By The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Bear season saw a major change during this year’s regulations setting process, with the addition of an open hunting season in Bear Zones 3 and 4 for the first time since modern-day bear hunting was instituted. Bear Zones 3 and 4 will have season dates of Dec. 10-16, 2022 and a conservative quota of five bears in Zone 3 and 25 bears in Zone 4. The limited season will help prevent overharvest and enable the growing bear population to continue to thrive in this portion of Arkansas. The opening of archery bear season in Zones 1 and 2 also saw an expansion, with both of those seasons now opening the weekend before the archery deer season opening date (Sept. 17 for the 2022 season).
AGFC Director Austin Booth said the new season is a testament to the AGFC’s continued efforts to increase opportunity for hunters and anglers and the continued use of hunting as a scientifically sound tool for population management of wildlife species in Arkansas.
“The black bears’ decades-long resurgence in Arkansas is proof, not only that Arkansas possesses first-class bear habitat, but that our state treasures this important resource,” Booth said. “Make no mistake, this conservation milestone was unthinkable 70 years ago, when wild black bears scarcely existed at all in Arkansas. But thanks to Arkansans, we are watching the successes spread across the state. This is a tremendous marker for south Arkansas, the Arkansas Game and Fish and sportsmen.”