I have traveled the world looking for the my college education might have gone relaxation that we all crave from time to a little differently. time. But, when I stop to think what I That day, I learned that the new have been missing in my own back yard, Audubon Center is located on land I feel the need to encourage others to once ruled by the Quapaw Indians until experience it. they were forced off their lands in 1824. What saddens me the most is that In 1940, the land became Gillam Park, so many minorities are like I was, and the first park in Little Rock to welcome African-Americans in the age of segregation. The late great civil rights pioneer Daisy L. Bates had a hand in getting a swimming pool there. The park also offered the remote community ball fields, a skating rink, and a playground. During that era, it was the only park in Little Rock where AfricanAmericans could swim. Gillam Park, now part of the Audubon Center campus, is named after Isaac T. Gillam, who was born into slaver y but became a successful Pulaski County politi- Through a project called The Color of Nature, cian, serving on Audubon Arkansas is working the Little Rock to bring minorities closer to nature. City Council and have never connected with nature. Like as Pulaski County Coroner. me, I think they do not have anyone to Today, Audubon Arkansas leases introduce them to outdoor experiences and manages the park for environmental or teach them about nature and so are education purposes from the City of frightened by the outdoors. We all tend Little Rock. The new nature center to be scared of the unknown. But, we focuses on experience and outdoor can and must change that. Connecting learning. Audubon Arkansas offers with nature connects us also with our environmental education programs state history. We need to educate our chilwide and will offer programs for area dren to their natural heritage in order schools and families. to strengthen their relationship with When I walked the trails that day, I nature. This problem is not limited to wondered if other people of color would minorities. Thousands of Arkansans of feel the same as I did when I experiall ages live in the “natural state” but enced the woods for the very first time.
have no idea what “natural” means. If minorities, and others, remain unaware, unconnected with nature —the land, water, native plants and animals — how can they make wise decisions to protect these places for their children and their children’s children? I want to make a difference. I want to find ways to share this world and to relate this world to an audience of color. As a minority, I speak for thousands when I say that we need more people we can relate to. If we had that, maybe we wouldn’t be so culturally divided when it comes to learning how to hike, kayak, bird, and conserve the natural world, too. I have created a project called The Color of Nature, for our new Audubon center, to provide opportunities for minorities to have experiences that will connect them with nature. If you would like to join me, please e-mail me your contact information, and you will receive info about events such as The Color of Nature Tour, that will be designed to bring families out of their homes and into the wild blue yonder with a special emphasis on minorities. Simply e-mail your contact information to rcheathem@audubon. org, and you will receive information as these events are scheduled. It matters to me. The color of nature is me!! By Renetta Cheathem, Finance and Office Manager Audubon Arkansas For more information on Audubon Arkansas, its new programs and the new Audubon Center at Granite Mountain, check out our website at ar.audubon. org. Arkansas Wild • Fall 2009
RESURRECTING THE PRAIRIE
for the White Rumps By Paul Queneau, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Once vanished from Arkansas, some 500 elk now live on or near the Buffalo National River and Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area.
Wapiti, the Shawnee word for elk, literally means “white rump”. Northern Arkansas is once again home to them, its largest wild mammal, with hopes for more. High on a mountain overlooking the Buffalo River stands proof this neck of the Ozarks wasn’t always a sea of hardwoods. It’s a bur oak, which Aldo Leopold called the shock troops in the primeval war between forest and prairie. Corky bark extends to its smallest twigs, armor against the grassfires that once held the woods here at bay. Not many remain, 14
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
but those that do join a smattering of cottonwoods and other prairie relics that still linger. Another species that historically thrived here is noce again prospering— elk, or as the Shawnee Indians called them, wapiti, “the white rump.” With males weighing 700 pounds and females 500, it is now the Arkansas’ largest native mammal. Go to the Boxley Valley near Ponca in early October and you’ll not only be greeted with fall color but also one of nature’s most hauntingly beautiful sounds; bugling bull elk. September and October are elk mating season, and
bulls gather harems together, declare their superiority to all who will listen, and wage fierce battles for the right to pass on their genes. The last elk vanished from Arkansas in 1834. In 1933, the U.S. Forest Service released 11 wild Rocky Mountain elk from Oklahoma into the Black Mountain Refuge. The herd grew to about 200 animals by the 1950s but then fell prey to poaching and habitat degradation and bugles were silenced once more. In 1981, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and private citizens
teamed up on a new elk restoration effort. Over the next four years they released 112 elk from Colorado and Nebraska into five locations near the Buffalo River. Today, some 500 elk live on or near 114,000 acres of public land in the Buffalo National River and adjacent Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area (WMA). But like bur oaks, elk do best in open grasslands, so the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation joined forces with the state’s game and fish commission in 1992 to fund its first habitat stewardship project here. The partners launched a series of enhancements, including prescribed burns, thinning, planting of grasses and forbs, fighting noxious weeds and developing water resources. Together these aimed to improve elk distribution and provide cover and food for elk, white-tailed deer, black bears, wild turkeys, songbirds and other wildlife. All told, the Elk Foundation and its partners have since protected or enhanced nearly 30,000 acres of wildlife habitat in the Natural State. In 1998, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission held the first modern
elk hunt. To help raise funds for more habitat projects in the elk range, the state gives the Elk Foundation two tags to auction each year—one at a local RMEF Big Game Banquet event, the other at the Elk Foundation’s national convention. This has since raised more than $250,000, 85% of which is returned directly to Arkansas to help fund conservation efforts for elk and other wildlife. It enabled the Elk Foundation and the commission, in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, to permanently protect the 200-acre Dixie Point property—an inholding within the Gene Rush WMA with five springs that offers one of the richest water sources in the area. Most recently the Elk Foundation has joined with the Forest Service and others to help restore open meadows to the Dry Creek Watershed and its tributaries southwest of Eula. Dubbed the Bearcat Hollow Habitat Enhancement project it aims to create high-quality forage openings on 422 acres, restore 240 acres of oak and pine woodlands, thin trees on 216 acres, treat noxious weeds on 500 acres, construct 11
wildlife ponds and burn 6,000 acres to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife. But enhancement isn’t all that is going on to protect elk. In 2007, the Elk Foundation completed its first conservation easement in the state near Mt. Judea on Lick Mountain in Newton County. Longtime Elk Foundation supporters and Board members Bert and Cheryl Haralson and Rick and Penny Oncken gave up development rights to protect the wildlife habitat on the 314-acre spread, which is bordered on three sides by the Gene Rush State Wildlife Management Area. The Gene Rush is adjacent to the Buffalo National River to the north, and close to the Ozark National Forest two miles to the south. The many elk that cross it find welcome shade under a large oak that grows there—a bur oak—a fellow veteran of two eras of prairie and forest. With a little luck and a lot of hard conservation work, the future looks bright for both species here in Arkansas, their native home.
Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
Ducks Unlimited Works to improve
By Andrea "Andi" Cooper, Ducks Unlimited
The Ducks Unlimited organization has spent over $47 million conserving over 300,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in Arkansas. Arkansas has always been a duck hunter’s Mecca, and Ducks Unlimited is doing all it can to make sure that waterfowl in the Natural State have access to adequate resources. To date, DU has spent over $47 million conserving over 300,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in Arkansas, including nearly 70 projects on 26 public wildlife management areas. From Frog Bayou Wildlife Management Area in western Arkansas to Bayou Meto WMA in the eastern part of the state, DU projects protect and restore vital habitat for waterfowl state-wide. Ducks Unlimited’s success in Arkansas is due in large part to the strength of its partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Over 52,000 acres of public lands have been conserved through this partnership, providing increased resources for 16
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
waterfowl as well as increased opportunity for waterfowl hunters. “Ducks Unlimited is our strongest partner in waterfowl habitat restoration,” Doyle Shook, former chief of wildlife management at the AGFC, said. “They are the only waterfowl organization actively working to improve public land habitat for duck hunters in Arkansas.” One such example is our work on Bayou Meto. Bayou Meto WMA in eastern Arkansas is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the AGFC’s wildlife management area system. The area supports thousands of migrating and wintering waterfowl each year and provides some of the best public duck hunting in the world. But even jewels need the occasional polishing. Ducks Unlimited, with support
from AGFC, North American Wetland Conser vation Commission and numerous other public and private partners, is restoring and improving key portions of Bayou Meto WMA. Projects on Halowell Reservoir, Wrape Plantation and Buckingham Flats will ensure waterfowl find quality habitat for generations to come. Not only do DU and AGFC partner on projects in Arkansas, but the Commission also supports Ducks Unlimited Canada and its work on the breeding grounds. Efforts on the breeding grounds have a direct impact on ducks in the south. Known as the “duck factor y”, breeding grounds across the Northern U.S. and Canada produce the vast majority of Arkansas’ wintering waterfowl. Science tells us there is no place
on this continent where we can have a bigger impact on waterfowl populations than the prairies. Unfortunately, we are seeing wholesale destruction of critical nesting habitat in the prairies. “We need solid support from southern duck hunters to maintain the necessary habitat base in the prairies that will yield fall flights to support liberal seasons. If we continue to lose grasslands and wetlands in the prairies, restrictive seasons could be the norm, and closed seasons could be a real possibility”, Dr. Scott Stephens, director of conservation planning for Ducks Unlimited’s Great Plains Office in Bismarck, North Dakota, said. “Arkansas duck hunters are conservationists, and hunters fund most conservation work,” George Dunklin, Jr., a commissioner for AGFC and unabashed DU supporter, said. “And we know our initial investment will be matched at least four times for use in programs of agencies such as DUC or the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture that return waterfowl back to Arkansas year after year. With that kind of return on our investment why would we not step up and want to be a part of that?” Many waterfowl produced in the prairies, especially mallards, find the bottomland hardwood forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley ideal wintering habitat. However, 80 percent of the MAV forests were cleared for agriculture and other purposes, and over 50 percent of the wetlands have been lost. Restoring habitat throughout Arkansas and the rest of the MAV is a crucial step to ensuring that waterfowl are in good shape when they return to the breeding grounds each year. Much like the life cycle of waterfowl takes them from north to south and back again, Ducks Unlimited’s mission keeps us working from the breeding grounds through the flyways and on to the wintering grounds. No other organization delivers waterfowl conservation at a continental scope. Ducks Unlimited and its partners work hard continent-wide to make certain there are sufficient wetlands to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. Without the support of our members and partners, that mission can never be achieved. For more information: www. ducks.org.
Flooded timber at Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area.
Ducks at the Halowell Reservoir. Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
ON YOUR OWN
DUCK DOG TRAINING
From Day 1 to Opening Day By Logan Thomas
For the avid duck hunter, a good duck dog is one the necessities for a good season. From the day pup comes home from the kennel, training begins. As you read, the key is starting young. The first few months will be full of no’s, swats, and if he or she is an inside dog… potty training. It will get better with
Proper training is key to obtaining a good duck dog. 18
Fall 2009 • Arkansas Wild
time and age. At some point, pup will need formal training and introduction to birds and gunfire simultaneously. There are many different resources in the form of books, DVDs, and training seminars. Be careful because some people just don’t have time or patience to work with
a pup. If this is the case, swallow your ego and look to contacting a dog trainer. Dogs won’t do what they haven’t been trained to do. For this reason, a trainer is one way of having all your “ducks in a row.” If you decide to go with a trainer, make time if possible to work side-by-side with him/her along with
your dog. This will make the transition she has earned it. between trainer and owner easier on For an enthusiastic retriever, the you and pup. need to start young is very important. The single most important aspect Find a hallway or dead-end space where of having a good duck dog is having there is no escape but to come back to an obedient duck dog. As pup grows you. Find an old sock and tie a knot in it. so will the need for it to be obedient. Tease pup until all it wants is that sock. Not one hunter enjoys having a dog Toss it down the hallway and watch as jump up and down, barking, whining the puppy pounces, grabs, and shakes or running around during a hunt. The reason why – NO DUCK IS GOING TO FLY IN!!! Starting young with obedience is the key and will help with his/her formal training later on. Basic obedience can star t with shor t walks down the road or in the back yard. When walking, the pup will fight the leash but will learn after a day or two that the leash doesn’t hurt. Once the pup gets comfortable to walking on leash, introduction to sit, here, and heel can begin. “Sit” can be accomplished when walking on lead and pulling up on the leash saying sit when his/her back end hits the ground. Praise the pup once a good sit is accomplished. From this point, “here” should be fairly simple. Once pup is steady to “sit”, back away a few feet and squat down saying “here”. Again, PRAISE A little pup. Take your time and praise can eventually you will be able go a long to stretch out 30 feet or way in more. training a “Heel” is probably good duck the most important aspect, dog. can be taught during your daily walks by not letting pup in front of your “non-shooting” the sock. He or she will come back knee. If pup passes that knee turn around because it doesn’t have any other place and walk the other way. The slack in to go. Don’t take the sock away but the leash will draw tight and cause a praise the pup until it drops the sock on discomfort until he/she is beside you its own. Repeat this a few times but not once again. Take note: Work on each so much that pup gets bored or tired. part of obedience until pup is about 90 Eventually an enthusiastic retriever will – 95% proficient on that particular step. emerge. Remember to praise pup every time he/ Introduction to birds should be
done at a very young age to see if pup likes birds. Different techniques can be used to find out. Some people stuff a frozen pigeon in a sock or might throw a freshly killed pigeon around mixed in with bumpers. Which ever way you prefer will get the job done. Make sure that pup is on a check cord or leash to prevent pup from running off to chew on the bird. After the first month or so, take pup to some type of water source and let him/her splash around and play. If pup is reluctant, get some rubber boots or sandals and encourage pup into the water with either a bumper or bird. NEVER try the sink or swim approach, this can almost guarantee a pup that won’t want in the water ever again. Gunfire can be where most mistakes happen and the number one reason for a gun shy dog. Tying a leash around your leg and firing a 12 gauge over pup’s head is a big no-no. Instead have a friend over and let him/her get 100 yards away. He/she needs to throw a bumper or bird following a single .22 blank shot. The bumper is the reward for not hiding underneath one’s truck or nearest hideaway. Eventually the distance should be shortened, but only at a pace where pup is comfortable. The older the pup gets, the longer training sessions pup can handle. Remember we never want to push pup to the point of boredom. We want to make training fun and enjoyable for the dog and us as well. Mix in fun bumpers into your training to keep the enthusiasm and good attitude in your pup. Logan Thomas is the owner and trainer of Breeze Hill Retriever Training in Lakeview. He can be reached by calling 870-404-4870 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arkansas Wild • Fall 2009
Forests have designated trails for ATV use. These trails are designed to provide riders with challenging and scenic routes through a variety of terrain while minimizing impact on sensitive environments. Responsible riders ford streams only at designated crossings, for instance, and never ride in stream beds; they stick to existing trails and avoid riding cross-country or on erosion-prone slopes. Conscientious riders realize that by following rules and keeping their environmental damage to a minimum, they lessen the chance of more restrictive regulations being imposed in the future. In the case of Arkansas’s national forests, some trails are multiple-use, so those on ATVs should watch for horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers. During hunting season, riders are encouraged to wear safety orange on most trails. Many trails are marked with color-coded shapes, and maps are available by contacting the applicable ranger districts. If a rider is looking for beautiful scenery and a place to “get away from it all”, there is a ride for them in Arkansas. Routes such as Brock Creek, Huckleberry Mountain and Mill Creek Trails in the Ozark National Forest and Fourche Mountain, Sugar Creek and Wolf Pen Gap Trails in the Ouachita National Forest attract riders of all skill levels. Four trails within the Ozark NF are designated as multi-use and allow ATV riding: Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail near Mt. Magazine, Mill Creek Trail near Combs, Moccasin Gap Horse Trail near Dover, and Brock Creek Trail near Jerusalem. Together these areas total about 95 miles of loops. National forest trails may be closed to ATVs during various hunting seasons, and there may be restrictions on ATV use around campsites and recreation areas. For the latest information, it’s always best to contact the ranger district having jurisdiction over the trail you’re interested in riding. You can find a list of ranger stations and information on ATV use at www. fs.fed.us/oonf, where you’ll also have access to trail maps. Other public areas with ATV trails include the 31-mile Bear Creek Motorcycle Trail at Lake Greeson,
Things To Bring: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Spare tire A good hydraulic jack (and a piece of thick plywood for a jack base) First aid kit (suntan lotion, insect spray, burn ointment, ace bandage, iodine, bandages) Packable foods - Army surplus stores carry them Compass (or GPS if you can afford one) Regional guidebooks to help you located off-road trails Flashlight or lantern (check the batteries before you go) Waterproof matches Pocketknife Blanket Shovel Towrope 2 boards (about 2-feet long) Aerial or road flares Duct tape Electrical tape Tarp or ground cover At least 1 gallon of water per person Mobile phone (but remember that mobiles have limited coverage) Maps, trail guides Fire extinguisher Air compressor (aerosol “fix-a-flat” works well in a pinch) 2 gallons of water for the radiator (not antifreeze). 1 gallon of engine oil 2-quarts 80/90w gear oil for diff’s and transfer 5 gallons of spare gas/diesel 1-pint brake fluid & funnel for all fluids An axe If you’ll be riding in dunes, take along a flag so people can see you Washer fluid Garbage bags Towels, rags Bungee cords Snow chains with tensions (correct sizes with rubber or spring straps, not cable-chains!) 2 D-ring shackles A recovery strap Tow hooks properly mounted to your 4x4 Gloves Basic tool kit Spark-plug socket Jump leads Tire pressure gauge Some key spare parts 8000-lbs winch and winch kit Appropriate manuals for your vehicle for quick repairs Rain suit Spare warm clothing (even in summer; temperatures fall dramatically after dark)
Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
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Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
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Safety should be top priority of ATV enthusiasts.
