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story.lead_photo.caption MIKE WINTROATH ARKANSAS GAME & FISH COMMISSION The re-introduction of elk to Arkansas began in the 1980s. Elk were native to the state but were wiped out by habitat loss and unregulated hunting.

A special group of Arkansans will have a special hunt this fall as they pursue elk on public land in the Buffalo River area. The 29 people were chosen during the 22nd annual Buffalo River Elk Festival on June 29 in Jasper.

Hunters in the region who received permits and their hometowns include Colton Flowers, Hasty; Billy Burleson, Lead Hill; William Wood, Clarksville; Derek Cornett, Kara Yoder and Gabriel Gibbany, all of Harrison; Nicholas Adams, Fort Smith; Justin Simmerling, Rogers; Anthony Powers, Shirley; Mike Duncan, Fayetteville; and Jimmy Rodgers, Flippin.

Representatives of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission oversaw the drawings for this year's elk hunt. Permits were plucked from a squirrel cage in front of an enthusiastic crowd throughout the day.

Trey Reid, emcee for the drawings and assistant chief of the Game and Fish communications division, said the event was full of fun and excitement.

"It was a great weekend to celebrate the Arkansas elk herd," he said. "We met Arkansans from every corner of the state, and they were all eager to hear their names called."

Twenty-six of the permits were drawn from the 3,812 applications submitted online during May. Three other permits were selected from 680 applications submitted on site during the festival. Winners of the three on-site permits had to be present to win during the final drawing of the day.

Hunters are allowed to choose their weapons from archery, including crossbows; muzzle-loaders; modern rifles; modern shotguns; and handguns.

All public land hunts occur on the Buffalo National River, Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area and Bearcat Hollow Wildlife Management Area.

Sports on 07/09/2019

Print Headline: Elk permits drawn at festival

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