Do You Remember the Deer Restoration Days?

If you’ve read any of our previous blog posts, you know how much we care about the history of hunting in Arkansas. After all, it’s in our razorback blood – it has flowed from our grandfathers to our fathers and lastly to us. It’s crucial therefore that we remind ourselves every day of the storied heritage of hunting in this state. One of the more fascinating parts of this heritage were the deer restoration days, as discussed in this article from the Magnolia Reporter, which centers around this mounted deer that belongs to hunter Bob Fugitt and is a relic from the deer restoration days.

They report, “Back in the deer restoration days, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission operated numbers deer farms or refuges. The term changed with the passing of years. A 1951 book published by the AGFC said there were 44 such facilities, and these included Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge and White River National Wildlife Refuge.”

Can you believe that there was once a concerted effort on the part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to increase the amount of deer in the state? It’s crazy to think that there was once a time when deer were scarce in the area, worrying people to the extent that they needed to set up farms and refuges specifically for the animal. Nowadays it seems that deer can be seen on every corner, every parcel of land filled to the brim. Back then, we weren’t that luck. Thanks to the efforts of hunters and the Commission, there was a deer turnaround.

All the opportunities we hunters enjoy today can be attributed the efforts of hunters in the past. What will you leave future generations of hunters?