Hunting

Russell Sage WMA

Acreage

38,213

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Caldwell

Owner/manager

LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ouachita Parish School Board

Description

Russell Sage WMA forms one of the largest remaining tracts of the vast bottomland hardwood forests that historically composed the lower Mississippi River floodplain from lower Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. Russell Sage WMA was the very first LDWF-owned WMA. LDWF purchased 15,000 acres of the property in 1960; since then, LDWF has leased and purchased several adjacent tracts. LDWF also consolidated the former Ouachita WMA with Russell Sage WMA in March 2015. In total, LDWF owns 34,018 acres of the property, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns 2,955 acres, and the Ouachita Parish School Board owns 1,240 acres.

Located within the Bayou LaFourche floodplain, Russell Sage WMA is flat, poorly drained, and subject to annual winter and spring flooding. Elevations range from 55 to 63 feet above sea level. Numerous sloughs and shallow bayous meander throughout the property, and there is annual backwater flooding. Abandoned and active mineral exploration and production sites, roadways, pipelines, open water lakes, sloughs, and bayous provide diversity throughout the area.

LDWF has planted approximately 4,000 acres of hardwood seedlings to restore the old Ouachita WMA portion of the area to its condition before it was cleared for farming in the 1960s. The forest canopy contains a mixture of bottomland hardwoods grouped into two major timber types: oak-elm-ash and overcup oak-bitter pecan (water hickory). There are smaller areas of cypress-tupelo, gum, and black willow. Individual tree species include honey locust, cedar and winged elm, sweetgum, sugarberry, green ash, red maple, cottonwood, nutmeg and bitternut hickory, and nuttall, willow, and delta post oak. Common woody understory species include peppervine, deciduous holly, poison ivy, rattan, swamp privet, buttonbush, climbing dogbane, palmetto, greenbrier, dewberry, roughleaf dogwood, trumpet creeper, persimmon, box elder, grape, and hawthorn.

LDWF has developed 13 waterfowl management units totaling 7,770 acres on this WMA. This includes 500 acres of flooded agricultural fields, 4,500 acres of moist soil management units, 2,550 acres of greentree impoundments, and 220 acres of shallow water areas.

The 2,767-acre Kennedy Tract, purchased in 2015, is currently in the planning stages for future management activities; no public activity is allowed in this area at this time.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Russell Sage WMA are white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrel, and rabbit. There is a small game emphasis area on this WMA. The areas managed for waterfowl, along with the numerous sloughs and waterways, offer excellent waterfowl hunting. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons and a youth waterfowl lottery hunt. Hunting is also available for dove, raccoon, snipe, and woodcock. There is a dove field, planted annually in brown-top millet, available to area users. See regulations for details.

In addition, there is a physically challenged wheelchair-confined hunting area, deer season, and waterfowl lottery hunt. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing and boating: Recreational fishing for freshwater species including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are popular with area users. Commercial fishing is also available. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are two primitive camping areas on Russell Sage WMA.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Many neotropical birds and shorebirds visit Russell Sage WMA annually. The area is also home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds, along with the numerous sloughs and waterways, offer excellent birding. There is a wildlife viewing tower overlooking several waterfowl impoundments in the waterfowl refuge. Russell Sage WMA is also a great location for viewing terrestrial birds and raptors.

Louisiana black bear frequent this area; reported sightings have been increasing.

Hiking: Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Russell Sage WMA is located about 7 miles east of Monroe and 10 miles west of Rayville. You can access the WMA via U.S. Hwy 80 and 165, LA Hwy 15, and I-20. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails on the WMA. There are 12 self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the WMA.

Sabine Island WMA

Acreage

8,343

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Parish

Calcasieu

Owner/manager

Louisiana Office of State Lands, Calcasieu Parish School Board, Rayonier

Description

Sabine Island WMA is bounded by the Sabine River to the south and west and Old River and Big Bayou to the east and north. The area varies from low terrain subject to annual flooding for prolonged periods to winding ridges. Numerous bayous and sloughs are found throughout the area.

The forest cover is composed of two major types of timber—cypress-tupelo makes up about 85 percent and pine hardwood makes up the remainder. In the pine hardwood areas, white oaks, willow oak, and sweetgum are found mixed with loblolly pine. The major understory species are smilax, rattan, arrowwood, Japanese honeysuckle, blackberries, dewberries, and seedlings of the major hardwood species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include squirrel, rabbit, deer, woodcock, and waterfowl. Trapping for furbearers is also allowed. Furbearers include raccoon, opossum, mink, bobcat, and nutria. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Due to its location and abundant waterways, Sabine Island WMA is very popular for boating and waterskiing. The WMA also offers excellent fishing, both recreational and commercial, year-round. See regulations for details.

