Steve 'Wildman' Wilson, public affairs coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, hosts this live, call-in program. Viewers can submit questions by calling (800) 662-2386.
Most Recent: October 17, 2013
This is a previously recorded program. Please do not call phone numbers provided.
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Hello everybody and welcome to another "Outdoor Hotline" show. My name is Steve Wildman Wilson. I will be your host this evening. You know if you're a regular viewer of AETN you know we do a couple these "Outdoor Hotline" shows every year. We usually do one in the spring about fishing in the natural state and one this year about hunting and hunting is usually about deer or duck hunting. Well tonight's show is all about deer hunting. In fact we're calling this show "Strictly Deer" and if you have questions about deer hunting or deer or rules and regulations dealing with deer we'll do our best to answer them tonight. There are a couple of ways to get them answered. First we have a studio of biologists and Private Lands Biologist and Wildlife Officer and answering your calls and all you need to is call in and I will give you the number in a second and I will introduce you to the experts up here that know all about deer hunting and all that stuff and right now if you want to call if you have a questions this is the number to call. 800-662-2386. That's 800-662-2386. It's toll free. If you have any questions about deer hunting or deer or rules and regulations now is the time to get your questions answered. Let me introduce you to the panel of experts and on my right is Deputy Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. His name is Rick Chastain. Glad you're here.
Glad to be here Steve.
Next is Cory Gray and our Deer Program Coordinator and the man in the know about deer and on his right is Lieutenant Lieutenant out of marshal Arkansas.
Glad you guys are here.
Glad to be here Steve.
I tell you up I am fired up folks. This weather has got me ready and it's going to be 47-degrees in the morning. >>I am ready.
They of ready even though fighting mosquitoes and deer hunting is been going since August.
Middle of September.
We started the first of September and they get a Head Start and the rest of us come in September 28 this year and we have a long liberal deer season.
And the weather is perfect for this weekend. I know a lot of people are coming into Arkansas. I was thinking when I was coming here how many people are driving to Little Rock for the race of the cure and 35,000 and how many do you think will go deer hunting. Do we know how many muzzle hunters we have in Arkansas?
No we don't. We wish we had that data muzzle loaders and modern gun and I look at a deer hunter as a deer hunter.
Some of us do it all.
That's true. They do it all.
We're going to talk like I said deer tonight and ways you can attract deer to your deer camp or home or farm and food plots later in the show and before we go too far I like to look back at deer in Arkansas. I am over 60 years old and I can remember when we didn't have as many deer as we do today and I will ask Rick Chastain and the Deputy Director and the only one close to my age on the panel and remember the old days Ricky. We have more deer than we used to have.
That's true Steve and looking at the history in Arkansas is interesting. If you look at when settlers came to the state there are historical writings about seeing herds and herds of deer. It supplies the food for big cities back east.
There is the staple -- just to tell you how it was back in the day folks. Is that when we kept the data.
We're not that old but how many deer were checked that first year.
203 deer in Arkansas back in 1938 and last year Ricky?
Think about that folks. Now that slide what does it tell us there? I know everybody thinks south Arkansas is a deer factory. Talk about where most of the majority of deer are killed?
That's one of the patterns over of the years and the sought coast and the part that the state and lead the state in the deer harvested per acre and now we are seeing the pattern change and while that part does still lead the state but the north and other part was state have increased the number of deer they're harvesting so the management that the commission has used over the years to balance herds and build herds when they needed to the hunters have contributed by being the actual tool that we manage the herds with and over time we seen overall density of deer increase and more opportunity for the sports men for the state.
And that is the target goal and about habitat and the biologist in the field and Game and Fish Commission and I don't think hunters realize they pull the trigger it's part of wildlife management, isn't it?
The hunters are the biggest tool in the tool box. We rely on them and we look at things as mouths walking around eating and we need those removed so that's the biggest tool we have is the hunters and we say these are the number of animals, the number of bucks and does you can take in each area and they do it. That's a good thing about a Arkansas hunter you turn them loose and they will do it.
Last year we killed 213,000 deer killed legally in Arkansas and how many more were hit by vehicles and we could be taking 300,000 out of the herd every year.
And every year they bounce back. How does that happen?
They're balanced. Right now we're harvesting 50 ratio.
