Hunting

Joyce WMA

Information
Owned: 
LDWF, Joyce Foundation, Tangipahoa School Bd.
Acreage: 
27,487 Acres
Contact

Site Information

Joyce WMA is a 27,487 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish five miles south of Hammond, LA. The 12,809 acres that originally comprised the WMA was donated by the Joyce Foundation in 1982.  In 1994, an additional 2,250 acres was donated to LDWF by the Guste Heirs. The 8,364 acre Salmen/Octavia Tract was acquired in 2008 and the 2,729 acre Dendinger Tract was acquired in 2010.  An additional 851 acres and 484 acres are leased from the Joyce Foundation and the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, respectively.   

This entire area is a wetland within the Pontchartrain Basin and consists primarily 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. A 500 acre fresh marsh of primarily maiden-cane is located on the northern portion of the property.  Recently, a Limited Access Area (LAA) was established in the northwestern corner of Joyce WMA.  The LAA prohibits the use of internal combustion engines year-round (see WMA map for specific location). 

The most sought game animals on Joyce WMA include white-tailed deer, waterfowl, rabbit and squirrel. Freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, sunfish, and catfish are also pursued on the area. Alligators and a variety of other herpetofauna are common on this WMA.  Bald eagles and osprey nest in and around the WMA. Numerous other species of birds, including neotropical migrants, utilize this coastal forest during fall and spring migrations.  Resident waterfowl, including wood ducks, mottled ducks, hooded mergansers, and black-bellied whistling ducks, are found on the area year-round.  Over 50 wood duck nesting boxes are maintained and monitored on the area.  

Public Use (see WMA map for specific locations of features noted below)

Access into the interior of the property is limited and there are no roads that lead into the swamp.  Common means of access are several abandoned logging canals that enter the area from the west off of US 51. These old logging runs are narrow and travel is limited to pirogues and canoes and then only during moderate-high water periods. Access by outboard motor is limited to the upper reaches of Middle Bayou and Black Bayou, as well as the Tangipahoa River and Bedico Creek. There is a public boat launch on North Pass at US 51.  Other access points include Lee’s Landing and Traino Landing, south of LA 22.  Check station kiosks where the public can acquire the required self clearing permits to enter the area are located throughout the area. 

An elevated boardwalk “Swamp Walk” constructed in 1990 provides WMA visitors with the opportunity to view the swamp interior and observe the associated wildlife and vegetation.

Please refer to the WMA rules and regulations within the current La. Hunting Regulations booklet for permitted activities.  In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing, other common activities on the WMA include sightseeing, boating, birdwatching and frogging.  Contract trapping for alligators and permit trapping for nutria is allowed each year. Please note that Joyce WMA is a site along the American Wetlands Birding Trail.

An elevated boardwalk “Swamp Walk” constructed in 1990 provides WMA visitors with the opportunity to view the swamp interior and observe the associated wildlife and vegetation.

Additional information may be obtained from the:

Forest Burks

WMA Biologist Supervisor

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion

Office:  (985)543-4781

Fax:  (985) 543- 4787

fburks@wlf.la.gov

Sabine WMA

Information
Owned: 
Forest Capital Patners, LLC, etal
Acreage: 
7,554 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050
Map: 

Sabine Wildlife Management Area is located in central Sabine Parish approximately five miles south of Zwolle. Louisiana Highway 6 and U. S. Highway 171 are the major roads providing access to Sabine. This area is approximately 7554 acres and is owned by one major timber company (Forest Capital Partners, LLC).Some smaller tracts are provided by other timber companies and private individuals.
The terrain varies from rolling hills to creek bottoms. The major timber type is loblolly pine plantations. Overstory species include these pines along with red oak, post oak, white oak, hickory and sweetgum. 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 oak, water oak, red maple, black gum, magnolia, southern red oak and sweetgum. Understory species include ironwood, dogwood, wild azalea, deciduous holly and overstory regeneration.
Game species available for hunting are deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, quail, doves, and woodcock. Turkey hunting is available by lottery only. Trapping is allowed and species available are mink, raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox, beaver and coyote.
There is a primitive camping area located in the northwest portion of the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1995 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360. Phone (318) 487-5885.

