LITTLE ROCK – For deer hunters using modern guns, the annual bonus is coming up. It’s the statewide Holiday Hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 26, 27 and 28.

This event, once an “extra” for Arkansans, is another testament to the strong status of deer in the Natural State. Arkansas has sufficient numbers of deer so additional hunting is an important tool in management of the herd.

As 2014 winds down, numbers of deer already checked by hunters is pushing toward the 200,000 mark. This follows the all-time highs of 2012 with 213,487 and 2013 with 213,199.

The Holiday Hunt is structured identically to the regular modern gun hunts with the exception that no dogs are allowed anywhere in the state. The statewide bag limit of six deer, of which only two can be bucks, is in effect along with the limits for individual private land and public land zones.

Also ahead is the second Youth Hunt on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 3 and 4. This is also statewide with no dogs allowed.

Hunters under 16 years old can go after deer with modern guns, muzzle-loaders or archery gear. If youths have hunter education certificates, they must be accompanied by someone 18 or older. If they do not have hunter education certificates, they must be accompanied by a person 21 or older. The adult mentor cannot carry a firearm.

There are no antler restrictions on bucks that youths can take during this hunt.