What do you mean by that?
Harvesting the same number of males and female.
It used to be 80-20.
70% bucks and 30% does and you can't do that for several years and maintain the healthy productive herd in general, so it's hard to understand but the more balanced the herd is in habitat the more productive they are and the adult female are producing twins every year like they should and you have more of the yearlings producing and we monitor the fond production but we harvested 200,000 last year we need to produce that amount this spring and I believe we did.
Unbelievable. Somebody told me they come into the world for a 50-50 buck to doe and take them out that way and if you think back to when we were kids Ricky we hammered and educated our hunters don't kill a doe because we didn't have enough deer and every time you did that you killed three deer and the hunters said we believe it and I think what is difficult to realize that we have enough or too many deer. I think that is hard for some of the older guys to realize.
At the turn of the certain they estimated the door population to be deer population to be 500 or less.
500 deer in the state and now we have 20,000 killed on the highways in the year. They're prolific.
Yeah they are and with proper management and taking out the right number at the right spot they can't help to grow and that's what we're seeing. I said numerous times we're living in a land of green pastures this year and I hope this year the pasture didn't is dry up but I think will it continue for years to come.
If you read the history book and we have a book at Game and Fish Commission wildlife history and hunting and Arkansas was run over the door and we ran out and I talk that these are the good days again and we brought them back with the hunter and the sports men of Arkansas.
That started with regulation and 1916 with the first Game and Fish Commission.
And there wasn't a season since that point and 26 and 27 when they had the refuges and protect the door and build the numbers deer up and that bounced back to where we are today because of those regulations.
That's a good point and these deer weren't always here. It took a lot of work and Lieutenant Smith that is your area enforcement and we have problems with people violating game laws. What's the most common violation you run into during the season? It is usually over the limit or not having a license or what? >>I think the most common thing that we see is just somebody not tacking the deer and I think a a lot of people do it on accident of course but there's some people that want more than their share.
And they're the ones that we're after, you know the ones trying to take more than their fair share.
You think about here Arkansas -- not your county and your in Searcy county and the limit is not as much and you can take six deer. Why would anyone want more than six deer? Unless you want to donate them and do that.
Let's talk about and concentrate on this show what can people do that works as far as attracting deer to the deer stands? And one thing I think about and everyone has one in Arkansas deer feeders, corn feeders. I wish I had a nickel for all of them they sold in Arkansas in the last 10 years.
Yeah, we have many hunters that feed corn. This photo here -- this dude is laying into it.
He couldn't afford a feeder.
Straight to the end, but we don't recommend that. We recommend that if you are going to feed to put it in a dry feeder and spin the proper amount. Don't pile it up like that. That promotes aflatoxin. This is a mineral lick. We don't recommend bait or attractants.
It's legal now.
It's legal but a Biology worth biologist worth the salt don't recommend it.
It worked for him.
It did. It provides a little corn at the time, whatever attractants you're using and it doesn't lay on the ground and spoil. We are worried about the feral hog population they will go out --
Speaking of feral hogs and beers and everything else and turkeys.
Make sure to move the feeders around and don't let the wallers happen underneath and that promotes e. coli and Salmonella and the photos you get the non species tracked and you see all of the other things coming in also.
One thing I wanted to mention -- you were saying it's legal. It's legal in most places but in a wildlife management area --
You're not a allowed to do and I don't want anyone getting in trouble.
Right and you need to get a regulation book. And you were saying too early in the year and people put them out early and it can hunt them can't it some.
Corn is high in carbohydrates and high for energy but you're doing nothing for growth and production and what you need to worry about and Jerry knows too we had documented elk fatality due to [INAUDIBLE]
Founder. They eat so much corn it changes the PH in the stomach and seizures and eventually mortality and the same with white-tailed deer and they camp out and eat nothing but cord and their diet is not meant to be that way.
You were telling me earlier like a kid doing nothing but eating candy for a day.
Exactly. And that's not healthy so we recommend that if do you the bird feeders and put a little out and do it while you're on the deer stand and make it spin in the morning and evening when you're there and don't spin it when you're not there. I understand.
How is the acreage crop and a lot of deer are going to the fields before they fall or after they are gone and acorns isn't it preferred food.