ATV safety tips by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission • An ATV is not a toy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no child under 16 be allowed to operate ATVs under any circumstances. If you allow your child to operate an ATV, make sure it is the appropriate size – check the manufacturer’s recommendations – and make sure your child receives ATV safety training.
which begins at Daisy State Park and travels east onto U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land (maps are available at the park visitor center or the Corps office at Murfreesboro) and the northeast section of Craighead Forest Park at Jonesboro, where the ATV area extends from the parking lot on Craighead Forest Road west to South Culberhouse. ATV owners find opportunity on various private properties, as well, where special routes and obstacle courses offer challenging rides. One of the bestknown is Superlift Off Road Vehicle Park near Hot Springs (501-625-3600; www.orvpark.com), where riders have access to 1,254 acres. Other private ATV parks include Byrd’s Adventure Center near Cass (479-667-4066 or 888-520-7301; www.byrdsadventurecenter.com), which hosts many competitive events, and Renegade Ranch near Mena (479-394-3848; www.ouachitarenegaderanch.com). Northwest Arkansas’s Rock Crawler Club (www.rockcrawlers4x4.com) is one of the best-organized of several off-road organizations in the state. By contacting a 4X4 club, beginners can find valuable advice for getting started in the sport.
Trail Etiquette and Rider Responsibilities 1. Never ride around locked gates.
• Wear appropriate clothing when you ride, including gloves, over-theankle boots, long sleeves, long pants, eye protection and an approved helmet.
2. D on’t put your survival skills to the test! Stick to the established path if you’re not familiar with the trail.
• ATVs are not designed to carry multiple riders. Never ride with a passenger on your ATV.
3. D on’t liter! Let’s all do our part to keep Arkansas beautiful!
• Added attachments affect the stability, operating and braking of your ATV and may increase your risk of being injured. Hauling large wildlife can interfere with your control. If you add attachments or transport game on your ATV, special care should be taken with handling and speed. • Always transport firearms unloaded and secured in a case or rack mounted to the ATV. A case will protect your firearm from damage while being transported. ATVs can greatly enhance your hunting trips, or they can be the source of serious or even fatal injuries. Equip yourself with the proper training and use them wisely to ensure many years of enjoyment. 24
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
4. D on’t chase or harass livestock or wildlife. 5. T ake care of your vehicle so it will take care of you! Be sure to have your 4x4 serviced regularly. 6. U se the “Buddy System.” Always take at least one other person and one other vehicle with you. 7. A lways let someone know where you will be riding in case they need to find you later.
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Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
Buffalo The Beauty of the
By Emily Griffin
Buffalo National River 26
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
I exited the interstate and there it was—the most gorgeous view in the world. I was home. Every year my husband’s family makes it a priority to gather in the Ozarks to spend some quality time together. This year we met at the Buffalo National River near Ponca. It didn’t take me long to realize how badly I missed the Ozarks. Growing up in Mountain Home, I frequented the Buffalo National River and fondly remember canoeing, fishing and hiking around the river. After I graduated high school and headed to college, it didn’t take me long to realize how lucky I was to be raised in such a beautiful part of Arkansas. We packed the necessities and headed north. After exiting I-40 and driving the curvy roads you can’t help but wonder if the highway department has a sick sense of humor. As you twist and turn through the mountains the world becomes a simpler place. You see less urbanization and more of God’s creation. The curvy roads only add to the charm of the Ozarks. The Buffalo National River has a mysterious power over those who come in contact with it. The peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking vistas can cause anyone to fall in love with the Buffalo. Thousands visit the river every year to experience its beauty, and thanks to the efforts of Dr. Neil Compton, the seemingly untouched waters continue to lure visitors from around the world. In 1956, the Buffalo River basin was threatened with destruction when the Corps of Engineers renewed plans to build dams that would have turned the free-flowing stream into another large reservoir. Protests by conservationists and fishermen resulted in a sur vey taken by the National Park Service to determine if the river warranted protection. As president of the Ozark Society, Compton launched a campaign to prevent the damming of the river which included appealing to elected officials, taking journalists on float trips, and leading river cleanups. “Save the Buffalo” bumper stickers appeared on vehicles across Arkansas and surrounding states. On March 1, 1972, Congress passed legislation, which was signed by President Richard Nixon, to create the
Buffalo National River, the nation’s first national river. Because of Compton’s efforts, people today have the chance to enjoy the beautiful Buffalo in its natural condition—its tall bluffs, gravel bars, streamside forests, clear water, and smallmouth bass still in place. Early History of the Buffalo River The first settlers in the Buffalo River country came primarily from the southern Appalachians and early records show they were establishing homes here as early as 1825. They were a rugged, self-sufficient group. They had to be. Those who find driving the winding mountain roads tortuous today might attempt to visualize what it was like to cross them with all you owned in the world loaded on a wagon pulled by a team of oxen and only vague trails to follow through the forest. For many, the river was their highway. It was the best route into the backwoods of Newton and Searcy Counties and they poled rafts up the White River, then up the Buffalo, searching for river bottoms that could be laboriously hand cleared with axe and cross-cut saw to establish farms and communities. Before them were the Native Americans, the first probably in the Paleo period between 20,000 and 9,000 BC. After them came those who would be known as the Rock Shelter people. Remnants of their occupation can still be found in south-facing bluff shelters. By the time the white settlers began pushing west into the Ozarks, they found it was the established territory of the plains tribes and there is established documentation showing the Cherokee, Choctaw, Fox, Kickapoo, Sack and Osage tribes either lived in or traded and hunted in the area. Towns sprang up early. Records show Jasper was an established town by 1840. One of the first residents was John M. Ross, a Choctaw, who became the first postmaster and was also the first county clerk, serving from 1842-1846. Ross became postmaster in 1843, when Jasper was made the first post office in Newton County. His salary for the year of 1845 was $7.09. The rugged terrain kept Ozarks settlers isolated and it was an isolation that endured almost up to the begin-
Hawksvill Craig overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon near the Buffalo National River.
ning of World War I. They learned to make what they needed and the old skills have survived. Oak furniture, handcrafted baskets, and pieced quilts were some of the homemade things every cabin had which Ozark artisans still craft with pride today. In the post-war years, communities grew and schools and churches were built. In Newton County, now there are four schools, but there once were more then 100 one-room schoolhouses. Teachers walked from wherever they
lived to teach and, if it was any distance, boarded during the week with one of the local families. At the turn of the centur y, a mining boom provided employment for hundreds as lead and zinc were taken from the hills. Later, lumber camps were the large employers as tons of stave bolts were cut. Many older residents can remember growing up in the tents of logging camps. Historical information provided by Don Rush of McRush Communications.
