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Officials fight spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

Officials fight spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Last month, The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed an elk was the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in the natural state. Since then, two deer have also tested positive for the deadly disease.

While the disease can’t be contracted to humans, it is still something Arkansans should take seriously.

Armyworms march through Arkansas

Armyworms march through Arkansas


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV)- If you see a brown lawn in your neighborhood, don't jump to blame the weather or a lazy homeowner. The culprit could be the armyworm.

They look exactly like caterpillars. The insects can turn lawns from green to brown in a matter of days by eating the healthy blades of grass.

At the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock, golf course superintendent Don Armbrust keeps a close eye on the course's grass.

"Noticed a discoloration or what appeared to be drought-stress within the turf grass area."

A strange occurrence considering the amount of rain the state received during the month of July. At the beginning of August, Armbrust discovered fall armyworms eating away at the grass.

"With the cool, wet spring that we had it was definitely something we had to look out for and we ended up having to treat almost all the rough areas around the golf course."

Commission approves waterfowl season dates

Commission approves waterfowl season dates


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AGFC) – For the 18th consecutive year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved a 60-day hunting season for waterfowl. The vote came today during the Commission's monthly meeting.

AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor presented the Commission with the late migratory season proposals. "Habitat conditions were improved or similar to last year in many areas due to average or above-average annual precipitation," Naylor explained. "Continued wet conditions appear to be driving continued good habitat" he added.

Naylor noted that total duck population estimates of breeding waterfowl in the U.S. and Canada were the highest on record. "The total duck population estimate is 49.2 million ducks. That's an 8 percent increase from 2013 and 43 percent above the long-term average," Naylor said.

Elk harvest reaches record; herd growing

Elk harvest reaches record; herd growing

   LITTLE ROCK – A record 44 elk were harvested during the 2012 hunting seasons, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist Wes Wright told Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Commission.

   In 2012, 20 bull elk and 24 antlerless elk were harvested during hunting seasons in September and October in territory near the Buffalo River. The previous record was 38.

   Since 1998, when elk hunting began in Arkansas, 376 have been harvested (195 bulls, 181 antlerless). Harvested elk are weighed, ages are estimated and blood samples are taken for disease tests. Elk also are tested for chronic wasting disease.

   Wright said a recent survey found at least 620 elk on public and private land, up from 453 counted during the previous survey.

   The Commission elected Commissioner Ron Duncan of Springdale vice chairman to fill the previously vacant position.

   In other business, the Commission:

The Theba Thing: Biking Bliss

The Theba Thing: Biking Bliss

"The Theba Thing" is about stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and trying the things that have been on my mind and heart.

In the fall of 2011, I was bitten by the bike-riding bug. I went biking at Two Rivers Park with my brother and his family visiting from Fayetteville. I knew I was going to “have to” go, because they’re big into outdoor activities.  So I rode one of their extra bikes and I absolutely had the time of my life.

I had no idea these wonderful scenic trails existed so close to where I lived. I sure have been living in a comfortable bubble, which usually means to me, where there are no bugs, no potential for bumps and scratches and plenty of air conditioning.

Nevertheless, I was hooked. I started planning how both my mother and I could enjoy bike riding together, and get my friends in on the action as well.  But first I had to convince mom that she would enjoy it as much as I did.

Flood zones reopen for Christmas deer hunts

Flood zones reopen for Christmas deer hunts

LITTLE ROCK –Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Loren Hitchcock has authorized opening the state’s private land flood prone zones in advance of the upcoming modern gun, muzzleloader and youth deer hunts. Last week, commissioners gave the director of the AGFC the authority to open any closed flood prone region based on the recommendation of the chief of the wildlife management division.

Several areas around the state have been closed to deer hunting due to high water. Reopening the zones will give hunters more opportunity to help control Arkansas's growing deer herd.

Spiders can scare throughout winter

Spiders can scare throughout winter

Spiders are associated with Halloween, but the arachnids will most likely be seen throughout the winter in homes due to the warm summer we experienced. Often popping up after people bring holiday decorations or winter clothing out of storage, Terminix, the nation’s largest pest control company, has a few tips for prevention and protection to limit number of infestations and incidents of bites.

Why do spiders invade homes?

Like most pests, spiders are opportunistic and invade homes out of convenience. Human structures often provide a sheltered environment and can provide easy access to other insects. 

How do spiders get into homes?

Spiders can slip through very small exterior openings.