Jackson Bienville WMA

Information
Owned: 
Weyerhaeuser Company
Acreage: 
25,089 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050

Jackson Bienville Wildlife Management Area is located in Bienville, Jackson and Lincoln parishes, 12 miles south of Ruston in North Central Louisiana. Numerous access routes are available for entering the area with the major access being U. S. Highway 167 and Louisiana Highway 147. Jackson Bienville is comprised of 25,089 acres of forestland owned by Weyerhaeuser.  There is an extensive system of gravel roads that is available for use by the public. Limited ATV use is allowed on marked ATV trails.
The terrain on Jackson Bienville WMA is primarily gently rolling hills bordering Dugdemona River and five intermittent streams. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of the area can be considered bottomland. Weyerhaeuser intensively manages the area for timber. Habitat is highly diverse due to the varying timber harvest schedule, the interspersion of the hardwood areas, and over 33 miles of utilities rights-of-ways. Adding to the diversity is the substantial acreage Weyerhaeuser has committed to providing nesting and feeding habitat for numerous colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers, a federally endangered species. Major habitat improvements are derived from a prescribed burning program conducted by Weyerhaeuser associated with their management for red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Forest cover is predominantly pine, except in the bottomland regions where water, willow, overcup, and cow oak, sweet and black gum, beech, and various other species of hardwoods dominate.
Understory vegetation, which is dense, consists of a variety of shrubs, vines, and annuals. Species comprising the understory area are French mulberry, hackberry, dogwood, honeysuckle, grape, muscadine, maple, sweetleaf, wax myrtle, blue beech, beggarweed, and greenbriar.
White-tailed deer, eastern wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, squirrels, and rabbits, are the major species hunted on the area. Limited hunting opportunities for woodcock, dove and waterfowl can also be found. Substantial success has been made to improve the habitat for bobwhite quail and eastern wild turkey with noticeable increases in those populations being seen. Trapping for furbearers is allowed.
Due to the diversified habitat on the area numerous resident and migratory species of birds use the area. Wildlife viewing is a major activity and easily enjoyed from the extensive road system and intersecting rights-of-ways. Camping areas are privately operated and located along Louisiana Highway 147.
Additional information may be obtained from the LDWF, Wildlife Division, 9961 Hwy. 80, Minden, LA 71055. Phone (318) 371-3050.

Hutchinson Creek WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
129 Acres
Contact

Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries: 
 
Forest Burks
WMA Biologist Supervisor
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
Office:  (985)543-4781
Fax:  (985) 543- 4787
fburks@wlf.la.gov
 

Grassy Lake

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
12,983 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(337) 948-0255

Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish. Primary access is via Louisiana Highway 451 to Bordelonville, cross the levee at the Bayou des Glaises flood control structure and follow the gravel road. Approximately 20 miles of all-weather limestone roads are maintained on the area. Additional access is provided by a network of ATV trails which span for approximately 7 miles.
It lies in 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. Smith Bay, Grassy Lake, Lake Chenier, and Red River Bay are the four major water bodies.
The forest cover is composed entirely of 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.
Game species hunted are swamp rabbits, deer, squirrels, wild turkey, woodcock and waterfowl. Trapping for furbearing species is allowed by special permit.
Largemouth bass, crappie and bream provide fair sport fishing. Commercial fishing is allowed by special permit.
Primitive camping is allowed on two camping areas. No electricity, running water, or toilet facilities are provided.
Additional information concerning Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area can be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Opelousas Field Office, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA  70570.  (337) 948-0255.

Fort Polk WMA

Information
Owned: 
U.S. Army and U.S. Forest Service
Acreage: 
105,545 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(337) 491-2576
Map: 

Fort Polk Wildlife Management Area, a military reservation, is located ten miles southeast of Leesville in Vernon Parish just east of U.S. Highway 171, one mile south of Louisiana Highway 28 and one mile north of Louisiana Highway 10. The area contains many all-weather roads which make all portions accessible for hunting.
The terrain is primarily rolling hills interspersed with flats. There are several fairly large stream bottoms in addition to numerous small creeks and greenheads. Approximately seventy percent of the area is dominated by longleaf pine. Blackjack, sandjack, red and post oaks are scattered throughout much of this timber type. 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 oak, water oak, cow oak, beech, sweetgum, blackgum and magnolia. The understory contains seedlings of the overstory in addition to red bay, white bay, sweetleaf, ironweed, fetterbush, wild azalea, gallberry, deciduous holly and viburnums.
Approximately 110 acres are planted each year in wildlife foods such as browntop millet, sunflower, sorghum, cowpea and winter wheat.
Game species available for hunting are deer, squirrel, quail, woodcock, dove, rabbit and turkey. Trapping is allowed for raccoon, fox, bobcat, skunk, opossum, beaver, mink and coyote. All hunters and trappers must obtain an annual permit from the United States Army.
Fort Polk is a popular area for bird watching with numerous species of non-game birds being present, including the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Fort Polk contains bog communities with unusual plant forms such as Venus' fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant and sphagnum moss.
Camping is not permitted on Fort Polk, but camping areas are available on nearby United States Forest Service lands. A free special use permit is required from the army and daily check in is required.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 70601. (337) 491-2575

Salvador/Timken WMA

Information
Owned: 
LDWF and OCPIA
Acreage: 
34,520 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
504-284-5264

Salvador Wildlife Management Area is located in St. Charles Parish, along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans. Salvador was acquired by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1968 and includes some 30,000 acres.