It is and we are seeing them but it's not widespread and looking at large scale landscape and you will have the areas and the oaks are loaded down and 2 miles down the road it maybe barren.
It's good for the hunter if they're not over run with them.
In the western part of the state where I live we have a much better crop this year because we were at the teeth of the drought last year and it hurt us.
That's around --
Mena in the Ouachitas and we have a better crop this year and it kinds distribute the deer herd across the landscape when you have acorns available in different place.
When we have a great group it's a good season and from a hunter's standpoint it's good if they are spotty because the deer have to work for them as well and I have heard this year too -- you have been in the woods a bit Jerry I guess a lot of salt mass -- persimmons are good this year.
There are a bunch of those.
I think we forget about those and of course acorns are good. What else would you look for natural habitat?
Before the frost comes French mulberry is a good food, honeysuckle, Greenbrier and we had a wet summer and foods available up to the time of the first frost.
Which maybe in the morning.
It will be close.
And we're in better shape this year -- that's why I like to do this show and we're in better shape than last year this time weather wise and last year we had a drought. It makes a difference with the habitat.
When we come back -- we're going to take a break in a minute and talk about managing lands and habitat and things that you can do and spreading corn and attracting deer. I know there are a lot of things on the market that you can try. I don't know if they work and more for the hunter than the deer and peanut butter and deer cocaine and that is sold over the year and obviously some deer are killed over them but I think there are things that you can do after the video that is called food plots and things that you do to the natural habitat and these guys often tell me this if you take all the money that you spend on feeders and corn and all those other things like that -- if you would take all that money and if you would just buy fertilizer and go fertilize your natural habitat that is there here in the natural state it would be better for the deer. Let's take a look at this video right now. Private Lands Biologist right after this.
We had this established for three years now.
I think we need to think about management especially for prepared fires this winter to thin it down a little bit. What have you seen as far as wildlife response to this.
Prior to this you would actually have to come out at sun down, maybe early in the morning. Now, anytime you come out during the day you will see some wildlife.
What have you been seeing?
Deer mostly. We are getting some quail. That population is increasing.
That's good. Song birds I guess.
It's a long-term effort. It's a natural food plot. It keeps giving back year after year. You don't need to go through the effort of replanting each year and the deer can go where they naturally go, not where you force them to go.
I bought a portion of this land when I was 21 year's old so it's been a labor of love over the year and we did different things over the years but 13 years ago we made a concentrated effort to get together a number of government entities within the county to help us plan the future for future generations and sustainability as well as recreational opportunities, and got a lot of great help. In fact got some grants to help with the planting, and we carried out the plan. It's something that takes a lot of patience, three to five years, and it's hard for a farmer to wait three years for anything to happen, and I consider myself a pre-farmer, a steward of this land. It's been in the family. It's not only for the pocketbook but part of the heart and we planted this grass three or four years ago. It's just now beginning to pay dividends. You're seeing deer throughout daylight hours, not just at sunset, so that's enjoyable to be around. The deer have the opportunity to feed off of the natural habitat and they can go and hide and eat when they want to the way they want to and you're not forcing and planting something just to get them attracted during deer season, so we find it's going to pay dividends once we get it going it will pay dividends year after year and it will actually be less maintenance instead of more maintenance and that is important.
One of the goals is transforming a thick forest into a Savannah.
Yes and I think the best way to describe a Savannah -- the better term is it looks park-like and that comes with good forestry management. We spend, we burn, we let nature pretty well takes it course. If a tree dies we let it go for the wildlife to build nests in and to help the habitat for all the different creatures in the forest.
What we've got here is a food plot to tie everything together on the property so we have done the habitat restoration to improve the habitat. We have a deer population and more turkeys and quail before we did the work and this food plot is in a particular place and we have the draws coming down and the wildlife movement. We have different habitats and the edge habitat and the Savannah and the food plot to bring them together and where we can hunt them and this is actually very productive for these landowner and the people that hunt out here.
