Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area is located in north central St. Landry Parish, immediately northeast of Washington off Louisiana Highway 10. Access by I-49 also, Lebeau exit. Seventeen miles of all-weather shell roads are maintained within the area, allowing convenient access to virtually the entire tract. Approximately eleven miles of woods trails are also maintained for the convenience of hunters.
Thistlethwaite is 11,000 acres in size and is owned by Thistlethwaite heirs.
The terrain is generally flat bottomland, with a gentle north-to-south slope. Drainage is slow, with standing water for considerable periods after heavy rains.
Forest cover is predominantly oak, most commonly water oak, willow oak, overcup oak, white oak, cherrybark oak, nuttall oak, cow oak, and post oak. Other species are bitter pecan, sweet pecan, hichory, hackberry, sweetgum, ash, elm and maple. The lower areas contain cypress and tupelo gum.
Selective timber cuttings have enhanced a natural understory of dogwood, redbud, spice bush, French Mulberry, greenbriar, rattan, blackberry, and many others. Choice browse plants are dogwood and wild lettuce. Japanese honeysuckle grows profusely. Game species are deer, squirrels, rabbits, wood ducks, and woodcock. The deer herd is outstanding in quality, with many trophy bucks taken by hunters. Trapping for furbearing animals is permitted. The species caught are beaver, raccoon, mink, bobcat, otter and opossum. Hawks, owls, woodpeckers and neo-tropical migrants are very prevalent on the area.
No camping is allowed by the landowner. Non-consumptive activities include nature walks and nature studies by various civic organizations, schools and the public.
Self-clearing permits are required for all activities on the area. Additional information may be obtained from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, Louisiana, 70570. Telephone 337-948-0255.