Title:  Evaluation of primitive weapons deer hunting in Arkansas.
Author(s): Cartwright, M. D.
Year: 1986
Abstract: In the early 1970's Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff initiated efforts to encourage and promote primitive weapons hunting for white-tailed deer. Deer managment strategies, designed to increase still hunting participants, hunter recreational opportunity, and antlerless harvests were incorporated into a statewide deer management plan in 198 1. Special muzzle-load, archery, and crossbow seasons were liberalized until 1984, when reductions in seasons and bag limits, especially for muzzle-load seasons, were implemented in response to increasing user group conflicts. Muzzle-load, archery, and crossbow hunters increased to an estimated 76,338,40,554, and 9,542, respectively, by 1983. These respective user groups made up 32%, 17%, and 4% of the state's total deer hunters. Since 1981, muzzle-load hunters have composed the largest percentage of primitive weapons hunters and have accounted for more than 70% of the primitive weapons harvest. Primitive weapons deer harvests accounted for 29% (17,539) of the total state harvest and 84% (9,1902) of the statewide doe harvest in 1983. This compares to less than 1% (39) of the state's harvest taken by primitive weapons hunters in 1971. Management strategies have been partially successful in accomplishing agency goals; however, increasing sociological problems associated with user groups will require future modifications in management strategies. The development and influence of primitive weapons sportsmen's clubs and associations, agency incentive and promotion programs, user group conflicts, administrative problems, economic influences, and future management strategies are discussed.

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