Forestry is a big part because this is a tree farm and also a stewardship farm. When I was contacted by [INAUDIBLE] shortly after I started work here 2001 he basically put in an application and nothing was done and I said the first thing we have to do is get a plan written. Let's figure out what you want to do and he decided I want to plant a lot of trees but some areas I want to go back with grasses. I'm in the cattle business. I want to get rid of the planted stuff and get into native grasses and then the trees that we have that we can manage we're going to manage and so that's what we have done is just through a series of steps process working with the Department of Agriculture and through the NSRS office work some grants and he was able to get reforestation done and basically taking the trees into it and reforestation is an area where the trees are harvested and you come back and replant trees so we did that and with the emphasis on a lot of this being wildlife related but also for revenue for the future down the road, so everything that we have done as far as for planting the pines -- you have probably seen the plantations here. That covers that end and the other end is wildlife but still even a pine stand will allow habitat for wildlife especially in the early stages for deer provides cover and so forth, so it also works hand and hand, wildlife and timber. You basically can't have one without the other.
That's all about habitat. Welcome back everybody. You're watching "Outdoor Hotline" here on AETN and we're talking "Strictly Deer" tonight about this deer season coming up. If you have questions let me remind you we have a toll free number to call us during the show. We have a Private Lands Biologists that you saw there as well as Wildlife Officers to answer questions. That number is 800-662-2386. 800-662-2386 and they will do their best they can to answer any questions you might V we have a new have. We have a new panel of experts and on my right is the assistant Deer Program Coordinator. His name is Ralph Meeker from Fort Smith Arkansas. Next to him is Ted Zawislak and he is a Private Lands Biologist up in mountain home Arkansas up north. Next to him good old Bubba Groves. I like that name Bubba.
From the south and Lieutenant Lieutenant is going to Jerry Smith is going to stay with us. Before we get into this I know we got calls about the chronic wasting disease. We talked about it for years and chronic wasting disease CWD and I will ask Ralph what that is and have Lieutenant Smith talk about rules and regulations so why don't you explain.
It's a neurological disease and always fatal and similar to mad cow disease that cows get and the disease that sheep get and they collect in the neurological tissue and build up and causes the animal to waste away. Hence the name.
Where did it start? I didn't hear about it until a few years ago.
It was discovered out in Colorado and we thought it was a western disease but we saw the disease creep through "Strictly Deer" industry and it's the deer industry and reached to New York and we tested several thousand deer in Arkansas and we have disease free.
But it's in Oklahoma --
Yeah tested positive in Oklahoma for elk and 2002 and found it in the deer and the free ranging deer in Missouri.
And I know the biologists do a good job checking and the sad thing the only way to check is kill them.
Another reason not to have a pet deer that is against the law. Talk about that law.
Right. It recently went into effect. You used to have pet deer but now it's changed you can't have a deer as a pet unless you had it prior to the law.
We grandfathered everybody in who had deer.
But we have problems with people wanting to pick up baby deer and Fawns and shouldn't do that and this is why because of the disease.
And once you get the Fawn what are you really going to do with it? You're hurting it when you pick it up. If you just leave it out there the mother will come back and get it.
They're like real kids. They grow up and become nuances, don't they.
They do. We get calls from people that their pet deer attacked them.
Especially the bucks.
Talk about the new law with this and elk and deer and transporting them into the state?
It's been a law for some time that you couldn't transfer from certain states to Arkansas but now they have made it you cannot transport any into Arkansas from another state.
No matter where it's from.
They made provisions you can bring the antlers back if they're clean and the skull plate if it's completely clean and the skull if it's completely clean. They can bring all that back. It can't have tissue or anything left on it. It needs to be clean. You can bring a hide and take it on the Taxidermist and bring it back. You can bring the meat back as long as you debone it. Have I left anything out?
I emergency guys going out hunting and it's they know this and for years we seen them bringing the whole caucus in the trailer along that line but now they can bring the line but separated. No meat on the bone. Is that the bottom line?
That's right. If you go out west and trophy hunt we ask you that you contact a Taxidermist out there and show you how to take the Hyde off and get it prepared for Arkansas. A lot of guys that harvest them are deboning it in the field anyway because of the size and white-tailed deer and elk, muse, caribou -- all of those in the deer family. Antelope is not so if you harvest one of those you're a right.
