Arkansas Allows Hunters to Bag Collared Bears and Deer This Season

by Joe Rutland
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(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

The state of Arkansas will allow hunters to bag collared bears and deer throughout this current hunting season. Those hunters who head out to the woods might notice bears and deer having new neckwear this fall. Yet that should not deter anyone out there from legally taking the animal. We get more information about this from AGFC chief of research Cory Gray, who has some comments about this matter.

“The collars are part of ongoing research taking place in certain portions of the state,” Gray said. “In Northwest Arkansas, we’ve partnered with the University of Georgia-Athens, Colorado State University, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and various other agencies and conservation partners in a five-year study about the effects chronic wasting disease may be having on our deer population.

Bear Hunters Will Be Looking To Get Animals With Collars

“Researchers are collaring deer, performing live tests for CWD, and following their movements,” Gray said. He would add that when the deer die, researchers will track it down and perform necropsies on them. This will be done to determine the cause of death at the time. Deer that happen to be collared in the project will include ones that would test positive for CWD. Also, look for those deer that did not test positive to be included, too. The recommendation is that all deer that are harvested will be tested for CWD. This will be done regardless of their appearance or the presence of a collar. All of this testing will be one using one of the testing locations available through the AGFC.

Meanwhile, there are a few female bears that also are wearing collars. You might take note that some of them have radio-location collars that have been used by the AGFC before. This helps to locate females with cubs when they happen to be denned to measure productivity. But there are a few in south Arkansas that are sporting some new-age GPS-enhanced collars, The Magnolia Reporter stated.

Hunting mortality and pressure are part of the landscape where the research is taking place. This is just the same as is being done with the deer research. Valid data must account for these variables.

There have been collared bears protected in years past. That was done because of the need to study reproductive efforts. The amount of work involved in trapping and safety sedating the bear is also being protected. Those regulations were removed to ensure the quality of research that is being done. “Ideally, we want hunters to ignore whether there is a collar there or not,” Gray said.

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