Changes have been made for this hunting season at the Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge east of Manila.
According to Brian Braudis, wildlife refuge manager, hunters at the refuge are no longer required to sign in at the refuge office to receive a hunt permit. Hunt permits are now available at the informational kiosk outside the headquarters and at the hunter check station. Permits must be signed by the holder, are not transferable and must be carried at all times by anyone on the refuge land in possession of hunting equipment.
"Hunters used to have to come in the office to get a permit and with the change hunters will be able to get their permits even if the office is closed," Pat Jolliff said. "This will make it more convenient for the area hunters."
Braudis said although the 2003-2004 Arkansas Hunting Guide book says hunting dogs are allowed on wildlife refuges, hunting dogs will not be allowed on the Big Lake Refuge.
Hunting dates and requirements are different on the Big Lake Refuge than they are in other areas, he said. Small game (squirrel and rabbit) hunting season began Sept. 6 and will continue through Oct. 31. Steel shot only will be allowed in shotguns, and .22 rim fire will also be allowed.
Deer season on the refuge will be archery only, and will run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
Raccoon and opossum season will be limited and will run from Oct. 11 through Oct. 26. Steel shot in shotguns or .22 rim fire will be the only hunting weapons allowed this season.
For more information, interested persons may call the refuge at (870) 564-2429.