5 Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
NEW ARKANSAS WATER TRAILS PROGRAM Creates Statewide System of Canoe Trails Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Paddling is one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the nation and Arkansas is prime territory for it.
Though Arkansas is overflowing with water trails for canoeists and kayakers to explore, chances are most people only know about rivers such as the Buffalo, the Cossatot, or the Mulberry. Arkansas Water Trails is aiming to change this scenario. The new program, initiated by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC), has been launched to create a system of water trails throughout the state. “Canoe trails make wilderness areas accessible to ever yone,” said Debbie Doss, Conservation Chair of the Arkansas Canoe Club (ACC). “Arkansas has unique treasures that many other places no longer have.” Doss said in the U.S., the diversity of aquatic life found in Ozark Mountain streams is rivaled only by Alaska. “In addition we also have the largest 28
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
untouched Big Woods wetland outside of the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana,” she said. “These are beautiful amazing areas full of wildlife that are mostly unseen by anyone but hunters and fishermen.” According to the Outdoor Industry Association, paddling is one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the nation. And the state is prime territory for it. “Arkansas has more than 90,000 miles of rivers, streams and bayous,” said Kirsten Bartlow, director of Arkansas Water Trails and Watchable Wildlife Coordinator for AGFC. According to Bartlow, routes like the Buffalo are well known and inundated with paddlers but other water trails are harder to find out about and are mostly known either via word of mouth or by talking to local paddlers. “There are lots of water trails in Arkansas but many don’t know what they are or how
to find them,” said Bartlow. “There wasn’t a source to get this information.” Bartlow collaborated with contacts at the ACC to do something about the situation. From this, the Arkansas Water Trails project was born. This is a passion project for Bartlow, who grew up in Kansas and has been paddling since early childhood when she and her father went out on canoeing adventures. Due to the wealth of routes in Arkansas, she started getting into the sport more. According to Bartlow, unlike hiking or biking trails that have to be built, water routes are already there and “our job is to get the infrastructure in place.” This includes providing route signs and trail maps for a trail. Once a route is part of the program, “we need people to be the eyes and ears of the trail,” she said. “We want the communities to be involved – it’s their trail.”
Bartlow said an added benefit of the program was an avenue to bring tourism (such as nature tourism) to many of the towns that host the trails. “One of the best ways to observe wildlife is from the water,” she said. Though whitewater paddling is a seasonal sport, flatwater paddling (the type found on these trails) can be utilized year round. Trails are added to the program as site assessments are completed and maps are developed. The first route included in the program (the dedication took place this April) was the 7.8-mile Wattensaw Bayou (near Hazen) that winds through cypress and water tupelo trees on its way to the White River. Future water trails are being considered. Possible trails include Arkansas Post, the Cache River, Bayou Bartholomew, and Bayou Meto. The stretch of Bayou Meto that flows through Jacksonville is known as an “urban” canoe trail. An “urban” canoe trail, as opposed to one like Wattensaw, is one that passes through a predominately urban area and is close enough to the city to make it possible for people to use after work or after school. “Like any nature trail it gives the community a chance to re-connect with the environment with the added benefit of being relatively easy to maintain,” said David McClanahan, Central Chapter President of the ACC. McClanahan said the Bayou Meto trail is being created and cleaned up via a collaborative effort led by students known as the North Pulaski High Stream Team. The students are part of the EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) program at North Pulaski High in Jacksonville and are carrying out the project with help from the AGFC and the ACC. Around four miles of the route are completed via which canoeists and kayakers can view large cypress trees, beaver dams, and wildlife. According to McClanahan there are numerous urban trails within cities that are still wild. “There is already a trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park along the Little Maumelle River and another under development on Fourche Creek in Little Rock,” he said. Whether the water trails are located in urban areas or secluded in the midst of a bayou, a main goal of the program is to not only spread the word on the
variety of trails in Arkansas, but also help protect the state’s rivers, streams, and bayous. According to Doss, hunters and anglers have been instrumental in preserving the big woods areas. “Whitewater boaters, many of them in the Ozark Society, have also been involved in saving beautiful mountain streams like the Buffalo River and Lee Creek,” she said. “We have worked to save these things because we know what they are worth. The human spirit is recharged by being alive in nature. We want as many people as possible to experience the Arkansas that we love…I believe the trail system we are beginning to build now will someday be the best
in the nation.” If you’d like to become a partner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and create a water trail in your community, visit the Arkansas Water Trails homepage for more information at: www.agfc.com/educationclass/programs/awt.aspx or e-mail Kirsten Bartlow at kpbartlow@agfc. state.ar.us. The Arkansas Canoe Club was created in 1976 with a handful of members in Fayetteville and Little Rock. Since then, the club has grown to around 1200 members with seven chapters in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. For more information on the Arkansas Canoe Club, visit www. arkansascanoeclub.com.
AGFC LAWS FOR CANOES, KAYAKS AND INNER TUBES LIFE JACKETS Every vessel must have one type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device for each person on board. All life vests must be: • United States Coast Guard-approved, • in good and serviceable condition, and • of proper size Children 12 and under must wear a life jacket, which must be securely fastened while on board any vessel.
GLASS CONTAINERS ARE PROHIBITED Except for containers for prescribed medicinal substances, no glass containers are allowed on board a canoe, kayak, inner tube or other vessel easily susceptible to swamping, tipping or rolling within the banks of Arkansas's navigable waterways. • Paddlers are encouraged to remove glass previously discarded by others, and will not be charged with a violation as long as the removed glass is secured in a trash container until take-out or a suitable trash receptacle is available.
FASTEN COOLER LIDS Foods and beverages on board a canoe, kayak, inner tube or other vessel easily susceptible to swamping tipping or rolling must be kept in a container that seals or locks in a way that prevents them from spilling into the water.
ATTACH AND USE MESH LITTER BAG Anyone transporting food or beverages in a canoe or similar craft must have a sturdy, sealable trash container or mesh bag affixed to the boat. All trash must be kept in the container until it can be safely or lawfully discarded in a trash receptacle. • Paddlers are encouraged to remove trash materials that have been left by others and will not receive a fine for trash that they pick up which is too large to be transported in their trash container.
FLOATING BEVERAGE HOLDERS REQUIRED Beverages that are not securely contained in a cooler or trash container must be placed in a floating holder (can koozie) or other device which will prevent it from sinking beneath the surface of the water. Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
CALLING ALL QUACKERS
Stuttgart's duck-calling contest brings vistiors from across the globe. By Emily Griffin Information and photos provided by the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce
While many have competed, few have earned the title of the World’s Champion Duck Caller during the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest as part of the Wings Over the Prairie Festival held each year in Stuttgart since 1936. The festival is held ever y Thanksgiving weekend in “the rice and duck capital of the world.” To qualify for the contest, a contestant must win a preliminary state or regional duck-calling contest sanctioned by the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce and held in one of thirtyeight states. Seventeen people participated in the first contest in 1936. The winner was Thomas E. Walsh of Greenville, Mississippi, who won the contest by producing the sounds in his throat rather than using a duck call. His prize was a hunting coat valued at $6.60. The only other contestant to win first prize without use of a duck call was Herman Callouet of Greenville, Mississippi, who won the event in 1942. The only woman to ever win the contest was Pat Peacock of Stuttgart, who won in both 1955 and 1956. In 1947, the contest began offering a cash prize of $1,000. Today’s winner receives a prize package worth more than $15,000. 30
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Each contestant is required to perform a ninety-second routine. Each routine must include a hail call, feed call, mating call, and comeback call. A panel of five judges scores each contestant, with the high and low score thrown out. Cumulative scores are totaled after three rounds. Contestants can compete in several other divisions, including a Women’s World, Junior World, Intermediate World, and Junior Women’s. A scholarship contest, the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest, is open to any high school senior in the United States, with the top four finishers receiving scholarships. The Champion of Champions Duck Calling Contest is held every five years, inviting former world winners to compete against each other to determine the best of the best. Since the first contest was held, the yearly event has grown to become a truly national and international contest. The contest grew in part because of Stuttgart’s location in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, the traditional migratory route for ducks flying south for the winter from Canada. The ducks are also attracted to the area because the rice grown there provides an excellent food source for their journey.
