio between bucks and does checked by hunters. This has put the state among the top states in the nation in this regard.

The amount of antlerless deer, does and button bucks, killed in Arkansas rose during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 hunting seasons in contrast to a slight decline nationwide. In the 2013-14 season, Arkansas hunters checked 122,067 antlerless deer.

This was tops in the nation in percentage of increase over the last decade. Arkansas hunters checked 187 percent more antlerless deer than 10 years previously. The Arkansas increase was far ahead of any other state. Rhode Island was second with a 96 percent increase in antlerless harvest.
Arkansas ranks third in the nation in age of antlerless deer checked by hunters, according to the QDMA survey. In the 2013-2014 season, 48 percent of Arkansas’s antlerless deer harvested were 3 1/2 years or older, showing an overall trend toward more mature deer. Only Oklahoma and Texas ranked higher in age of antlerless deer.

Arkansas was second in the nation in age of bucks checked by hunters in 2013-14. Bucks 3 1/2 years or older accounted for 67 percent of the buck harvest. Only Louisiana was ahead of Arkansas in this statistic.

“Let the deer get some age on them” has been an objective of the Arkansas Game and Fish commission and many deer clubs and hunters since 1998. Since then, male deer had to have at least three points on one side of their antlers before being legal to take, and the age structure of the entire harvest began to shift.

Arkansas deer hunters continue to take nearly three-quarters of their deer with modern firearms – rifles and shotguns. These amounted to 74 percent of checked deer. Muzzleloaders took 14 percent of Arkansas deer, and archery (including crossbows) took 9 percent. “Other” or unknown methods accounted for 3 percent.

QDMA asked Arkansas to rank the impacts of disease, predation, bad legislation, high deer density, low deer density, too few deer-focused staff members and poaching on its management efforts. Disease, high deer density and too few deer-focused staff members were listed as problems in the state.

Poaching, meaning illegal hunting, was listed as a moderate problem in Arkansas. Predation and low density in some areas were listed as minor problems.
Arkansas ranks near the middle of states on the issue of minimum fines for poaching. The minimum in Arkansas ranges from $300 to $600, but jail time and restitution are not penalties as they are in a few other states.


1.   Don Kittler                    207 7/8 non-typical        Prairie County
2.   Leonard Rohrscheib     181 2/8 typical                Phillips County
3.   Shadow Doane             172 3/8 typical                Lee County
4.   Kent Cromier                171 7/8 typical               Arkansas County
5.   Gunner Jacobs              170 6/8 typical               St. Francis County
6.   Bradley Creekmore      170 0/8 typical               Polk County
7.   Mike Fowler                  166 0/8 typical              Monroe County
8.   Drew Weir                     190 7/8 non-typical      Benton County
9.   Corbet Passmore          165 7/8 typical              St. Francis County
10. Rex Ogle                       164 3/8 typical              Fulton County

1.   Don Kittler                  207 7/8        Carlisle       Prairie County
2.   Drew Weir                   190 7/8        Gentry       Benton County
3.   Kevin Davidson           187 0/8        Marvell       Phillips County
4.   Thomas Hussman        186 3/8       Rose Bud     Cleburne County
5.   Clark Massey               183 3/8       Marshall      Searcy County
1.   Leonard Rohrscheib    181 2/8       Lexa             Phillips County
2.   Shadow Doane            172 3/8      Palestine      Lee County
3.   Kent Cromier               171 7/8      Alexander    Arkansas County
4.   Gunner Jacobs             170 6/8      Widener       St. Francis County
5.   Mike Fowler                  166 0/8      Moro            Monroe County

1.   Dean Adams                 184 6/8      Beedeville    Woodruff County
2.   Crockett Murphy          160 2/8      Jonesboro    Fulton County
3.   Michael Smith                151 0/8     White Hall     Jefferson County
4.   Jeff Roaf                       141 6/8     N Little Rock Monroe County
5.   Terry Kemp Jr.              136 5/8      Millwood       Phillips County
1.   Rex Ogle                        164 3/8     Melbourne    Fulton County
2.   Chad Stormes               160 4/8      Knobel         Clay County
3.   Kaelin Richesin              158 3/8    Van Buren     Crawford County
4.   Van Avery Meeler         149 0/8     Stamps        Lafayette County
5.   Jimmy Pickering             145 6/8    Jesseville      Garland County

1.   Cole Vandeman              165 3/8    Siloam Springs   Benton County
1.   Eric Westfall                   161 6/8    Murfreesboro    Hempstead County
2.   Austin Walker                155 6/8     Paris                 Logan County
3.   Nate Smith                      153 7/8    Benton              Saline County
4.   Brandon Baioni               152 5/8     Sherwood         Crittenden County
5.   Josh Moreland                151 3/8     Dumas              Arkansas County  

1.   Randy Sanders               155 0/8     Batesville         Lee County
2.   Randy Sanders               145 7/8     Batesville         Independence County
3.   Maurice Bradford            141 0/8     Hot Springs     Hot Spring County
4.   Randy Simpkins               140 4/8     Jonesboro       Poinsett County

1.   Eleanor Henry                 172 5/8     Dumas              Jefferson County
2.   Audrey Loewer               150 2/8     Brinkley            St Francis County
3.   Jill Evans                          111 3/8     Conway            Faulkner County
1.   Rosemary Baxter            157 6/8     Watson            Desha County
2.   Lori Barker                      153 1/8     Newport           Jackson County
3.   Laura McFarlin                 151 4/8     Griffithville       Prairie County
4.   Rosemary Baxter             145 6/8     Watson           Desha County
5.   Tracy Ritchie                    145 5/8     Maumelle         Arkansas County

1.   Eli Whitworth                   160 2/8     Ola                     Yell County
2.   William Fletcher                156 1/8     Scott                 Lonoke County
1.   Bradley Creekmore          170 0/8     Mena                 Polk County
2.   Ryan Poe                         151 1/8     West Memphis   Monroe County
3.   Carson Mitchell                146 5/8     DeWitt               Prairie County
4.   Jack Lanier                      142 4/8     Batesville          Independence County    
5.   Baylee Harmon                138 1/8     Hagarville          Johnson County

1.   Jim Hubbard                      86 1/8      Marvell              Lee County
2.   Lori Barker                        78 6/8      Newport            Jackson County
3.   Bobby Young                     75 3/8      Deer                  Newton County
4.   Lori Barker                        74 0/8       Newport           Jackson County
5.   Jonathan Pierce                65 7/8       Wynne              Cross County