Arkansas Deer Hunting Season 2023-2024

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The Ozark Mountain borders the southern “natural” state of Arkansas and is home to a healthy population of nearly 1 000 000 white-tailed deer. With around 3.2 million acres of open public hunting land, it’s easy to see why Arkansas is a popular deer hunting destination.

Are you planning on strapping up your laces, zipping up a hunting vest, and heading to the wild Arkansas terrain to harvest white-tailed deer? There are a few regulations and seasonal dates that you need to bear in mind. Look below at everything you need to know about hunting white-tailed deer in Arkansas.

Season Dates 2023 – 2024

Arkansas has three main seasons for hunting white-tailed; Archery, Muzzleloader, and Modern Gun. In addition, there is a Youth Modern Gun and Private Land Antlerless Only season.  Below are the seasonal dates for the 2023 – 2024 period:

Deer Season ArkansasDates (start-to-end)
ArcherySeptember 24th – February 28th
MuzzleloaderOctober 15th – October 23rd
December 10th – December 19th
Modern GunNovember 12th – December 25th
Youth Modern GunNovember 5th – November 6th
January 7th – January 8th
Private Land Antlerless OnlyDecember 29th – December 31st

Youth hunters under sixteen (16) years old are permitted to hunt in Arkansas; however, a licensed individual over 21 must accompany them.  

License and Tag Fees

Hunters over sixteen (16) who wish to hunt white-tailed deer must purchase an Arkansas hunting license from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Youth hunters under sixteen (16) years old are permitted to hunt without a license. However, they must collect a free AGFC Customer ID to check in big game and participate in hunts.

General WMA Hunter Use Permit (WMP)Free
Combination Sportsman’s License (CS)$35.50
Resident Sportsman’s License (RS)$25.00
Resident Wildlife Conservation License (HNT)$10.50
Nonresident Annual All Game Hunting License (NBG)$350.00
Nonresident 5-Day All Game Hunting License (AG5)$180.00
Nonresident 3-Day All Game Hunting License (AG3)$125.00
Nonresident 1-Day All Game Hunting License (AG1)$55.00
65-Plus Lifetime Hunting License $25.00
65-Plus Lifetime Combination License$35.50
Nonexpiring Lifetime Resident Hunting and Fishing Sportsman’s Permit $1000.00

All hunters over sixteen (16) must complete a Hunter Education course and purchase a hunting license. However, hunters who have not completed a Hunter Education course may purchase Deferred Hunter Education License (DHE) to hunt white-tailed deer for one year legally. 

Bag Limits and Hunting Hours

Arkansas is divided into twenty-five (25) deer hunting zones, and limits are varied in each zone. Arkansas has an annual state-wide bag limit of six (6) white-tailed deer, with no more than two (2) bucks permitted. 

Bucks must have both antlers shorter than two (2) inches or must have three (3) or more points on one side of their rack. Hunters between six (6) to sixteen (16) years old may harvest any buck without regard to antler points or size. 

Hunters are only permitted to hunt deer (30) minutes before sunrise until (30) minutes after dark. In addition, they must harvest all the edible meat from a deer. It is illegal to waste a portion of edible deer meat.

What Weapons can you Hunt Deer with in Arkansas?

Hunters are restricted to the type of weapons they may use to hunt white-tailed deer in Arkansas. Below is a list of hunting weapons and specific regulations for hunting white-tailed deer. Hunters are permitted to use the following:

  • Archery- Bow & Arrow
  • Muzzleloading rifles
  • Centerfire firearms
  • Handguns
  • Shotguns
  • Big-bore air rifles
  • Crossbows


RiflesMust be a centerfire cartridge larger than .22 caliber.
Big-bore Air RiflesMust be .40 caliber, shoot a single expandable slug, and produce 400 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
ShotgunsMust be .410 or larger, with slugs only.
HandgunsMust be.22 caliber centerfire cartridge or larger. Handguns barrel length between 4 to 10 inches and chambered specifically for straight-wall centerfire cartridge cases.
Prohibited FirearmsAny automatic firearms are prohibited, bottleneck case caliber less than .22 caliber, air rifles
Prohibited AmmunitionTracers, incendiary bullets, full metal jackets, full steel, and full steel core ammunition are prohibited.

Bow and Arrow:

ArrowsArrows must be 24” from the nock to the tip of the broadhead.
BroadheadsMust be 7-8 inches at the widest point. 
Bow characteristicsMust have a peak draw weight of 35 pounds or larger.


Crossbow draw weightMinimum draw weight of 125 pounds or more and requires a mechanical safety function
Arrows/ boltsArrows and arrowheads containing firearm ammunition or poison may not be used.
BroadheadsMust be 7-8 inches at the widest point. 

Muzzleloading Rifle and Musket:

PowderBlack powder or black powder substitute only.
CaliberMuzzleloading rifles must have a barrel 18 inches or longer and be .40 caliber or larger.
Legal ProjectileSabot round, lead ball, lead bullet, semi-jacketed bullet, or metal alloy expanding bullet.
Muzzleloading HandgunsMuzzleloading handguns must have barrels 9 inches or longer, .45 caliber or larger if using conical bullets (200 grains or heavier), and .530 caliber or larger if using round balls.
IgnitionMuzzleloaders must use flint, percussion cap, primer, or electronic pulse, must have the bullet loaded through the muzzle, and cannot fire a cartridge.

What Types of Deer are popular in Arkansas?

The variety of deer available to hunt in Arkansas is rather limited; there is only one species of deer available to hunt: white-tailed deer. These types of deer are pretty common throughout the entire state and are noticed by their dark-colored rump with big white underside tails.

What else is Popular to Hunt in Arkansas?

Arkansas is known as the “Natural” state because of its beautiful rivers, lakes, mountains, and wetlands. The diverse landscape and untouched wilderness offer hunters pristine hunting conditions to harvest a wide variety of big and small game, including:

  • Black Bear
  • Elk
  • Alligator
  • Mallard
  • Bobcat
  • Waterfowl
  • Muskrat
  • Eastern Cottontail
  • Gray Fox
  • Groundhog

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

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