The Wings Over the Prairie Festival isn’t just for those looking to earn a world title. The festival is packed full of activities for everyone! The following is a schedule of the events taking place this year. NOVEMBER 21 (SATURDAY)- 7:00 p.m. Crowning of Queen Mallard & Jr. Queen Mallard, Stuttgart Jr. High Gym NOVEMBER 22 (SUNDAY) - 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.-”WINGS OVER THE PRAIRIE FESTIVAL” Open House. Visit the novelty shops in Stuttgart’s unique Downtown Shopping District. NOVEMBER 25 (WEDNESDAY) -3:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.- Carnival & Midway Armband Day Sponsored by Scott Manufacturing on Main Street, 6:00 p.m. - Youth Duck Calling Contest Sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank Featuring Butch Richenback Stuttgart Stage on Main Street. *This contest is only for children that attended the classes conducted by Butch Richenback NOVEMBER 26 (THURSDAY) 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.- Carnival & Midway NOVEMBER 27 (FRIDAY) 8:00 a.m. - Registration Opens for all contests 10:00 a.m. - Carnival & Midway. 10:00 a.m. Children’s Duck Calling Class. Sponsored by Riceland Foods- Children 4-8 - Meet at Chamber office- Bring your own duck call. 10:00 a.m.Arts & Crafts Fair Sponsored by CenturyTel, Closes at 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - Commercial Exhibits, Sponsored by Riceland Foods. Closes at 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - Sporting Collectibles Show Sponsored by Wal-Mart. Closes at 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - Off Road Village. Sponsored by Dodge. Closes at 8:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest Open to any high school senior in the United States. 1:00 p.m. - Junior Women’s World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest - Main Street Stage 2:00 p.m. - Intermediate World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest- Main Street Stage 3:30 p.m. - Last Chance Regional Duck Calling Contest, Main Street Stage. 8:00 p.m. - Sportsman’s Party Events Etc. 711 E. Superior Street Featuring: Tragikly White NOVEMBER 28 (SATURDAY) 8:00 a.m. - Great 10K Race Sponsored by Baptist Health - Stuttgart, Race begins at 7th and Main 8:00 a.m. - Registration World’s Contest, Women’s World, and Junior World’s 9:00 a.m. - Carnival and Midway, Closes at 10:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - Arts & Crafts Fair, Closes at 8:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - Commerical Exhibits, Closes at 8:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - Sporting Collectibles Show, Closes at 8:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - Off-Road Village, Closes at 8:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. Junior World’s Championship Duck Calling, Main Street Stage 11:00 a.m.- Senior World Championship Duck Calling Contest Sponsored by Delta Waterfowl, Main Street Stage. 11:00 a.m. - 29th Annual World Championship Duck Gumbo Cookoff Sponsored by Bud Light and Ludwig Distributing Company Producers Rice Mill parking lot on Park Avenue MUST BE 21 YEARS OLD 1:00 p.m. - Women’s World’s Chamionship Duck Calling Contest, Main Street Stage 2:00 p.m. - 74th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest, Main Street Stage.
Come experience the Arkansas Delta, its Delta Byways is proud of the 12 Arkansas State Parks in our region. Travelers to the Arkansas Delta Byways region contribute millions of dollars to Arkansas’s economy annually: Total Travel Expenditures for 2007: $553,334,234 • Travel Generated JOBS in 2007: 6770 • 2007 State Taxes Paid: $33,927,994 • 2007 Local Taxes Paid: $10,572,422 The rich soil that makes up the Arkansas Delta
Upcoming Outdoor Festivals and Events:
was deposited from across the nation by the power of the mighty Mississippi River. In that spirit, people from all over are traveling to the Arkansas Delta Byways tourism region to see the people, places and history that make up this fertile landscape. Wings Over the Prairie Festival
Each fall, a rare visitor returns to the Arkansas Delta – the Yellow Rail. Known for its elusiveness, the barren rice fields of the Mississippi Flyway give birders a better opportunity to spy the secretive bird. Also be on the lookout for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the Brown-headed Nuthatch and the Fish Crow. If angling is more your game, head out to our oxbows, lakes and rivers. Our waters are plentiful with catfish, bass, bream and crappie. Hunters will find record-breaking deer in our woods. Duck hunters flock to the Arkansas Delta Byways region for its world-renowned waterfowl.
Stuttgart, November, Thanksgiving Weekend
World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest Stuttgart, November, Thanksgiving Weekend
Annual Coon Supper Gillett, Friday, Jan. 13
Antique Power Show Brinkley, March, 2nd weekend
Hikers, riders and outdoor enthusiasts have lots of activities to choose from at our state parks, natural areas, federal refuges and a national forest. Enjoy the scenic beauty that can only be found in the Arkansas Delta Byways region.
www.deltabyways.com “This ad paid for with a combination of state funds and Arkansas Delta Byways regional association funds.” Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
Ouachita National Forest
Cypress at the White River Refuge
NOVEMBER 6-8: 19th Annual Klassy Kruzers Fun Run, Lakewood Inn in 1-7: Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship, Crossett. Enjoy a street rod show, games, food, wipe out, 50/50, door prizes Lake Dardanelle State Park, Russellville. For more information on this and goody bags to entrants. A devotion will take place Sunday morning. For fishing tournament contact Debra Talley at 888-203-6222 or visit amerimore information contact Danny Barton at 870-364-3842. canbassanglers.com. 6: Rockin’ with the Razorbacks Pep Rally, Arkansas Music 1-15: Arkansas’s Got Talent Gospel Music Talent Search, 101 Pavilion in Fayetteville. This pep rally is in preparation for the South W. Rock Street in Van Buren. This event will be aired live in Fayetteville Carolina game on Nov. 7. The event is free and open to the public and on Channel 18, CATV, and is produced by the Baker Family Productions will include photo opportunities, the Razorbug, Tusk II, face painting, Inc. Semi-finalists will sing and the viewing audience can vote online. The cheerleading, athletes, coaches and much more! For more information visit fayettevillear.com. grand finale’ will air and announce the winners. Grand prize is 30 minutes 6-7: Ozark Heartland Arts and Crafts Show, Brandon Burlsworth of studio time, trophy and certificate. Entry fee is $65. For more information contact Deborah Baker at 479-719-7853 or visit freewebs.com/arkansasYouth Center in Harrison. Show will open at 9 a.m. each day. For more gottalent/. information contact Kelly Holt at 870-741-7388. 1-30: Arkansas Craft Gallery featured works by Dahlstedt Pottery, 6-8: 7th Annual Foothills Festival, Main Street in Black Rock. Enjoy 104 E. Main Street in Mountain View. Arkansas Potters David and Becki a Ham and Bean Supper to benefit the senior citizens Dahlstedt have combined their talents, skills, and interests in the produccenter. Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast, tion of their highly acclaimed and extensive line of fine pottery. Their work Show and Shine includes functional pieces that are made to be used, as well as grace the home. Their work has been included in many regional shows as well as national galleries. For more information contact Pat Caston at 870-269-4120 or visit arkansascraftguild.org. 2-9: Digital Photography for Kids, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Mondays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Ages 8-15. See the world in a whole new way with digital photography. What part should I focus on? What angle do I want? Learn how to use your camera, download pictures, share, and send them to family and friends. Youths ages 8-15 can enjoy fun, step-by-step lessons. Bring your camera and your enthusiasm, along with your instruction manual and memory card. For more information contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at 479-788-7220 or visit uafortsmith.edu/ Lifelonglearning. 5 - 2 8 : 3 3 rd A n n u a l P h o t o g r a p h y Competition and Exhibition at the Fort Smith Art Center. Deadline for entries is September 1, 2009. Opening reception Thursday, November 5, Participate in the Dripstone from 5-7 p.m. Display your photographic talent! You Photo Tour in Blanchard Springs could win a part of over $1,600 in prize money to be Caverns on November 22. awarded in the Fort Smith Art Center/Photographic Antique Car Show, Alliance Annual Photography Competition. Exhibit gospel singers, performers sing and hours 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. For dance, beauty pageant, music service on Sunday. Also more information contact Katherine Applegate at enjoy Lawn mower races-heat on Friday for amateurs, professionals on 479-784-2787 or visit fortsmithartcenter.org. Saturday afternoon. Quilt Show, the Black Rock Museum will be open, 5-7: Carving of the Ouachitas Motorcycle Rally, Iron Mountain, Studio Dancers, and musical group Bottom of the Barrel Boys. Wrestling Hatfield. Scenic, guided, day rides in western and central Arkansas, and will also be an event with admission $5 for adults and $3 for children (6-15) eastern Oklahoma. Challenging Dual-sport motorcycle and Quad rides. and the Fire Department will sponsor a fund raiser buffet meal on Sunday RC Car Races. Register now for one of the limited spots in the popular at noon at the Fire Department. Cost is $5. For more information contact Dual Sport Training or the overnight Sport Touring Ride. Camping and Lesia Phillips at 870-878-6639. concessions are available on-site. GPS Coordinates 34.525501, -94.324649. 6: Every first Friday of the month, Downtown Bentonville pops with Admission is $15 for adults, $7.50 for children, or $35 family. For more inforan amazing array of live music and theater, art, food and fun! Festivities mation contact Misty Bradley at 870-389-6196 or visit cmausa.org/events. take place from 5-8 p.m. For more information visit downtownbentonville. 5-8: 62nd Annual Original Ozark Folk Festival, Basin Spring org. 6: Annual Fall Bazaar at Heritage House in North Little Rock. Park in Eureka Springs. Enjoy Folk music, folk arts, folk crafts and much The bazaar benefits the senior and handicapped citizens at Heritage House more! For more information contact Eric Young at 479-253-2586 or visit EurekaSprings.org. and the SW Bowker House. There will be hand-made crafts and food items 36
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
for sale. For more information contact Artis Boykin at 501-758-9941 or visit in Little Rock. Over 4000 used books for sale, including paperback fiction, northlittlerock.travel. hardback fiction, cook books, crafts books, non-fiction, and some audio 6-7: Lewis and Clark OZARK Adventure Race, Springdale. This race visual items. Most items cost $1 or less. Admission is free. For more informawill be a challenging adventure race course in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest tion contact Riley Middaugh at 501-954-9281 or visit lutheranhigh.org. Arkansas that will consist of orienteering, mountain biking, trekking, canoeing, 7: Lewis and Clark URBAN Adventure Race, Springdale. The rope elements, and mystery events. Solo, two-person and three-person divirace will consist of orienteering, mountain biking, trekking, water elements, sions will navigate using a map and compass to Checkpoints (CP) along the entire course. The course is approximately 50 to 70 miles long. Competitors should be prepared for single-track mountain biking trails, flowing water, hilly terrain, rope elements and team building events. The course will cover wooded and rugged terrain in Northwest Arkansas. For more information visit ozarkadventurerace.com. 6-7: 39th Annual Arkansas Valley Arts and Crafts Fair, Pope County Fairgrounds in Russellville. See vendors from all over From the thrill of wildlife watching Arkansas and surrounding states, display encounters to the rush of adrenaline only hand-crafted items for sale. The craft fair pumping extreme adventure, go was formerly held at the ATU Coliseum until 2005 when we relocated to the Pope County wild at an Arkansas state park. Fairgrounds. For more information contact Charge the Class IV rapids at Laura Deniz at 479-641-1828. Cossatot River. Hang glide at 6: Sandwiching in History Tour of Mount Nebo. Go rock climbing at W.W. Fuess House, 2315 South Summit Mount Magazine. Experience your Street in Little Rock. The tour starts at noon. During this Sandwiching in History series wild side in the State Parks of event we will visit the W.W. Fuess House at Arkansas, The Natural State. 2315 S. Summit Street in Little Rock. This is an excellent example of an American Foursquare house in the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District. For more information contact the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program at 501-324-9880. 7: Battle of the Ravine—Ouachita Baptist University vs. Henderson State University, A.U. Williams Field, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, both of Arkadelphia, to compete in the most anticipated and exciting football game of the season! For more information call 501-537-8485. 7: Star Party, Lake Bennett Beach Millwood Lake in Greenbrier. The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society will set up telescopes for you to view the different celestial bodies and be on hand to answer your questions. This is a great way to connect to the outdoor world with your family and friends. Contact the park for further details. For more information call 501-679-2098. 7: Cemetery Symposium, Petit Jean Coop, 672 Airport Road in Marshall. Listen to a series of speakers on Arkansas cemetery law, locating gravesites physically and legally preserving old cemeteries. Admission is $10. Check out our 52 Arkansas State Parks today. For more information contact James J. Johnston at 479-442-3691 or visit ancestorfair.us. 888-AT-PARKS • ArkansasStateParks.com 7: Used Book Sale, Lutheran High School
e x pe ri e n c e
Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
Be a part of the Carving of the Ouachitas Motorcycle Rally on November 5-7.
