Where to Hunt in the South? Try Arkansas.

Arkansas doesn't quite know where it is. Or, to put it more accurately, many people are unsure how to describe where it is. The Natural State is sort of the Deep South, sort of the Midwest and sort of Appalachia.

Ryan Sullivan arrowed this Arkansas monster in the 2013 season.

What no one should argue against, however, is the claim that Arkansas is a great whitetail state. Although chronic wasting disease has been found in whitetails in seven northern counties — Newton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Pope and Searcy — over the past year, there's still ample reason to be enthused about hunting here. In particular, Arkansas is one of the South's best states for taking trophy bucks with bowhunting gear.

As the accompanying map illustrates, the overall greatest concentration of trophy bow bucks entered into P&Y has been from the rich farm country of eastern and southeastern Arkansas. There, Desha County is the unquestioned king of entries, with 38 all time — and an impressive 30 of those since 2010. The fellow farming counties of Arkansas (35) and Chicot (23) also offer the fertile soil, abundant crops and limited hunting pressure needed to grow numbers of king-sized deer, but they haven't matched Desha in yielding bucks for the book.


Elsewhere in the state there's also solid trophy potential in bow season, but zeroing in on the best overall locations takes a bit more guesswork. The counties with the most entries are somewhat scattered.


Arkmap

That said, several isolated counties have proved they're worth hunting. For example, Benton County, which touches both Missouri and Oklahoma in the state's northwestern corner, has surged in recent years. In fact, 12 of the county's all-time P&Y entries have been submitted in this decade.

You'll find much the same situation in topographically diverse Saline County, which lies just west of Little Rock in central Arkansas. Nine of its 12 entries have been made since 2010. And while Hempstead County has only 11 P&Ys to its credit, nine of those have been entered since 2010.

Meanwhile, some other counties have dropped off a lot in the number of entries. This doesn't necessarily mean they don't remain good bowhunting areas, but for whatever reason, not as many bucks are finding their way into the book. A great example is White County. It has 29 all-time P&Y bucks, second-most of anywhere in the state — but only five of those have been entered since 2010.


Many of the seven counties with documented cases of CWD (as of this writing in January 2017) are in the general area in which elk relocated from the Rocky Mountains many years ago now live. While experts continue to debate if that fact is coincidental or not, the main effect has been heightened monitoring of the deer herd. There's also been talk of loosening or even eliminating antler restrictions, which have been in place in one part of the state or another for a quarter-century.

For more details on bowhunting in Arkansas, visit AGFC's website. To learn more about bowhunting records of North America, check out P&Y's website.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

Gordon Whittington is hunting Eastern Wyoming with his crossbow where he encounters a fast moving situation.

Battling Breeding Bucks

Battling Breeding Bucks

Stan Potts heads to his home state of Illinois to hunt whitetails with his bow during the November rut.

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss warm-season food plots on this deer factory in Minnesota.

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore explores the pitfalls of puppy training.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

We'll explain which supplements whitetails can obtain in the field, and the best ways to provide them with the ones they can't. Off-Season

Which Minerals Do Deer Need?

Dr. James C. Kroll

We'll explain which supplements whitetails can obtain in the field, and the best ways to...

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

Here's a look at some of the new deer rifles from SHOT Show 2020! Guns

Best New Deer Hunting Rifles for 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 29, 2020

Here's a look at some of the new deer rifles from SHOT Show 2020!

Even snow-white deer are fairly common in comparison to those that are abnormally dark in color. Deer Behavior & Facts

Rarest Whitetails Of All?

Gordon Whittington - September 22, 2010

Even snow-white deer are fairly common in comparison to those that are abnormally dark in...

See More Trending Articles

More United States

To bowhunters who aren't in the know, New Jersey might seem the last place to go looking for a United States

Hidden New Jersey Whitetails

Gordon Whittington - September 25, 2017

To bowhunters who aren't in the know, New Jersey might seem the last place to go looking for a

If you're an Eastern bowhunter, chances are you long to sample the wild flavor of chasing big game United States

Backwoods Bowhunting in West Virginia

Gordon Whittington - July 11, 2017

If you're an Eastern bowhunter, chances are you long to sample the wild flavor of chasing big...

Arkansas doesn't quite know where it is. Or, to put it more accurately, many people are unsure how United States

Where to Hunt in the South? Try Arkansas.

Gordon Whittington - January 27, 2017

Arkansas doesn't quite know where it is. Or, to put it more accurately, many people are unsure...

You've waited, scrimped and saved and now can finally afford that that once-in-a-lifetime hunt. But United States

The Top 10 Whitetail Spots for 2017

Bob Humphrey - May 31, 2017

You've waited, scrimped and saved and now can finally afford that that once-in-a-lifetime...

See More United States

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now