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The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is hosting a series of fun events to say “Thank you for your contribution to conservation” from Oct. 8-13 at nature centers around the state.
With the heat of summer hopefully in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Hunting seasons are kicking off, and fish are beginning to get active near the shoreline again. The fall color change also offers fantastic views of landscapes throughout The Natural State for hikers, bikers and wildlife watchers.
The following special events are being planned in addition to regular nature center programming. Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/education/calendar/public-event/conservation-appreciation-week/ to learn more.
Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center in Little Rock
1 – 3 p.m., Oct. 8
Participate in a venison chili and cheese dip cook-off and tasting. Participants have to compete in both categories to be eligible for the grand prize. The grand prize winner will receive a two-person deer hunting ladder stand. While supplies last, purchase a hunting or fishing license to receive a small soft-side AGFC cooler and a copy of the Grand Prairie book.
Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff
6 – 8 p.m., Oct. 13
Enjoy an evening of chili and all the fixings with nature center staff. There will be demonstrations and a drawing for door prizes. Register to attend at https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/187384.
Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith
At Trimble Lock and Dam 13 at Springhill Park
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Oct. 11
Enjoy an evening cruise and barge tour on the Arkansas River to see the fall colors from a different perspective. Refreshments will be provided for participants. Dress appropriately for the weather. Call the nature center at (479) 452-3993 to reserve your seat.
Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro
5 – 7:30 p.m., Oct. 11
Arkansas hunting or fishing license holders can stop in for a special after-hours open house and enjoy several booths set up around the facility. Participants can have their photo taken with an American alligator, enjoy building a turkey call, paint a waterfowl decoy, sample some wild game appetizers and enjoy the movie “Arkansas on the Wild Side” in the theater, complete with popcorn.
5 – 7 p.m., Oct. 11
AGFC Wildlife Management staff will be doing a hog trap demo, while an enforcement officer will be present for any questions you may have. Food will be served and the exhibit hall will be open. Door prizes will be drawn for all who attend. Visit https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/187051 to register.
Fred Berry Crooked Creek Nature Center in Yellville
9 a.m. – noon, Oct. 8
Join us for donuts and coffee for all who come with a license or purchase a license that day. For each license held, attendees can complete one free round of trap-shooting.
Potlatch Cook’s Lake Nature Center in Casscoe
Noon – 8 p.m., Oct. 13
Enjoy one free round of trap for showing your hunting license and one free round for showing your fishing license, or two rounds if you hold a combination license. Participants should bring their own shotguns and ammunition. Call the center at (501) 404-2321 to reserve your time slot. From 6:30 – 8 p.m., there will be a Conservation Social and wild game appetizer potluck and cook-off. Mingle with other hunters and anglers, share some stories and sample some delicious wild game.
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Nature Center in Columbus
9 a.m. – noon, Oct. 13
Hunting or fishing license holders can participate in a 50-bird trap competition as well as a last-person-standing event. Winners of each event will receive a case of shotgun shells.