rope work and mystery events. Individual and two-person teams will navigate using a map and compass to Checkpoints (CP) along the entire course. The course will cover wooded and urban terrain in Fayetteville and Springdale city limits. Support crews are not allowed. A 2 to 4 hour course which will cover 6 to 10 miles of hiking/running terrain and 15 to 20 miles of biking trails. Competitors should be prepared for single-track mountain biking, hilly terrain, rope elements and mystery events. This course is geared to people looking for a challenge, but that will not take them outside the city limits. For more information, visit urbanadventurerace.com. 7: Fall Foliage Festival, Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine. Autumn in Arkansas is usually marked by fantastic fall foliage. Here at Lake Ouachita State Park, we are surrounded by the undeveloped land of the Ouachita National Forest, meaning the scenery is fantastic. This weekend we will offer lake tours, guided hikes and other programs to help you discover some of Arkansas’s splendid natural beauty. Contact the park for a schedule. For more information call 017-993-9366. 7-8: Gaston’s Fly Fishing School, Gaston’s Conference Lodge in Lakeview. The goal is to provide you with the very best instruction and quality fly fishing education known today. We limit the number of students to 6 people per course. For more information contact Logan Thomas at 870-431-5202 or visit gastons.com. 7-8 10th Annual Mobility Impaired Deer Hunt, Johnson County Waterfowl Rest Area on Lake Dardanelle in Clarksville. Five hunters will be selected from a random drawing permit application for this special hunt. Hunters will have assistance from Corps of Engineers and Arkansas Game and Fish Personnel. Hunts will take place on the Johnson County Waterfowl Rest Area on Lake Dardanelle. Call for applications. For more information contact Greg Moe at 479-968-5008. 7: Fall Gun and Knife Show, Oldy Hardy Gym in Hardy. The historic gym will be filled to capacity with dealers from across the Ozarks. This show has proven to be a big event for those interested in buying, selling, or trading new guns, old guns, civil war memorabilia, handmade turkey calls, and much more. For more information contact Kim Wilson at 870-856-3571. 7: 4th Annual Greers Ferry Bass Challenge, Devils Fork Park in Greers Ferry. Bass fishing tournament open event -- $500. First prize plus percentage of entry fees, guaranteed 90% pay out Big Bass prize included in per boat entry fee. Kid friendly with adult in boat. For more information call 501-825-7188 or visit greersferry.com. 8: Webb Civil War and Antique Collection, Prairie Grove Battlefield. Visit the Prairie Grove Battlefield 1-5 p.m. to view the Webb Civil War & Antique Collection. Local residents and dedicated park volunteers Ann & C.W. Webb will display and discuss an array of items from their personal collections of Civil War & antique kitchenware. Admission is free. The Prairie Grove Battlefield State 38
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
Park is on U.S. 62 in Prairie Grove. For more information visit arkansasstateparks.com/prairiegrovebattlefield. 11: Eagle Watch Tour, Lake Ouachita State Park in Mountain Pine. Lake Ouachita provides remarkable habitat for wintering bald eagles. Join us November through February aboard our covered tour boat in search of these magnificent raptors. Sightings are not guaranteed, but on most tours we do spot eagles plus a variety of wintering and migrating waterfowl. Dress warmly and bring binoculars if you can. Make reservations and purchase tickets at the visitor center. For more information call 501-767-9366. 12-14: Tribal Trails, Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. The Pahsetopa family shares Native American dancing and storytelling. For more information contact Beth Nelson at 501-396-7061. 12-14: Fall Bluegrass Festival, Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View. This annual event is held at the Ozark Folk Center auditorium and is hosted and sponsored by the Mountain View Bluegrass Association. Contact the association for a complete list of performers. For more information call 800-4552704 or visit mountainviewbluegrass.com. 13-14: 29th Annual Craftsfest, Baxter County Fairgrounds, Mountain Home. Juried craft show for non-commercial crafts to show and sell unique handmade items. Breakfast and lunch will be available. Hourly drawings will take place during the show. Admission is free. For more information contact Lorna Newburn at 870-404-7742. 13: Beyond Boundaries “Mane Event” at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. Beyond Boundaries hosts the 3rd Annual “Mane Event” at 7 p.m. Festivities include the work of local artists and other unique offerings as part of live and silent auctions. New to the evening’s line up will be live music by local band “Brothers from Other Mothers.” For ticket information contact Angela Rogers Group at 501-835-3399 or visit beyondboundariesar.com. 13-14: 10th Annual Helping Hands Craft Show, Saline County Fairgrounds in Benton. Enjoy all handmade items including luggage tags, jewelry, purses, wooden yard items, and more. See crafters from all over the state. Door Prizes will be available. For more information contact Elsie Kelloms at 501-778-6609. 14: American Revival—Celebrating the New Stars of American Roots Music, Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Drawing from the worlds of acoustic, folk, country and bluegrass, American Revival brings you a taste of the most exciting young artists in these genres today. Already well known across the country from playing such prestigious events as Telluride, MerleFest, the Grand Ole Opry and Prairie Home Companion, American Revival brings The Dixie Bee-Liners, Sierra Hull, and Uncle Earl together for the first time. For more information call 479-443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org. 15: Northwest Arkansas Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, Fayetteville. Jingle Bell Run/Walk® is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving. For more information contact Amber Garrett at 501-664-7242 or visit arkansasjinglebellrun.org. 17: Jonesboro Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, Jonesboro. Jingle Bell Run/Walk® is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 2 mile route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving. For more information contact Amber Garrett at 501-664-7242 or visit arkansasjinglebellrun.org. 18: Not a Good Sign—A Backroads Photographic Love Affair, Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale. There will be a noontime program by photographer Don House. Admission is free. For more information contact Susan Young at 479-750-8165 or visit springdalear.gov/ shiloh. 20-22: 10th Annual 2009 Classic Car Cruise, Cash’s White River Hoedown, Mountain View. Enjoy a fun weekend for car enthusiasts to come to Mountain. View and see some beautiful cars. A two-hour cruise starts at 10 a.m. from Cash’s White River Hoedown then at 7 p.m. the Band will play some 50s and 60s favorites. Admission is $15 for adults, and $5 for children over six.
21-28: 74th Annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival, Main Street in Stuttgart. Experience duck calling contests, arts & crafts, commercial exhibits, off-road vehicles, carnival and midway, Great 10K Duck Race, World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off, Queen Mallard and Junior Queen Mallard pageants, and youth duck calling classes. For more information call 870-673-1602. 21: Sharp County Extension Homemakers Bazaar and Cultural Arts Workshop, Historick Hardy Gym, Hardy. For more information call Nina Thornton at 870-856-3811 or visit oldhardytown.com. 21: Northwest Arkansas Trail Running Series, Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs. This event is hosted by LIART Sports, a nonprofit organization with the goal of encouraging the use of our trails, by administering trail events. Event Distances: 9 mile run; 3 mile fun run/hike. For more information visit liartsports.com. 21: Astronomy Program, Hobbs State Park Conservation Area in Rogers. The Astronomy Program take place from 4-7:30 p.m. Meet at the Hobbs multi-use trailhead on Townsend Ridge Road. Designed for beginning astronomers, learn about different telescopes and the basics of nightsky viewing during this interactive program. View hard-to-see stellar phenomena through highpowered telescopes provided by guest presenters from the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society. You are welcome to bring your own telescope. Bring a flashlight with a red cloth or red balloon over the lens, binoculars, folding chairs, questions and enthusiasm. All ages and groups welcome! Admission is free. Hobbs State Park Conservation Area is located at 21392 East Highway 12 in Rogers. For more information visit arkansasstateparks. com/honnsstateparkconservationarea/. 21-22: 21st Annual Eureka Springs Fall Antique Show and Sale, Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center, Eureka Springs. More than 57 dealers from 16 states bring antiques and collectibles of all varieties. On November 20 preview showing/wine & cheese from 5:30-7 p.m. For more information contact Dave or Jane Baker at 479-244-5167 or visit eurekaspringsantiqueshows.com. 22: November Dripstone Photo Tour, Blanchard Springs Caverns Visitor Information Center in Mountain View. Photography Tour of Dripstone Trail - Join us for a special opportunity to photograph the upper level of Blanchard Springs Caverns. Tours limited to first 10 people who return advance payment. Tours meet at the Visitor Center at noon and will photograph for 4 hours. Tripods welcome; not an instructional tour. Light sweater or jacket recommended. Tours are by reservation only. Call 870-7572211 or 1-888-757-2246 for rates and/or reservations. Admission is $20. 26: Rumble on the Ridge, Mustang Area in Forrest City. Four Arkansas teams will make up half of the eight-team tournament bracket. Out-of-state teams this year include Russellville, AL; Liberty Tech, TN; Cleveland Eastside, MS; and St. Thomas More, LA. This event showcases some of the best talent from around the area. Please join us for some spectacular games. For more information contact Bill Baxter at 870-633-0780.
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201 S. Shackleford Rd. Little Rock, AR 72211 501.223.3000 Toll-Free 866.276.6648 Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
Spring turkey season dates set by AGFC LITTLE ROCK – For the fourth consecutive year, commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have agreed that a shorter season is needed to match gobbler harvest to recent below-average turkey brood production. It also will allow more hens to breed and start nesting before hunters take to the woods. The season framework was approved after a review of recent harvests, brood surveys and gobbling chronology data along with input from turkey hunters. Commissioners also approved adding two zones on Arkansas lands east of the Mississippi River. Zone 17A will follow the season frameworks and bag limits of adjacent Tennessee lands, while Zone 17B will follow season frameworks for adjacent Mississippi lands. A Saturday opening day amendment was approved in a close vote. The proposal that came out of committee called for a Monday opener of the spring turkey season. The vote was 4-3 in favor of the Saturday opener. Below-average turkey brood production has The spring 2010 turkey season youth hunt will be April 3-4 for prompted the AGFC to shorten the turkey most of the state. The youth hunt in zones 17 and 17A will be March hunting season, again. 27-28, and zone 17B will be March 6-12. The statewide spring turkey season will be April 10-27 in zones 1, 2, 3, 4B, 5, 5B, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9 and 10; April 10-20 in zones 4, 4A, 5A and 9A, April 3-20 in zone 17, April 3-May 16 in zone 17A, and March 13-May 2 in zone 17B. Zone 1A will be closed. The bag limit for the spring season will be the same as last year’s turkey season. Individual limit of two gobblers or bearded turkeys for spring season in turkey zones 1, 2, 3, 4B, 5, 5B, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 9, 10 and 17; one gobbler or bearded turkey in turkey zones 4, 4A, 5A and 9A. No more than one legal turkey may be taken per day, no more than one Jake (sub-adult male) may be taken per season and no more than two legal turkeys may be taken during the spring season in any combination of zones. In zone 17A, hunters will be limited to four bearded turkeys with no more than one legal turkey per day. In zone 17B, the limit will be three adult gobblers (or gobblers with at least a six-inch beard) with no more than one adult gobbler taken per day.
