Arkansas Hunting Seasons, 2017-2018

Did you know you could hunt alligators in The Natural State? Arkansas’ hunting seasons offer the opportunity, along with bear, elk, turkey and deer seasons.

Arkansas hunting licenses and permits can be purchased online, and different rates are available based on season, hunting method, residency and other special designations.

The state Game and Fish Commission does provide hunting access on several private land areas throughout Arkansas. Six areas in mid and southern Arkansas are available, but to access these areas, a permit is required for each area.


Alligator Seasons


Sep. 15-18
Sep. 22-25


*Alligator hunting is only permitted by drawn hunting permit. Only one alligator may be bagged per season. Selected hunters are required to attend a hunter orientation course.

Bear Seasons


Sep. 23-Nov. 30*


Oct. 21-29*


Nov. 11-Dec. 3*

Youth Firearms Hunt

Nov. 4-5*

*These dates vary by zone. Some regions are closed to bear hunting for the 2017-2018 season.
Bag limits vary by zone. Baiting bears is not permitted on public lands, though it is allowed on private property in designated bear zones.

Deer Seasons


Sep. 23-Feb. 28


Nov. 11-Dec. 25*


Oct. 21-29*
Dec. 9-31*

Firearms, Private Land, Antlerless

 Oct. 14-18

Youth Firearms Hunt

Nov. 4-5
Jan. 6-7

*Dates vary by zone
**Statewide limit of 6 deer per season with no more than 2 bucks.

Elk Seasons

 Public Land

Oct. 2-6
Oct. 30-Nov. 3

Private Land

Oct. 2-6
Oct. 30-Nov. 3

Permits are required to hunt elk on private and public lands. Youth Hunt is the first two days of each season. Bag limits vary by zone

Turkey Seasons

Spring Turkey

Apr. 10-25*

Youth Hunt

Apr. 8-9

*Dates vary by zone.
Bag limits vary by region.

Small Game Seasons


Nov. 1-Feb. 4

Swamp/Cottontail Rabbit

Sep. 1-Feb. 28

Raccoon, Muskrat, Nutria, Beaver

Sunrise Sep. 1-
Sunset Feb. 28


May 15-Feb. 28


Sep. 1-Feb. 19
Thur.-Mon. Only

Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for Arkansas hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons. In many seasons, hunting with dogs is not permitted. For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website.