LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission voted to relax hunting regulations on certain predator species during a special meeting via teleconference today. The regulations had been proposed during its June 20 meeting but were not able to be voted upon until today to allow sufficient time for public comment.
Coyote, raccoon, opossum and striped skunk may now be hunted year-round on private land in Arkansas. There are no daily or possession limits to any of these species on private land, and wanton waste regulations will no longer apply to these four species.
A new free Predator-Control Permit also will be available to private landowners, which will let permit holders shoot or trap bobcat, coyote, gray fox, red fox, opossum, raccoon and striped skunk day or night. This permit will be available by late August to enable more opportunity to control these species on private land.
Commission Chair Ken Reeves of Harrison and Commissioner Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge explained that the goal of the regulations was not to eliminate any of these species on a statewide basis.
“I think everyone knows that the reason we’re doing this is we simply don’t have people trapping and hunting raccoons and opossums like we did many years ago because the pelts aren’t worth much,” Reeves said. “We’re trying to fill that gap by letting private landowners reduce these predators on their property to try to boost their quail and turkey numbers.”
A recording of the meeting is available at the AGFC’s YouTube page.