Floodwaters Drive Deer Onto Agricultural Fields

Floodwaters Drive Deer Onto Agricultural Fields
Floodwaters Drive Deer Onto Agricultural Fields
From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK - Historically high flooding along the Mississippi River in southeastern Arkansas has driven hungry white-tailed deer from inside levees onto valuable agricultural fields, where they have reduced crops to nubs. "I saw 195 acres of beans gnawed to the ground," said Dick Baxter, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deer Program coordinator. "They were planted a month ago."

Landowners have used devices such as rope firecrackers and propane cannons to frighten deer from fields before, but since May 1, explosives have been harder to come by. The U.S. Department of Justice now requires a license to use rope firecrackers, but obtaining the license is a lengthy process. The Mississippi River is expected to be high for weeks.

"This is a problem that nobody's dealt with to this magnitude," said Mark Hooks, an AGFC biologist based in Monticello. "One of the challenges for us is people could use rope firecrackers (during flooding) in 2008. It was less of an issue then. We don't have that at our disposal now."

Although landowners can't use rope firecrackers without a license, AGFC personnel are authorized to use the devices if qualified or affected landowners make a request. The firecrackers and cannons produce periodic explosions that surprise and frighten deer. But even after jarring blasts, deer tend to acclimate to loud noises, and that's when depredation permits become necessary. As of May 23, nine depredation permits had been issued by the AGFC in Chicot County and four in Desha County. A single permit has been issued for Arkansas County. Records show that 120 deer had been taken in Chicot County, 17 deer had been taken in Desha County and four deer in Arkansas County - a total of 141.


"There's a perception that a lot of deer are being taken and that's simply not true," Hooks said. "Stress can kill some of these deer when they are driven by floodwaters." Another method used to keep displaced deer from destroying crops is feeding them to draw them away from crops. Corn, which is popular deer feed, is not the right type of feed for deer this time of year, and it can attract unwanted animals such as feral pigs. Even if the right feed is used, "It's hard to lure deer away from young bean plants," Hooks said. "The hard reality is a few deer are going to be killed."


AGFC biologists and wildlife officers will continue to monitor the movement of deer from the ground and from the air.

Photo credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Catfish

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them. Reels

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos Gomez. In this article, Gomez recounts his experiences from his first nighttime poaching bust. Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting 

All Stories

3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting...

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are Stories

Call Our Complex Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 13, 2017

We Coyote hunters spend a lot of time ringing the dog's dinner bell when we call. But we are

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.