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Hunters Prepare As Deer Season Approaches

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Opening day for bow hunting in Arkansas is Sept. 26.

Jordan Tanksleary has been hunting for several years, and said that date can’t come fast enough.

“I want my little boy to get his first deer. I’d pass on a deer all year long for me, as long as he gets one -- I’m happy,” Tanksleary said.

His son Trevor will be using a cross bow and hunting for the first time, but it's not the first time he's been in the woods with his dad.

“He’s been coming to the woods with me so long that I’ve had to carry him when he was three,” Tanksleary said.

Kevin Lynch with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said it should be a good season.

“The mass crop, the acorn crop that's going to be available this fall, right now looks like it's really good in the Ozarks, Ouachitas and the River Valley, " Regional Wildlife Supervisor Kevin Lynch said.

Tanksleary said he and his son have a plan to make the most of the season.

“This year we got a lot of private land we're going to hunt, so then during rifle season I’m going to take him up to White Rock National Forest and hopefully we get one with a rifle,” he said.

Lynch said hunters need to be careful not to confuse public and private deer zones.

“Just remember if you hunt anywhere on the Ozark National Forest -- that is a wildlife management area. It could be Lee Creek, it could be Weddington, it could be White Rock, Mt. Magazine -- those are all separate zones from the private land zones,” Lynch said.

As for Tanksleary, he said his son is ready to get his first deer.

“I'm confident he'll get one opening week, surely,” Tanksleary said.

Muzzleloader season begins Oct. 17. For more information on hunting regulations, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website.