For serious hunters, few things will compare to the thrill of taking a big animal. But it’s far too common to assume that the only places in the area to bag a big animal is out west. In fact, virtually every state has its own big game hunts that are worth checking out, and Arkansas is no exception. With the help of the best outfitters in the state and some basic info on the hunting regulations, you can get the success you need this year as well.

There are a few options for those looking to hunt big game in Arkansas. Here’s a rundown of the basics.


Elk hunting in Arkansas is a very competitive thing – just being able to hunt can be difficult. You’ll have to enter an application and then wait to see if your name is pulled from the hunting lottery. Here are the basics:

• Only 26 permits will be drawn for the public hunt draw. An additional 3 permits will be reserved for onsite draws at the 22nd Annual Buffalo River Elk Festival, while the initial 26 will be drawn online.

• Only Arkansas residents with a license are allowed to enter for the drawing. No out of state elk hunters are allowed – unless it is in a private land hunt setting.

• Hunting is allowed on certain designated areas throughout the state.


Bear season in Arkansas is much easier to do than elk. Bear are found throughout the state, and Arkansas has designated bear hunting seasons that depend largely upon the part of the state that you are hunting in.

• Archery hunts begin in late September and early October, usually starting around September 23.

• Muzzleloader season opens on October 21

• Modern gun season opens on November 11

All of these seasons close on November 30, giving hunters ample time to bag that big animal.


Yes, you can even hunt alligator in Arkansas. Each hunter is allowed one alligator of 4 feet long or larger, and hunting is allowed only during the night – 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.

Seasonal dates for alligator run from September 30-23 and September 27-30, however, remember that only Arkansas residents will be allowed to enter the lottery drawing for the chance to bag a gator.


And of course, deer seasons are available from late September throughout the rest of the year, with modern gun seasons ending on December 28th in many locations. Overall hunting restrictions and season dates will depend upon the zone that the hunt is occurring in.