Access is limited to boat travel and is primarily via three major routes: Bayou Segnette from Westwego into Lake Cataouatche, then west to area; Sellers Canal to Bayou Verrett into Lake Cataouatche, then west to area; or via Bayou Des Allemands, Accessibility into the interior marshes is excellent via the many canals, bayous, and ditches on the area. .

The area is primarily fresh marsh with many ponds scattered throughout. Common marsh plants are maiden cane, cattail, bull tongue, and numerous aquatic plants. Several large stands of cypress timber are evident in the northern portions. These stands of trees grow on old natural stream levees which were once distributary channels of the Mississippi River.

Game species include waterfowl, deer, rabbits, squirrels, rails, gallinules, and snipe. Furbearing animals present are mink, nutria, muskrat raccoon, opossum, and otter. Salvador supports a large population of alligators as well as providing nesting habitat for the endangered Bald Eagle.

Excellent freshwater fishing is available on Salvador. Bass, bream, crappie, catfish, drum, and garfish are abundant. Commercial fishing is prohibited.

Non-consumptive forms of recreation available are boating, nature study, and picnicking. More information can be obtained by calling 337-373-0032.

Timken Wildlife Management Area

The Timken Wildlife Management Area is a 3,000-acre marsh island that is leased by the Department from the City Park Commission of New Orleans. The area is identified as Couba Island on maps; however, it has been named the ?Timken? WMA after the former landowner who donated it to New Orleans. The area is located immediately east of the Salvador Wildlife Management Area.

Like the Salvador WMA, Timken WMA consists of fresh to intermediate marsh and provides excellent habitat for waterfowl, furbearers, and alligators. More information can be obtained by calling 337-373-0032.

Sandy Hollow WMA

Information
Owned: 
LDWF, Tangipahoa School Board
Acreage: 
4,177 Acres
Contact

This area comprised of 3,514 acres owned by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and 181 acres leased from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Amite, Louisiana in Tangipahoa Parish.
The area is divided into two separate tracts near Wilmer, LA. The larger tract being north of LA Hwy. 10 and the smaller one south of Hwy. 10. Most of the rolling hill terrain is young longleaf pine with only a small portion of the area composed of mature trees.
The area is primarily managed for upland game birds such as quail and doves. Field trial courses and trails have also been established. Quail, dove, and woodcock hunting is considered good on the area. Deer, turkey, and squirrel hunting is considered fair due to habitat limitations.
A food plot program is conducted in an attempt to increase the wildlife use on the area, as well as hunter success.
Although the WMA is small as compared to other WMAs, it is a valuable research area. Numerous habitat, game, and non-game studies have been and are being conducted on the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 
 
Forest Burks
WMA Biologist Supervisor
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
Office:  (985)543-4781
Fax:  (985) 543- 4787
fburks@wlf.la.gov

Sherburne

Information
Owned: 
LDWF, USFWS, USACOE
Acreage: 
44,000 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
337-948-0255

Site Access Notice

Sherburne WMA South Farm I-10 Access Detour in Effect

Sherburne Wildlife Management Area, located in the Morganza Flood way system of the Atchafalaya Basin, is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville Parishes respectively, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee. The Sherburne WMA, Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands combine to form a 44,000 acre tract. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries owns 11,780 acres, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service owns 15,220 acres and the remaining 17,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The area is managed as one unit by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Access to the area is via Highway 975, which connects with highway 190 at Krotz Springs on the North, and Interstate-10 at Whiskey Bay on the South.

Entrance to the interior of the area is possible through a series of all-weather roads, ATV trails, and Big and Little Alabama Bayous. There are two private boat launches on the northern portion of Big Alabama Bayou, one public launch of the northern portion of Little Alabama Bayou, and one public launch on the Southern portion of Big Alabama Bayou.

The area is classified as bottomland hardwoods with four dominant tree species associations: (1) cottonwood-sycamore, (2) oak-gum-hackberry-ash, (3) willow-cypress-ash, (4) overcup oak-bitter pecan. Midstory species encompass seedlings of dominant species along with boxelder, maple, red mulberry, and rough-leaf dogwood. Ground cover is sparse, in areas, due to shading out and prolonged inundation. In those areas where habitat improvement, in the way on timber management, has taken place, the ground cover is very dense and provides excellent habitat for many species of game and non-game species. Common species found include rattan, greenbriar, rubus, trumpet creeper, virginia creeper, poison ivy, and milkweed. Much of the area supports a lush stand of fern.

Hunting for deer, squirrel, and woodcock may be rated as good, while rabbit hunting rated as fair. Waterfowl hunting can be seasonal, depending on many factors, but the opportunities to hunt waterfowl are excellent. Turkey hunting is very good on this bottomland hardwood area. Development and management have improved access, habitat, wildlife populations, and public use on the Sherburne Complex.