We're talking about chronic wasting disease CWD and check the regulation book for the details. We don't want you to get in trouble and more than that we don't want it back in Arkansas and can wipe out I herd. All right. Let's talk about Private Lands Biologist. Sorry about that. We have Ted and Bubba there and PLB and Private Lands Biologists and in the mountain home and Bubba is from Monticello and I wanted to bring them on here and we talk about habitat and what it's about in the video but you have different types of habitat in different parts of Arkansas. A lot of people don't realize the soil is different totally up where you live versus where you live.
Right. We got nine [INAUDIBLE] across the state so those 9PLB's cover a lot of habitats and we kind of being specialists in our particular area that we live in.
Tell me what a typical day -- we saw the video and that is a good indication of what you do, but most people that call you they want assistance and it's all free.
Tell me how that process works. What do they want?
Well generally it starts with a phone call. Most people contact us by phone and sometimes it stops with that. Sometimes they all need some questions answered and we do that but generally turns into a site visit and we will go out and ride around the property. Take a look -- like you saw in the video there and give advice and generally we follow it up with a management plan with a lot of detailed maps and the products that they get is high quality products.
But basically it depends what they want.
It really does.
One guy might want different and one guy might want more quail and turkey and there are different tab at that times for that. What about you Bubba?
Like Ted said I don't know what I am going to get when the phone call rings and one thing that is important to note that the state of Arkansas is about 85% private ownership.
It's a good point.
And 29 million acres out of the 22 million are privately owned so that really dictates what the outcome of the animal population habitat is going to be is dictated by the private landowners.
Let me interrupt you. A lot of people don't realize when you say that like 85% of the hunting land is privately own and timber companies too and we had a deer season here that ended what? Yesterday and it was private lands and antlers only and and people called and I don't go but I lease it --
It's still privately owned and 85% of land in Arkansas is privately owned and more important that you guys --
That's what we're here for to give you a guide. Somebody may call up and learn about blue birds and white-tailed deer and ducks and it runs the gamut what we get the calls for and that's we're here for to help them and like Ted said we can do maps and site visits and whatever we can do to help the landowner get the goals and objectives and also that's what we want to do and reach the goals.
And this is all fact free of charge and we will put something on the screen and if you want to find out who your Private Lands Biologist is in the area you can call us at Game and Fish Commission or go to the website. There's a question? What is your habitat? A lot of people don't know what that might be and I explain habitat what it takes to live and food, air, shelter and good quality as well. I want to turn to food plots and what we're talking about tonight and we talked about other ways people attract the deer and the feeders and all of the gimmicks and salt plots and I planted them down south and one thing that shocked me because I'm not a biologist and the different soils and all Arkansas and 100-yards away and different soil. One of the common mistakes in a food plot is not getting the soil sample.
We encourage people to get the soil sample. They can go to the office, each county has one and get a little box and put the soil wherever your plots are and you need to do one for every plot that you're doing and once you do that you turn those in. You get a report back and it gives you a good snapshot of what fertilizers required there, what lyme, that kind of stuff, so it's really that preparation is where a lot of people go wrong.
And that's a lot of work. I know sound doubt I needed a bunch of lyme and it told me how much I needed for fertilizer but what I am saying down in Monticello the same thing.
And what about where you live?
Lyme -- what we find that most people need --
Is that state wide?
And it brings the acidic soils to a neutral level and that allows the plants to actually uptake the nutrients that the fertilizer is providing.
Now where do you go to find soil that wouldn't need more lyme? Another state.
Some of the delta in the eastern part of the state. That's why we have crops there and more productive soils, those things and those guys don't have to have it as much there but there are places that do and like Ralph was saying if the plant can't take the minerals and nutrients and you put out hundreds of dollars for different things and you're wasting money and we hate to see you do that.
I have been there.
We all have done it but that's the most important thing and get the samples.
So you get the soil samples first.
Knowing the seed. That's a mistake. Some seeds don't have to be planted as deep and others --
I made that mistake as well.
We have a tendency to broadcast it out there and put something on top of it.
A lot of times the seed is too deep and doesn't have the energy to make it back to the soil.
I heard from you guys and I made that mistake and I did like farmers does and a few inches and nothing came up. In fact I took the easy road folks. They make a no till and on the ground and dust blow and it will grow something.
