Arkansas Whitetail Deer Harvests Break Record

by Madison Miller

It’s been a record-breaking year for hunters this season.

Due to the pandemic, more hunters have been out hunting and tagging game. Now, the numbers show just how much hunting has been a source of entertainment during 2020. The hunting license sales have also soared this year.

Arkansas to Break Whitetail Record

Arkansas is expected to break the record this weekend for the most whitetail deer hunted this season. The current number is at about 210,000 deer tagged and reported.

This number, however, will steadily climb until the end of the season in February.

“As of today, Arkansas is holding the third-largest recorded harvest of whitetail deer. And we are projected to pass the No.1 spot by the end of the season,” according to Kait 8 News.

Besides more hunters out on the field, many factors play into how successful a season will be. Some examples are environmental factors like food availability for the deer, vegetation on trees that account for visibility, as well as possible flooding events impacting the hunt.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Statewide Whitetail Deer Program Coordinator, Ralph Meeker, said that Arkansas is expecting about 214,000 -215,000 by the end of the season. The last two cold-weather months usually account for 2-3 percent of the total hunting harvest.

Hunting is feared to face a major reduction in the next few years. This is because older generations tend to hunt and are slowly unable to make it on the field. Hunting has dwindled with newer generations.

After the pandemic the question is: Are there more hunters or are old hunters just reappearing?

“Just looking at our license sales, from fishing to hunting license sales, it definitely looks like we have more folks out in the woods. We’ll have to look into it a little bit more on whether we were able to recruit new hunters. I suspect that most of the hunters that we have in the woods are those who reactivated,” Meeker said.

There are still two more months of hunting up ahead. Here are some top places to visit if you’re looking to do some end-of-season hunting for deer.

When it comes to deer hunting, the midwest is the place to be.

Wisconsin is often a popular location. It has over 7 million acres of public land to hunt on. There is an abundance of whitetails, affordable hunting rates, and a need for hunters with the CWD disease spreading.

Iowa has less open land, but more potential for a rare kill. There are higher odds of finding a Booner if you choose to hunt on private properties. Kansas has over 600,000 whitetail deer roaming around, according to Gun News Daily.

Other key states are Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Indiana.