The 2018 Arkansas elk hunting season set a record with 67 taken on public and private land. The previous record was 55.
An elk or two may still be taken by hunters outside of the Core Elk Management Zone (Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties), during the remainder of deer seasons with archery tackle, muzzleloading weapons, and modern firearms of at least .24 caliber legal for those seasons. However, only one elk has been taken outside the zone this year, a lone bull in Stone County.
All hunter-harvested elk have been tested for chronic wasting disease; none was positive. Two elk showing signs of the disease were targeted and removed from the herd by biologists; those two did test positive for CWD.
The first week of the season was October 1-5, with a youth hunt September 29-30. Forty-one elk were harvested – 18 bulls and 23 antlerless. Thirty-six of those came from private land; five were taken on public land.
The second week of the season was October 29-November 2, with a youth hunt October 27-28. Twenty-five elk were taken during this period – five bulls and 20 antlerless, with 14 from private land and 11 from public land.
“Private-land elk hunters were very successful during both seasons,” said Wes Wright, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission elk program coordinator. “The new private-land elk hunt permit system offered increased opportunity for hunters – this was reflected in the harvest.”
The core elk management zone hunt quota was 12 either-sex elk and 40 antlerless elk. Hunters are required to check each day during the season to see if the quota has been reached.