We preach a lot about habitat. Food plots are very important. They can be a very important type of any management plan but it's important to know that a foot plot is not a silver bullet for any property. Doing all types of habitat management, the timber management to control burning and grass management, all of those come together to provide a very diverse habitat. >>I think that's an excellent point. We saw in the video some of that didn't look pretty and that's what I like about food plots and in the winter and beautiful green. It's pretty but you need some of the tick thickets in the thickets and with the food plot.
I get phone calls this time of year what should I plant? And I come back to the goals and what do we want the plot to do for us? If we want strictly nutrition we may need to plant other things along with the management that Ralph was talking about. If I just want to kill the deer and I don't want to spend a lot of money and get them in there or just to watch off the back porch. We need to figure out what goal we're going to address the food plot for instead of spending money and throwing seed out in the country side and getting your bang for your buck.
Is that a word play? . We get the same question and what should I plant because I want to kill the deer? What are some of the common things you recommend and I went down there and probably have the foot plot in food plot and what would you recommend?
Usually like wheat, oats, some turnip greens, crimson clover and easy to plant and easy to germ Nate and a little germ Nate and you get that and some nutrition with it too.
What about you Ted?
A lot of the same things. In the mountains you know we don't typically plant things like soybeans and that stuff like they plant in the delta, but you know the winter weeds, the oats, that stuff, clovers are generally the stuff.
Ralph what do you like best?
I like -- to go back to what these guys were talking about and the goals and getting the Private Lands Biologist out there. Knowing your seed is important but also the size of your food plot will dictate what you plant, how it's laid out, east to west and the sunlight and there is a whole science.
That's a good point. I choose roads and sunlight and east west and how big is a good food plot and they like edge and maybe a long one and what do you look for? What size?
It goes back to the goal is it nutrition --
No, I want to kill a deer.
If you are a bow hunter maybe like a figure eight and pinch points and you can get a close shot. You don't want 1200-yards long and in my part of the country you're limited topography and the hills and you have to take what you get sometimes.
How much sun light -- you need sunlight but how important it is getting to the forest floor and I tried to plant food plots in the middle of the woods and they don't work as well.
If you plant clover or winter wheat and six hours but turnips or chicories and maybe eight hours and that dictates what you can and can't plant and how successful you will be.
More things and you have to do your homework. I know we're talking about big and little seeds and you can plant a food plot of one of those that you're talking about but now they make a mix like a buffet and you have seeds in one bag and after you told me this you don't want to plant all at the same depth, do you?
Sometimes you need to be careful with the premixed seeds. I spend folks spending the money on the lyme and techniques down and go to the co-op and make the own mix and especially for the first time and get the technique down and do it right the first time. After you're comfortable the way it operates you can try the other things.
I always think about food plots this time of year I guess most people go to camp around Labor Day and you see them come down south and in the hunting season. They plant food plots around Labor Day. How important is that year round? In other words some people plant spring foot plots. And would it be more important to plant in the spring for deer than it would be now?
Nutritional it's more important to plant in the spring. That's when the does are taken -- the extra energy for the Fawns and. That's when when bucks are putting on the antlers and they need that for nutrition and growth and the springtime is to focus.
I think a lot of people don't think about. Do you get calls in the spring?
We do and we plant native grasses and those are little blue stem, big blue stem, Indian grasses and we have a wildlife program that provides free seed mixtures of those native grasses and they're warm season grasses so you do plant them in late winter, early spring.
You said "we" Have it. They have a program --
Acres for wildlife.
If somebody is listening you're going to give me seed or things how do they get a hold of you.
They would contact the Private Lands Biologist. Our deadline is around September 1 so right now we're working on the people that have already applied and this year we expanded that to add extra things and like this year they will crop share some prescribed burning and shrubs and travel corridors and good for deer if you have a pasture and a couple rows of shrubs down there and break it up and follow the deer down through a certain way.
Is there a minimum acreage before you can get some of the stuff from us?
Yes. 5-acres is we want you to plant of the native grasses and up to 20 acres worth and there is a five year contract that because -- just because of the expense of the seed and how long it takes to get it established and they can contact the local PLB and they can talk with them about that.
And this is free of charge. It won't cost you anything and here's another thing when we tell people about this. Do I have to let other people hunt on it? But that's a good question because it doesn't cost you anything and cost share but no. You don't.