Camping is permitted on two designated areas, one on the Southern portion of the area being strictly primitive and one on the northern portion of the area having running water available.

Shooting Range Complex: The shooting range complex consist of rifle, handgun, skeet/trap and archery ranges. The rifle range has targets at 25, 50, and 100 yards, and the handgun range has targets at 10, 25, and 50 yards. The rifle and handgun ranges are open to the public 7 days a week from official sunrise to official sunset. No trespassing in restricted areas behind ranges. There are 2 skeet ranges with one have a trap bunker. The skeet ranges have set hours of operation which are determined by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The archery range has targets at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. There is also a 15 foot tower on the archery range which can be used to shoot at 3-D targets. Additional information may be obtained from the (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries-Opelousas Office, 5652 Highway 182, La. 70570, phone number (337) 948-0255, or by calling the Sherburne Shooting Range Complex at (337) 566-2251.

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
7,524 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
318-343-4044

Size, Location and History

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert  Wildlife Management Area consists of 7,524 acres located 6 miles west of Sicily Island, La. Major access routes to J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA are Louisiana Highways 8, and 915 and the Boeuf and Ouachita Rivers provide boating access to the western portion of the area. The majority of the area, approximately 6,180 acres, 2,021 acres purchased by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 4,159 acres donated to the Department by International Paper Co. in 1980. Between 1984 and 2002, approximately 1,345 additional acres have been purchased in smaller tracts through Act 18 of Second Special Session, Marsh Island Fund, Rockefeller Fund, Gen. Oblig. Bond, Wildlife Habitat Trust, State Duck Stamp, and NWTF Donations.  

Description of Landscape:

The topography is extremely rugged with high ridges dropping sharply into creek bottoms with elevations ranging from 35 to 245 feet M.S.L. The area is unique and supports a diverse group of plants and animals including rare and endangered species. Four small streams, totaling approximately 10 miles in length, meander through the area. Big Creek is the longest which is a rapidly flowing stream with a sand, gravel and sandstone ledge bottom.

The forest overstory is a mixture of loblolly-shortleaf pine and upland hardwoods. The predominant tree species are magnolia, sweetgum, blackgum,  loblolly and shortleaf pine, hickory, elm, ash, white oak, southern red oak, post oak, beech, cherrybark oak, red maple, water oak, and hophornbeam. The understory species includes  Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, flowering dogwood, rattan, huckleberry, oak leaf hydrangea, buckeye, blackberry, silky camellia, sourwood, downy serviceberry, Crataegus sp., and many other grasses and herbaceous plants.

The most popular game species is white-tailed deer, squirrels, and turkey. There is a substantial population of turkeys on this area and a public lottery hunt is conducted annually. A youth lottery turkey hunt is held each year on the weekend prior to the regular turkey season.  Woodcock, rabbit, and raccoon hunting opportunities are also available.  There is a five acre gravel pit that was impounded and stocked years ago and offers some fishing opportunity. Freshwater species including bass, sunfish, and catfish are popular with area users, but fishing opportunity is limited by lack of available aquatic habitat.

The Louisiana Black Bear frequents this area and the number of reported sightings and nuisance complaints received from adjacent private landowners are on the increase. Black Bear research is ongoing at J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA.

Bald Eagles are observed frequently on this area and nesting is documented in the surrounding area.

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA is visited by many neo-tropical bird species annually and home to large numbers of passerine birds.  

Public Use:

The largest user group of this area is deer hunters. The Department maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and several ATV trails that provide access to area users. Several walking trails follow logging trails. A boat launch is available at the stocked impoundment. Three permit stations located at major entrances to the area are provided to meet self-clearance requirements. Two primitive camping areas and three nature trails are available for public enjoyment on J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA. The Big Creek Hiking Trail located on the north end of the area meanders for seven miles through stands of mature mixed-pine hardwoods and passes many scenic points of interest including several waterfalls. Hikers should be aware this trail is rugged and best suits the physically fit. St Mary`s Falls Trail is located on the north end of the area also and meanders for approximately one and three-quarters of a mile through upland mixed-pine hardwoods and passes several smaller waterfalls and scenic views. The Rock Falls Trail is located on the south end of the area and winds for approximately one and one-half miles through mature stands of mixed-pine hardwoods. The waterfall along this trail measures near seventeen feet and is reported to be one of the tallest in the state. These trails offer some of the best wildlife viewing opportunity and natural beauty in the state.

Other Public Use:

Please refer to the WMA rules and regulations for permitted activities. In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing other common activities include boating, hiking, birding/sightseeing, horseback riding, berry picking, and, raccoon field trials.  

Additional information may be obtained from LDWF, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, LA 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.

Regulations:

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA (Department Owned- 7,524 Acres, Monroe Office)

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