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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission accepted land donations to increase the sizes of Bayou DeView and Wattensaw wildlife management areas Thursday at its monthly meeting in Little Rock.

Presiding over a light agenda, the commission accepted a donation of 40 acres in Poinsett County from Wetlands America Trust, Inc., on behalf of Ducks Unlimited. The land is inside Earl Buss Bayou DeView WMA and will be added to the WMA.

Marcus Kilburn, the Game and Fish Commission's real estate officer, said the agency has wanted to buy the parcel for many years, but Kilburn said the price was too high. Its appraised value in April, Kilburn said, is $150,000.

The Wetlands America Trust, which is Ducks Unlimited's fundraising auxiliary, purchased the property from the Robert B. Linn and Julia E. Linn Revocable Trust for $135,000 and donated it to the Game and Fish Commission. The seller will retain oil, gas and mineral rights to the property.

The Game and Fish Commission will pay $3,500 to conduct an environmental property assessment, boundary survey and closing costs.

Also, the commission accepted a donation of 5 acres from Susan Orisi Davis that will be added to Wattensaw WMA.

In wildlife management business, the commission voted to establish a new voluntary turkey stamp. The price will be $9.50. Proceeds will be used to fund the agency's wild turkey program.

Also, the commission established dates for a new veterans and active duty military waterfowl hunt. The dates will be concurrent with the annual waterfowl season for youth hunters and will take place Dec. 7 and Feb. 8.

Mark Barbee, head of the commission's alligator management program, reported the results of the alligator season, which occurred Sept. 20-23 and Sept. 27-30.

The commission awarded 147 permits among a pool of 3,400 applicants, Barbee said. For reasons unknown, 28 applicants did not claim their permits, he added, so only 119 alligator hunters participated. They killed 84 alligators, reflecting a success rate of 71%.

Hunters in Alligator Management Zone 1 killed 32 alligators, of which 19 were males. Twenty-five were killed in private waters.

Hunters killed two alligators, both females, in Zone 2.

Hunters killed 50 alligators in Zone 3, of which 32 were males. Forty-two were killed in private waters.

Barbee said he is concerned that hunters are killing too many female alligators, and that the wildlife management division is considering implementing an alligator management zone harvest quota for private land similar to the program to manage elk on private land.

The agency will continue to issue permits for public waters through a controlled drawing.

The largest alligator taken by a hunter in Arkansas was 13 feet, 10 inches. James Pelt killed it in 2015.

Sports on 10/18/2019

Print Headline: Commission receives WMA land donations

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