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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has opened the registration for 2016-17 urban deer hunts. The deadline to register is July 31.

High deer densities near urban areas often lead to conflicts with deer-vehicle collisions and deer destroying ornamental landscaping.

Ralph Meeker, assistant deer program coordinator for Game and Fish, said urban hunts allow a city to reduce unwanted deer numbers without spending money on other methods of control.

All urban hunts follow guidelines to ensure the safety of hunters and local landowners.

"Hunting is a very safe sport," Meeker said. "But when you open up a season so close to people's homes, you want to make sure everyone participating is responsible and ethical."

The exact regulations for each hunt may vary depending on the wishes of that community, but many rules are consistent, including mandatory shooting proficiency tests, maintaining a safe distance from homes and trails on common areas and obtaining landowner permission on private property.

Hunters wishing to apply for urban hunts must attend an orientation day and pass a shooting proficiency test. All hunters also must have passed the International Bowhunters Education Program course to participate.

Hunters interested in participating in the Cherokee Village, Russellville, Fairfield Bay, Horseshoe Bend, Heber Springs and Hot Springs Village hunts should visit www.arkansasbowhunters.org/urbanhunt to register online or contact J.D. Crawford at jd@arkansasbowhunters.org.

Hunters wishing to participate in the Bull Shoals or Lakeview hunts should contact the Bull Shoals Urban Bowhunters Association's President Bill Craker at bsurbanbowhunt@yahoo.com.

Sports on 06/21/2016

Print Headline: Registration open for urban archery deer hunts

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