Directions

Sabine Island WMA is located in between Vinton and Starks. Take LA Hwy 109 north from Vinton or south from Starks, then take Niblett’s Bluff Park Road to the west. Sabine Island WMA is completely surrounded by water; you can only access the WMA by boat. You must have a self-clearing permit to access Sabine Island WMA.

Joyce WMA

Acreage

27,965

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

Tangipahoa

Owner/manager

LDWF, Tangipahoa Parish School Board

Description

Joyce WMA is a wetland within the Pontchartrain Basin; it mainly consists of cypress-tupelo swamp. A large portion of the area is a dense shrub marsh community with red maple, wax myrtle, red bay, and younger cypress-tupelo. There is a 500-acre freshwater marsh, mainly of maiden cane, on the northern portion of the WMA. There is a Limited Access Area located in the northwestern corner; the use of internal combustion engines is prohibited in this area year-round.

In 1982, the Joyce Foundation donated the 12,809 acres that originally comprised Joyce WMA. In 1994, the Guste Heirs donated an additional 2,250 acres. LDWF acquired the 8,364-acre Salmen/Octavia Tract in 2008 and the 2,729-acre Dendinger Tract in 2010. LDWF leases an additional 484 acres from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Popular game species on Joyce WMA include white-tailed deer, waterfowl, rabbit, and squirrel. There is a youth deer season. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Nearby boat launches include one at North Pass at U.S. Hwy 51, Lee’s Landing, and Traino Landing, south of LA Hwy 22. Common freshwater fish available on Joyce WMA include largemouth bass, sunfish, and catfish. Frogging is also available. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Popular for birding, Joyce WMA is a site along the American Wetlands Birding Trail. Bald eagles and osprey nest in and around the WMA. Numerous other species of birds, including neotropical migrants, use this coastal forest during fall and spring migrations. Resident waterfowl, including hooded mergansers and wood, mottled, and black-bellied whistling ducks, are found on the area year-round. LDWF maintains and monitors more than 50 wood duck nesting boxes on the area.

Alligators and a variety of other reptiles and amphibians are common on Joyce WMA. LDWF constructed an elevated “Swamp Walk” boardwalk in 1990 to provide WMA visitors with an opportunity to view the swamp interior and observe the associated wildlife and vegetation. LDWF renovated the boardwalk after it was damaged by Hurricane Isaac.

Directions

Joyce WMA is located 5 miles south of Hammond. Access to the interior of the property is limited; there are no roads that lead into the swamp. Several abandoned logging canals enter the area from the west off of U.S. Hwy 51; however, these canals are narrow and travel is limited to pirogues and canoes and only during moderate to high water periods. Access by outboard motor is limited to the upper reaches of Middle and Black Bayous as well as the Tangipahoa River and Bedico Creek. There is a public boat launch on North Pass at U.S. Hwy 51. Other access points include Lee’s Landing and Traino Landing, south of LA Hwy 22. There are self-clearing permit stations throughout the WMA.

Sabine WMA

Map: 

Acreage

7,656

Contact

adailey@wlf.la.gov; 318-487-5885; 1995 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360

Parish

Sabine

Owner/manager

Hancock Timber

Description

The terrain on Sabine WMA varies from rolling hills to creek bottoms. The major timber type is loblolly pine. Upland overstory species also include red, post, and white oak; hickory; and sweetgum. Upland understory species include yaupon, French mulberry, hawthorn, sassafras, black cherry, wax myrtle, huckleberry, and dogwood. The creek bottoms have an overstory comprised of beech; willow, water, and southern red oak; red maple; black and sweetgum; and magnolia, and an understory of ironwood, dogwood, wild azalea, deciduous holly, and seedlings of the overstory.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer, squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, quail, dove, and woodcock. Turkey hunting is available by lottery only. There is also a youth deer season. Trapping is allowed; available species are mink, raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox, beaver, and coyote. See regulations for details.

In addition, there is a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Camping: There is a primitive camping area in the northwest portion of the WMA.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Sabine WMA is located approximately 5 miles south of Zwolle. Access the WMA via LA Hwy 6 or U.S. Hwy 171.

