USFS reminds hunters of regulations on public lands

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The hunting season is in full swing and Forest Service officials are reminding hunters to be safe and to obey federal and state laws on Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Before embarking on a hunting trip, it is recommended that hunters provide their itinerary to a family member or friend, along with the location of the hunt, the itinerary of the trip and the expected time of return.

All national wildlife regulations are in effect in the Arkansas and Oklahoma National Forests. Federal and state law enforcement officers work in conjunction with forestry officials to enforce federal regulations. Prohibited activities include:

· Baiting of game species on state forests.

· Shoot from or across a county, state or federally maintained highway.

Possess or consume alcohol during any hunting activity or while operating a motor vehicle, including off-road vehicles.

· Travel outside of routes designated for the use of motor vehicles.

· Leave scattered campsites in place and unoccupied for more than 30 days. Any unoccupied (held) campsite is considered abandoned. At the end of the 30 day period, scattered campsites must be completely dismantled and relocated at least one mile from the original campsite. The 30 day period begins on the first day any item is placed at the campsite. Campers can camp for up to 90 days per calendar year. Scattered campsites cannot be reserved.

Hunters should also be aware of the requirements that apply specifically to individual national forests or to wildlife management areas on a forest:

Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas and Oklahoma)

Hunting stands can be erected for up to 14 days at a time and must be moved to another location more than 200 meters away if the hunting trip continues. All booths must bear the owner’s name and address on a permanent basis. Remove stands from the forest at the end of the hunting season.

· Off-road vehicles are permitted on designated roads only or in game salvage lanes when retrieving legally slaughtered big game.

Visitors to the Oklahoma Forest are reminded that drivers under the age of 18 must wear a safety helmet when operating an OHV, and that only one person at a time can operate an OHV unless the vehicle is not specifically designed for two drivers.

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests (Arkansas)

· Remove hunting stands from the forest at the end of the hunting season.

Know before you go! ORV cards and regulations

  • ORVs are only permitted on designated routes. Not all forest service roads are designated as legal roads. Hunters can print a map before leaving their home to make sure they are driving legally. Visit https://bit.ly/ONFMVUM for Motor Vehicle Use Maps in the Ouachita National Forest (MVUM), or https://bit.ly/OSFNFSMVUM for Ozark-St. MVUM cards from Francis National Forests.
  • Want to do without paper? Download the Avenza smartphone app for MVUM digital maps: https://www.avenza.com/avenza-maps/. Hunters can track their activities throughout the season with this free interactive mapping tool!

For more information on Ouachita or Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, see hunting regulations published by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission or the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Call Ouachita National Forest at (501) 547-6943 or Ozark-St. Francis National Forests at (479) 280-8162 for questions about National Forests. National forests do not issue hunting permits.

11-4-21 3:31 p.m. KAWX.ORG


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