LITTLE ROCK — Carry your license, check your game, and read the latest AGFC news all from one convenient location with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s smartphone application.
The AGFC was one of the first state agencies to produce a smartphone application, which debuted in 2009, but a major overhaul in 2018 offered expanded benefits for hunters, anglers and wildlife-watching enthusiasts. In addition to links to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s newsletters, the app redesign incorporated many interactive features, such as the ability to participate in observation surveys for deer, turkey, bear and monarch butterflies. Feral hog eradication efforts also can be recorded on the app to help the statewide Feral Hog Eradication Task Force.
The app’s biggest draw for hunters is the ability to carry your license and check your game through the same convenient app. Hunters may not move a deer in Arkansas without first tagging it with their information or checking it online or by phone. In areas where cell service is spotty, many hunters still have to bring a pen and paper to put their name, Customer ID number from their license, the date, time and sex of the deer harvested. However, the app can handle all that for you. Just log into the app and check your deer through the Hunting section on the app’s home screen. Your phone will store the information even if you are out of cell signal range and process the data once you have a usable data signal again. Wildlife officers will be able to verify that you have checked your game with a quick glance at your phone. Once you’re back within cell signal range, just double-check to make sure the checking process is complete.
The annual hunter observation survey is another portion of the app’s hunting features that deer hunters will find interesting. Arkansas hunters have been completing voluntary surveys for the AGFC on their hunting experiences for decades to help monitor the deer herd. Bowhunter observations began in 2004, using pen and paper survey forms, collecting statewide observation data for a variety of species including deer, turkey, bear, furbearers, quail and feral hogs. As technology advanced, those surveys were added to the AGFC app to streamline the process and increase participation. Now all hunters can help with their observations of deer, regardless of whether they harvest one. Last year, hunters logged 25,742 observation hours, recording 40,669 deer. This information helps paint a clearer picture of doe-to-buck ratios, relative deer abundance, fawn-to-doe ratios and antler structure among deer that were not harvested.
The mobile app offers many more features for deer hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts. Weather conditions, sunrise and sunset times, regulations and even a rut report to keep hunters up-to-date with the latest news about Arkansas’s deer season are available. Popular watchable wildlife destinations are loaded into the app’s Outdoor Adventures section, and the fishing section holds information on state fishing records and a link to the AGFC’s popular weekly fishing report. The app is available for Android users as well as Apple products. Visit the link below to get started hunting at the push of a button.