Arkansas Archery Season

Arkansas archery season offers bowhunters a range of wildlife not available anywhere else in the country. It’s one of the few states where you can hunt alligators with special permissions. The Natural State hunting season offers the opportunity to hunt these large reptiles and options for elk, deer, bear, and turkey.

Arkansas hunting permits and licenses are available online, with rates based on hunting method, season, residency, and special designations.

arkansas archery season

Arkansas (AR) Archery Season, 2022-2023

The Arkansas state Game and Fish Commission provides hunting access across several regional private land areas. Six regions in southern and mid-Arkansas are available to hunters. However, you’ll need a special permit to access these locations.

When does Archery Season Start in AR?

Arkansas Deer Seasons

  • Archery Sept 24 - February - 28 December 29 - 31

  • Private Land Antlerless Only                       

**Season-end dates vary by region.

There is a statewide limit of six deer per hunter per season and no more than two bucks. Seasons for take methods vary by region and may be closed in some areas.

Arkansas Alligator Seasons

  • General Season September 16 - 19 / September 23 - 26

*Alligator hunting is permitted by a hunting permit lottery allocation. Hunters may take one alligator per season. Selected hunters must attend a hunter orientation course.

Arkansas Bear Seasons

  • Archery September 17 - November 30

**Dates and bag limits vary by region.

Some regions remain closed to bear hunting. The baiting of bears isn’t permitted on public land. However, it’s allowed on private property in designated bear areas.

Arkansas Elk Seasons

  • Public Land October 3 - 7 and October 31 - November 4

  • Youth Hunt October 3 - 7 and October 31 - November 4

Hunters require a permit to hunt elk on public and private land. Youth Hunts are the first two days of each season, and bag limits vary by region.

Arkansas Wild Turkey Seasons

  • Spring 2023 Zone 1: April 17 - May 25

Zone 2: April 17 - May 7

*Starting and closing dates vary by zone.

Please note; Special seasons are reserved for military personnel, older, youth hunts, individuals with disabilities, and senior hunters 65 and over.

Arkansas Small Seasons

  • Quail November 1 - February 5

  • Swamp or Cottontail Rabbit September 1 - February 28

  • Squirrel May 15 - February 28

Please note; Special seasons, bag limits, and hunting regulations for hunting seasons vary based on season and animal. Hunting with dogs is not permitted in many seasons.

Can You Hunt on Private Land without a License in Arkansas?

Yes, you can hunt on private land with consent from the land owner. More than 85% of Arizona land is privately owned. In many cases, you’ll need to lease hunting rights from the private landowner.

Hunting Licenses and Permits in AR

  • Hunters 16 and older require a license to hunt in the state. Exceptions are for hunting on a licensed game-bird shooting resort supplying pen-raised birds.

  • Hunters need a valid printed license, acceptable electronic format license, or reusable hard card on their person when hunting.

  • Arkansas requires a WMA General Use Permit for hunting on public land.

Resident Hunting Guide License (GLH)

A GLH entitles hunters to aid, guide, or assist persons for compensation or other considerations. This applies to any wildlife species on land not commission-controlled or owned, including WDAs, WMAs, and WRAs. GLH doesn’t include hunting privileges, and the expiration is June 30.

Resident Special Hunting Guide License (GLS)

A GLS entitles AR residents to the same hunting privileges as a GLH. It includes the right to aid, guide, or assist other people for compensation or other considerations when taking any wildlife species except waterfowl. This applies to all commission-controlled or owned WDAs, WMAs, and WRAs. The GLS doesn’t include hunting privileges.

Hunters need proof of residency in Arkansas state for a year before the application date. Expiration is June 30.

Deferred Hunter Education License (DHE)

The DHE is a one-year permit allowing a person without a hunter-education certification to hunt legally. It requires annual renewal.

Check out our guide 30+ Hunting Rules to Keep You Safe while bowhunting in the wild.

Gregory Johnson

With almost 20 years of archery experience under his belt, Gregory founded the Complete Guide to Archery website in 2017. His purpose has been to spread knowledge about the hobby and sport to anyone willing to learn.