Hutchinson Creek WMA

Acreage

129

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Drive, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

St. Helena

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Most of Hutchinson Creek WMA is rolling hill terrain with young longleaf pine. There is a small area of mature trees at the north end of the WMA, which is bordered by Hutchinson Creek.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer, rabbit, and squirrel. Because of the small size of this WMA, deer hunting is restricted to archery only. See regulations for details.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Hutchinson Creek WMA is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Kentwood. From I-55, take exit 53 and head west on LA Hwy 10 for 5.7 miles. Then turn right on LA Hwy 441 and head north for 2.9 miles. Turn right onto Jaeger Road and follow it to the end. Take the small woods road on the left to the parking area and self-clearing permit station.

Grassy Lake WMA

Acreage

12,983

Contact

Tony Vidrine 

(337)948-0255

 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

Avoyelles

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Grassy Lake WMA lies within the Red River alluvial floodplain and is subject to periodic backwater flooding. The terrain is flat and drainage is poor. Bayou Natchitoches transects the area and has several smaller tributaries. There are four major waterbodies on the WMA: Smith Bay, Grassy Lake, Lake Chenier, and Red River Bay.

The WMA’s forest cover is entirely bottomland hardwood species such as willow, cypress, bitter pecan, swamp privet, water elm, overcup oak, cottonwood, sycamore, honey locust, and hackberry. Understory vegetation is typical for such poorly drained land. Common species include buttonbush, deciduous holly, smilax, dewberry, rattan, peppervine, and various annual grasses and sedges.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Popular game species include swamp rabbit, white-tailed deer, squirrel, turkey, woodcock, and waterfowl. There is a youth deer season and turkey lottery hunt. Trapping for furbearers is allowed. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Recreational fishing is fair for largemouth bass, crappie, and bream. Commercial fishing is allowed by special permit. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are two primitive camping areas on Grassy Lake WMA.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Take LA Hwy 451 to Bordelonville, cross the levee at the Bayou des Glaises flood control structure, and follow the gravel road for 6.5 miles. LDWF maintains approximately 20 miles of all-weather limestone roads on Grassy Lake WMA. There is also a 7-mile network of ATV trails.

Fort Polk WMA

Acreage

105,545

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA, 70601

Parish

Vernon

Owner/manager

U.S. Army, U.S. Forest Service

Description

Fort Polk-Vernon WMA is a military training facility. The area has many all-weather roads, which make all portions accessible for recreational use when it is open.

The WMA’s terrain is primarily rolling hills interspersed with flats. There are several fairly large stream bottoms in addition to numerous small creeks. Longleaf pine dominates about 70 percent of the area. Blackjack, sandjack, and red and post oaks are scattered throughout the pines. The understory is very sparse and is composed of wax myrtle, dogwood, huckleberry, yaupon, French mulberry, and seedlings of the overstory.

The creek bottom overstory consists of willow, water, and cow oak; beech; sweetgum; blackgum; and magnolia. The understory contains seedlings of the overstory as well as red and white bay, sweetleaf, ironweed, fetterbush, wild azalea, gallberry, deciduous holly, and viburnums. The area also has bog communities with unusual plant forms such as Venus fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant, and sphagnum moss.

Managers plant approximately 110 acres of wildlife openings in the area each year with browntop millet, sunflower, sorghum, cowpea, and winter wheat.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, quail, woodcock, dove, rabbit, and turkey. There is a youth turkey lottery hunt. Trapping is allowed for raccoon, fox, bobcat, skunk, opossum, beaver, mink, and coyote. All hunters and trappers must obtain an annual permit from the U.S. Army. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: There are numerous species of birds on Fort Polk-Vernon WMA, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

Camping: Camping is not permitted on Fort Polk-Vernon WMA, but there are camping areas available on nearby U.S. Forest Service lands.

Directions

Fort Polk-Vernon WMA is located 10 miles southeast of Leesville, just east of U.S. Hwy 171, 1 mile south of LA Hwy 28, and 1 mile north of LA Hwy 10. You must have a self-clearing permit to access this WMA.

Salvador/Timken WMA

Acreage

34,520

Contact

jgalloway@wlf.la.gov; 504-284-5264

Parish

St. Charles

Owner/manager

LDWF, City Park Commission of New Orleans

Description

Salvador WMA is located along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador. LDWF acquired Salvador WMA in 1968. The area is primarily freshwater marsh with many scattered ponds. Common marsh plants are maiden cane, cattail, bull tongue, and numerous other aquatic plants. There are several large stands of cypress in the northern portions of the WMA. These stands of trees grow on old natural stream levees, which were once distributary channels of the Mississippi River.

