Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists are seeking public input on the current revision to the state’s White-tailed Deer Strategic Management Plan. This will be the first review and revision of the plan since 2013. The plan is normally reviewed every five to seven years to adapt to changing needs by developments in Arkansas’s deer herd and available habitat.
During a recent presentation to the commission, Game and Fish Deer Program Coordinator Ralph Meeker said the discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Arkansas is a major factor in changing the state’s deer management strategies since the last version of the plan. Meeker adds there’s an upcoming review of the CWD management plan to focus solely on that part of deer management as they look at trends in harvest, biological and observation data for each deer zone.
The plan was drafted by the agency’s deer program coordinator and assistant coordinator with input from the deer management team, biologists and enforcement personnel from every region of Arkansas. Additional reviews were provided by Wildlife Management Division administration and representatives from the agency’s Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division and Communications Division before being submitted to the commissioners for their review.
The draft of the plan and a public comment survey are available by clicking here. Comments will be accepted until Jan. 20. The Deer Management Team will later make needed revisions and submit the final draft to the commission at its regular February meeting.
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