It's private land. You control it. You own it.
And to further what Ted said there's also another set of programs out that are federal CRP.
What is that?
Conservation reserve program. They're USDA programs through our office.
And all of these --
Let us stick with the acronyms. We will muddle through that but they offer financial incentives for those programs and can really set up nice habitat for ducks, deer, those things and if you want to enroll your land in those programs we as PLB's work with that and what best suits your property and getting you paid to establish it.
What I am hearing you say here acres for wildlife is where we will provide you with the plants and seeds to put in there. We're not going to pay you but you're talking about Bubba for federal reimbursements and they pay you to plant --
Yeah, these are payments.
You make money.
You make money and there are cost shares programs and those things and cost share. 65% of what it costs to establish the practices so there's a lot of help out there that we call them as Cory said tools in the tool box to get the habitat you want out there and it takes us coming out to see the property what will fit where and give us a call and we will be glad to come see it.
What a great service it is and I know we haven't always had and I have been with Game and Fish Commission for 30 years and when we started it.
What a great program and reason being like Bubba was saying 85 plus percent of the hunting land in Arkansas is privately owned so if we don't take care of the private land and the private landowners we may not have wildlife to hunt.
I have never been to a property that I haven't seen something to improve.
We have nine of these guys around the state. We will put the number up again if you want to get a hold of them or go to our website and a number of ways to get a hold of them. Call the Game and Fish and ask for your local PLB. There is a number to call. Because you are divided -- how many counties do you cover Ted?
It's eight to 10 per PLB.
We will -- help each other do things so I mean -- we got lives but that doesn't mean I might not go help Ted if he's in a bind or something. We go where were.
When you see some great success stories. I know I was in your area a few years back and around saddle with I remember right and quail work and I think you went in and did some of the native grasses and helped him work -- if I remember correctly and out there with the cattle and you showed how he could have cattle and quail and it worked.
That gentleman there converted a whole bunch of cattle pastures which is north Arkansas is in and converted those to the native warm grasses and he has quail now.
It doesn't happen over night and it's a long-term plan and in the long-term it will work and the PLB's and the ones answering the phones do a good job. I want to spend the remainder of the show talking about deer forecast and we're talking about deer and muzzle season starts. How many did we kill?
Almost 20,000 and that we killed and with the antlers -- 20,000 already but however we're a little behind from last year?
Right I think we harvested 22,000 last year.
By this time.
By this time.
We can make it up in one day with the cool weather coming in and we could surpass last year.
All right. Let's talk in generalities. We don't like to say it's good or poor and last year 213,000 deer killed legally in Arkansas. How's it looks this year guys? Tell me what you think.
We're seeing a lot of this year's Fawns and good reproduction and acreage is good and persimmons and there is a lot of food out there for them so I think we will have a really good season. I think we will be close to 200,000.
Okay. Maybe not set a new record.
I don't think so. Our harvest last year was 213,000 and the year before 192,000 and we harvested 10% more than we usually do so we might have carry over and we harvested the carry over.
As my buddy said we whacked them good and a biologist term. What do you think Ted?
In my part of the world I am hearing lots of people seeing lots of does and this year was the first year in zone three that doe modern --
[INAUDIBLE] that just happened and I think it was successful. A lot of hunters liked it.
Getting the herd -- that area is always full of deer.
I am a kind of glass half full kind of guy. I believe we're going to break T I am going to contradict Ralph.
Well you live in Fort Smith and he lives there and everyday.
What about you Jay?
I have seen several deer. They're good deer. Ted said he has seen a lot of does and this year I have seen more good bucks than I normally see.
Not all of them were in the daylight but I have seen good bucks and my son Josh and him and my dad put out deer cameras all over and getting reports from them they're seeing bucks too so I kind am excited because of the deer I have seen this year.
Yeah, I have seen reports from deer cameras and that is another angle to it and can't wait to get out there Saturday morning get out there and remember now we want to leave you with rules and regulations. If you kill the deer after you tag it before you bag it and haul it and call it in and we can tell you how many deer. Guys thanks so much and good luck out in the woods and keep up the good job. Thank you for watching and I hope you enjoyed the show. Good luck in the fall. We will see you next time right here on the "Outdoor Hotline".