words: Reprinted with permission from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
images: courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission/Mike Wintroath
Backcountry water trails, a new app for hunters, and a women’s outdoor weekend. Aren’t you glad you live in Arkansas? Let’s start with dove season. The dates were recently released, and are as follows:
Dove Season Dates
Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
Sept. 5 – Oct. 24 and Dec. 19, 2015 – Jan. 7, 2016
Sept. 12 – 27
Sept. 12 – Nov. 20
Nov. 7 – Dec. 21
Common Snipe Season
Nov. 1, 2015 – Feb. 15, 2016
Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season
Sept. 1 – Nov. 9
Early Canada Goose Season
Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
Looking for a new place to canoe or kayak? This could be just what you’re looking for!
Bayou DeView Trails = Backcountry
Bayou DeView Water Trail is on the Sheffield Nelson Dagmar Wildlife Management Area near Brinkley, Arkansas, and it is suitable for beginning canoers and kayakers as well as being kid-friendly, assuming youngsters wear flotation devices and follow adults’ instructions.
Kirsten Bartlow, AGFC’s watchable wildlife coordinator and coordinator of the Arkansas Water Trails program, says, “Bayou DeView is special. It is part of the Big Woods, which is bottomland hardwood forests and an imperiled type of habitat. It’s one of the largest tracts of
bottomland hardwood forests in the nation and has been designated a Wetland of International Importance. This is where the ivory-billed woodpecker search happened in the early 2000s. It is known for very old cypress trees that can be hundreds of years old. It’s a pretty wild trail. People need to pay attention to the signs and if you do have GPS and map and compass skills, it’s good to bring them along. Flooded timber can be a fairly easy place to get lost.
“There are a lot of different options you can do on trip lengths. You can paddle one section of trail, paddle out and then paddle back to your vehicle, or do the entire fifteen-mile trail with an overnight at Hickson Lake. There is now a USGS gauge to help people determine when Bayou DeView is accessible by boat.
“Generally it needs to be around fourteen feet. It can be a wonderful place to paddle any time of year, but it is rain dependent and can become too low to paddle certain times of year and can become too high and the roads flood. The area is rich with wildlife including migratory songbirds and waterfowl and is popular with duck hunters.
“Right within the same wildlife management area is Robe Bayou (also an Arkansas Water Trail), which is a more distinct channel and holds water year round. It is pretty as well, has great cypress trees and it is a good beginner route. And then just down the road is the Wattensaw Bayou Water Trail (also part of the Arkansas Water Trail program) and it is also a bit more of a distinct channel. We have a new camping site on the trail where visitors can do an overnight stay if they would like.”
For more information on the Arkansas Water Trails program, go to www.agfc.com. For more details on canoeing and kayaking in Arkansas, visit Arkansas.com/outdoors.
Want to know how your new Apple Watch® can help you when you’re hunting? We have the answer!
AGFC launches Apple Watch® app
You can now glance at your wrist to see when it’s legal to shoot, thanks to the new Apple Watch® app from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. When paired with the popular AGFC mobile app for iPhone, the Apple Watch® counts down and displays the exact sunrise and sunset times at the hunter’s location.
“We focused on what would be most important for hunters in the field who are using wearable devices,” AGFC Chief Technology Officer Mark Vaught said. “Through our partnership with the Information Network of Arkansas, we designed the new Apple Watch® app to enable hunters to see when it’s officially time to shoot. It truly helps hunters comply with regulations in a hands-free way that keeps them safe and focused on their hunt.”
A red “Sun is down” alert changes to a green “Sun is up” alert at the precise moment of sunrise for the exact location where the hunter is standing. A countdown reveals, to the second, how much time remains in the hunting day or until hunting can begin.
The original free AGFC mobile app is still available in the iTunes® App Store and Google Play®. Since its launch in 2009, more than 122,000 people have downloaded the app and nearly 47,500 hunters have used it to check 207,340 deer and turkeys with the AGFC.
There’s a lot going on outdoors in Arkansas. Here are some events you won’t want to miss!
Women’s Outdoor Weekend 10/2 thru 10/4
Bull Shoals-White River State Park will be hosting a Women’s Outdoor Weekend on October 2–4. During this three-day two-night workshop, participants will attend different sessions on Basic Camping/Backpacking Skills, Beginning Bird Watching, Intro to Fly Fishing, Beginning Kayaking, Dutch Oven Cooking and much more; plus lots of free time to hang out, laugh, and build new friendships. All gear and meals included in the registration fee. Registration fee is $125, and space is limited so register early. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity. Registration deadline is September 25. Call 870.445.3629.
Hunter Education Classes
Fayetteville 9/14 – 9/16
Held at the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in Fayetteville. Participants must attend all three nights. Contact Ruth McBride for more information 479.841.5115 or 479.634.2027. Registration is required, class is free.
Fort Smith 9/19
Held at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith. Class is from 7am – 6pm. Registration is not required, class is free.
Be sure to check in next month when Do South® brings you more great ways to enjoy outdoors