AGFC app now available for Apple iPhone users LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s new iPhone app is now available through the Apple App Store under the “Utilities” category. You can also find the application by searching for “Arkansas Game and Fish Commission” in the App Store. The AGFC is the first state conservation agency in the nation to develop and release an iPhone application with the ability to check game and search important hunting and fishing information. iPhone users will be able to check their harvest, view season regulations and bag limits, get weekly fishing reports, purchase hunting and fishing licenses as well as get up to the minute news alerts. Links to the AGFC’s Twitter and Facebook pages also are included. Other features included in the iPhone application include a personal trophy case to upload pictures of trophy fish or game to show off to your buddies using email and Facebook. There also will be a complete list of state fishing records including pictures and a fish finder species guide. Down the road, the AGFC will be adding a “Near Me” feature that takes advantage of the phone’s GPS location services to provide hunting zone and WMA information and mapping, bag limit details and fishing opportunities in the vicinity of the user.
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
Arkansas deer harvest: 70 years of onward and upward LITTLE ROCK—From the low three figures to a steady six figures – that’s the story of Arkansas’s deer harvest records. Numerous hunters in the state, sometimes after an unproductive session in the woods, many grumble that “deer hunting just isn’t what it was in the old days.”The statistics are not on their side, however. Many other hunters realistically realize that the state has many, many more deer here in 2009 than it did a couple of generations back.They may also have gripes about not enough deer in this area, few bucks in that county, too small racks on the bucks somewhere else. But the numbers are indisputable – Arkansas deer are plentiful, although not to everyone’s satisfaction. The first year of official checking of deer taken Arkansas deer harvests by hunters by the have steadily increased Arkansas Game in recent years. and Fish Commission was 1938. Picture that autumn.The state and the nation were still in the grips of the Great Depression. Many Arkansans sought deer for the most basic of objectives. They needed food on the table. That hunting season, 203 were checked by hunters with AGFC’s representatives. The economy was bleak, but restoration of Arkansas’s deer had been underway for more than a decade, most as the efforts may seem today. Deer “farms” were in operation in several locations. Deer were being relocated to places where they were absent and had been scarce for years since the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is a reasonable assumption that some deer were taken by hunters in the fall of 1938 and were not checked, but were taken straight to kitchen use. The next year, 1939, there were 540 deer checked as information spread around the state about this new requirement for hunters. In 1940, just 408 deer were checked, and in 1941, 433 deer were checked. These totals seem tiny compared to recent years of Arkansas hunting. Last season, the 2008 hunt that stretched into early
2009, 184,991 deer were tallied by Arkansas hunters, a total second only to the peak season of 1999 when 194,687 deer were logged across the state in records of all three hunting methods archery, muzzle-loader and modern gun. Observers of Arkansas deer hunting can come up with a number of qualifiers. Illegal hunting, meaning deer not checked as required along with the outright poaching and night-hunting, is present today as it was in 1938. Unknown, of course, is the extent of these illegal takings of deer. Does poaching account for a small percentage of the deer taken each year or a large amount? Deer hunting numbers rose steadily from the early years, especially after the AGFC was reorganized into its present form by Amendment 35 of the Arkansas Constitution which went into effect in 1945. From the 1,687 deer checked that year, the state total was 5,122 just five years later. Fifteen years later, in 1960, the deer harvest total was 15,000. Deer harvest growth continued through the 1960s and see-sawed a bit in the 1970s as the first steps toward hunting of female deer, does, in some areas began. Some protests came forth after the 1978 season when 43,452 deer were checked. Doe hunting was reduced, and in 1979 the total for the state was 36,074. About this time, more tailored deer hunting regulations were crafted by the AGFC, allowing for more hunting days and more taking of does in areas where deer had become plentiful. Restricted rules were in effect for areas of lesser deer numbers. It was 1987 when Arkansas’s deer take reached six figures, with 106,392 checked that year by hunters. The total dipped in 1990, again with tightened hunting rules. Then it returned to six figures in 1991. The peak of 1999 climaxed five years of impressive numbers on the deer hunting scene. Some hunters protested that too many deer were falling to hunters. New strategies in deer management came forth, including quality deer objectives on both private land and some public land. After a dip in 2003, when tighter deer hunting rules were coupled with unfavorable weather, the statewide deer totals have climbed again to approach the peak of a decade ago.
Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009
NEWS BRIEFS Changes approved by the AGFC's fishing regulations will take effect in January.
10 fishing regulations changes go into effect Jan. 1 LITTLE ROCK - At the regular monthly meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in August, 10 changes in fishing regulations were approved. These were recommendations from the AGFC’s Fisheries Division staff, and all seem to be minor as far as effect upon large numbers of anglers. The rule changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.They are: 1. Defining “shad” as gizzard shad or threadfin shad, eliminating confusion about alewife and blueback herring, types of shad sometimes brought into Arkansas as bait. 2. Remove the catch and release rule for largemouth bass on Lake Ashbaugh in Greene County and begin a daily limit of six fish. 3. Changing the due date and reporting period for reports by alligator farmers and dealers. 4. Removing the community fishing program from T.J. House Reservoir, Mulberry’s water supply lake in Crawford County. 5. Clarify rules to require licenses for taking all aquatic wildlife. Current rules list “fish, frogs, minnows and mussels.” 6. Increase the daily limit of catfish for bowfishers from two to five. 7. Remove the daily limit on northern pike. Once stocked in a few lakes, these fish did not thrive in Arkansas and have virtually disappeared. 8. Reduce the daily limit from two to one on alligator gar, set a season for taking them and create a permit for alligator gar fishing. 9. Spell out a boundary for the South Fork of the Ouachita River in Montgomery County. 10. Remove limits on channel catfish and blue catfish on the Sulphur River, Red River and Little River in southwest Arkansas. All have exceptionally high numbers of catfish. Alligator gar are fabled fish in Arkansas but have declined in numbers, but enough are still in some Arkansas rivers so that people go out specifically for them. Many bowfishing enthusiasts often have alligator gar at the top of these priorities. The reduction in the daily limit and the other alligator gar rule changes came out of meetings of AGFC fisheries personnel and bowfishing organizations. 42
Fall/Winter 2009 • Arkansas Wild
AGFC and CAW to hold public hearings on proposed rules and regulation changes for Lake Maumelle LITTLE ROCK—Central Arkansas Water will be holding two public hearings, in conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, to gather comments on proposed changes to Central Arkansas Water’s rules and regulations on Lake Maumelle and its surrounding property. The proposed changes are part of the recently approved Memorandum of Understanding agreement between CAW and the AGFC. The proposed changes will affect public recreational opportunities on both Lake Maumelle and the surrounding property. The first hearing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Joe T. Robinson High School, 21501 Highway 10. The second hearing will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at Central Arkansas Water’s James T. Harvey Administration Building, 221 E. Capitol Avenue in Little Rock. The proposed changes include allowing trot lines in designated areas, kayaks above the Highway 10 bridge and archery-only deer hunting and small game hunting in designated areas around Lake Maumelle. For more information regarding the proposed rules and regulations changes or the public hearings, please contact Stewardship Coordinator Stephanie Hymel at (501) 377-1331.
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Arkansas Wild • Fall/Winter 2009