Timken WMA is a marsh island, located immediately east of Salvador WMA. LDWF leases the property from the City Park Commission of New Orleans. The area is identified as Couba Island on maps; however, it has been named Timken WMA after the former landowner who donated it to New Orleans. Like Salvador WMA, Timken WMA consists of freshwater to intermediate marsh.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include waterfowl, deer, rabbit, squirrel, rails, gallinules, and snipe. There is a youth deer season. Furbearers include mink, nutria, muskrat, raccoon, opossum, and otter. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Freshwater fishing for bass, bream, crappie, catfish, drum, and garfish is excellent. Commercial fishing is prohibited. See regulations for details.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Both WMAs provide excellent habitat for waterfowl, furbearers, and alligators, as well as nesting habitat for the previously endangered bald eagle.

Directions

These WMAs are located about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans. You can only access them by boat, primarily via Bayou Segnette from Westwego into Lake Cataouatche, then west to the areas; Sellers Canal to Bayou Verrett into Lake Cataouatche, then west to the areas; or via Bayou Des Allemands. The interior marshes are accessible via the areas’ many canals, bayous, and ditches.

Sandy Hollow WMA

Acreage

4,655

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

Tangipahoa

Owner/manager

LDWF, Tangipahoa Parish School Board

Overview

The terrain on Sandy Hollow WMA is mostly rolling hills with young longleaf pine; there is only a small portion with mature trees. Hardwoods are the main species in the few creek bottoms.

LDWF owns 4,473 acres of the WMA and leases the remaining 182 acres from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board. The WMA is divided into three separate tracts near Wilmer—the larger tract is north of LA Hwy 10, a smaller one is south of Hwy 10, and the third is south of Hwy 10 and east of Hwy 1061.

LDWF primarily manages the area for upland game birds such as quail and dove. LDWF is also creating wildlife openings to increase wildlife use on the WMA, as well as hunter success. Although Sandy Hollow WMA is small compared to other WMAs, it is a valuable research area; LDWF conducts numerous habitat, game, and non-game studies on the WMA.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting: Quail, dove, and woodcock hunting are good. There is a small game emphasis area and field trial courses and trails on the WMA. Deer, turkey, and squirrel hunting are fair due to limited habitat. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons and a youth dove hunt. See regulations for details.

In addition, there is a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Directions

Sandy Hollow WMA is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Amite.

Sherburne WMA

Acreage

43,637

Contact

Tony Vidrine 

(337)948-0255

 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, Iberville

Owner/manager

LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Description

Sherburne WMA is located in the Morganza Floodway system of the Atchafalaya Basin between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee. LDWF owns Sherburne WMA (11,800 acres) but manages the area as one unit along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge (15,220 acres) and another 16,618 acres owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The area is classified as bottomland hardwoods with four dominant tree species groups: cottonwood-sycamore, oak-gum-hackberry-ash, willow-cypress-ash, and overcup oak-bitter pecan. Midstory species include seedlings of dominant species along with boxelder, maple, red mulberry, and rough-leaf dogwood. LDWF has managed the timber in some areas to improve habitat; ground cover in these areas is very dense and provides excellent habitat for many game and non-game species. Common ground cover species include rattan, greenbrier, Rubus sp., trumpet creeper, Virginia creeper, poison ivy, elderberry, and milkweed.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Deer, squirrel, and woodcock hunting are good; rabbit hunting is fair. Waterfowl hunting is seasonal, depending on many factors, but the opportunities to hunt waterfowl are excellent. Turkey populations are small, and turkey hunting is limited. There are general and youth waterfowl and turkey lottery hunts, youth deer and squirrel seasons, a youth deer lottery hunt, and a small game emphasis area. In addition, physically challenged wheelchair-confined deer and waterfowl hunting areas are available on this WMA. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information. There is also a disabled veterans lottery hunt for waterfowl. See regulations for details.

Shooting range: Sherburne Shooting Range has rifle, pistol, skeet/trap, and archery ranges. Click here or call 337-566-2251 for details.

Camping: There are two designated camping areas—a primitive area on the southern portion and an area with running water on the northern portion.

Directions

You can access Sherburne WMA via Hwy 975, which connects with Hwy 190 east of Krotz Springs on the north and I-10 at Whiskey Bay on the south. Access routes to the interior include a series of all-weather roads, ATV trails, and Big and Little Alabama Bayous. There are two public boat launches on Big Alabama Bayou. There is one public launch on the northern portion of Little Alabama Bayou.

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