Electronic, phone deer checking working well

December 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Checking deer has never been easier for Arkansas hunters. For many years, simplifying the deer checking process has been a goal of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Now that the new system is in place, it may be the reason for Arkansas’ deer harvest being well ahead of last year at the same point.According to AGFC Assistant Chief of Wildlife Operations Matt Hodges, the deer harvest numbers are up from last year despite several deer hunting areas being closed due to flooding.

LR nature center picks up two awards for its design

December 18, 2009  LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s  Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center has won two awards for its design. McGraw Hill Construction announced recently that the center won two awards in the South Central Construction category that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.The awards were presented this week in Memphis.“The two awards were the Best of 2009 for Best Cultural Project and Best Public Architecture,” according to Arkansas Outdoors, the commission’s weekly newsletter.

Turkey permit application period opens

December 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK – Beginning this week, Arkansas turkey hunters may apply for limited permits on several Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas for the 2010 spring turkey season, including one in Sharp County and one in Stone County, according to commission spokesman Keith Stephens.This year, the AGFC is accepting permits only online at https://www.ark.org/agfc/turkey/index.php. Applicants may also apply by calling the AGFC at (800) 364-4263 ext. 6359 or by contacting a regional office during normal business hours. The application period is open through Jan. 15

Hunters take 17 in Dec. elk hunt

December 18, 2009 PONCA — Under cold but otherwise favorable conditions, hunters took 17 elk during the five-day December permit hunt in the Buffalo River country, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.Thirteen of the elk were taken on public land of the Buffalo National River and the Game and Fish Commission. A total of 24 permits were issued by a random public drawing.Four elk were taken on private land, where hunters had landowner permission to receive their permits.

Public meetings set for Jan. 5

December 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Public input is a crucial component of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s process for setting hunting and fishing regulations, and the method of gathering public input will be slightly different beginning in January, commission spokesman Keith Stephens said..After a short discussion on the public input process at Thursday’s monthly commission meeting, a decision was made to hold five public meetings around the state to gather comments on hunting regulations proposals.

Outdoors show to be aired twice weekly

December 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Beginning in 2010,  “Talkin’ Outdoors at the Corner Cafe” will be broadcast twice a week. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission show normally airs each Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on KARK Channel 4.After Jan. 1, it will be rebroadcast every Sunday at 9 a.m. on KARZ Channel 42.The show is hosted by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Public Affairs Coordinator Steve “Wild Man” Wilson.

Youngsters get bicycles as rewards

December 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — More than two dozen students at a Little Rock elementary school received big Christmas gifts a few days early.A ceremony was planned this morning at Wilson Elementary School so that 13 boys and 13 girls could each get a bicycle as a reward for outstanding work and good behavior. The gifts are going to the students courtesy of Academy Sports.

John 3:16 now selling turkeys, hams

December 18, 2009 CHARLOTTE — John 3:16 Ministries in Charlotte is again selling smoked turkeys and hams for Christmas. The cost for a 12-15 pound turkey or ham is $39.95 each, and that includes tax.To place an order, call Dane Bawcom at (870) 307-4667 or the John 3:16 office at (870) 799-2525.John 3:16 is a spiritual-based boot camp for men with drug and alcohol addictions. It is funded solely on private donations.

Two-legged dog gives hope to disabled vets

December 18, 2009 LOS ANGELES (AP) — For several years, Jude Stringfellow and her Lab-chow mix have toured the country with a simple message: Faith walks.Born without front legs to a junkyard dog around Christmas 2002, Faith the puppy was rejected and abused by her mother. She was rescued by Reuben Stringfellow, now an Army E-4 specialist, who had been asked to bury other puppies in the litter.“Can we fix her? Stringfellow, then 17, asked his mom. “No, but maybe we can help her,” she said.

Kwanzaa continues, but boom is over

December 18, 2009 NEW YORK (AP) — Four years ago, Evita Broughton celebrated Kwanzaa for the first time with her family — lighting a candle each night and discussing the respective principle.But she hasn’t celebrated the holiday since.“It felt like a school project that lasted seven nights,” said Broughton, 27, of Marietta, Ga. “I didn’t feel like I had that connection. I tried to share my experiences with others but no one else was celebrating it.”