Hunting

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: 
504-284-5267

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
Phone: 
(985) 543-4777

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, Wildlife Division, 42371 Phyllis Ann Rd. Hammond, LA  70403 985-543-4777

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.

Sicily Island Hills WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
7,524 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 757-4571

Sicily Island Hills Wildlife Management Area (SIHWMA) is located in northeast Catahoula Parish, 6 miles west of Sicily Island, Louisiana. Major routes to the area are Louisiana highways 8 and 915. A series of unimproved roads and trails provide access to the interior of the area. Boeuf and Ouachita Rivers supply boat access to the western portion of the property. SIHWMA is comprised of approximately 7,524 acres with the majority acquired by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in December 1980. The terrain is extremely rugged with high ridges dropping sharply into the creek bottoms. The elevations range from 35 feet M.S.L. to approximately 245 feet M.S.L. The area is extremely unique and supports a diverse group of plants and animals including rare and endangered species. The forest overstory is a mixture of loblolly-shortleaf pine and upland hardwoods. The property consists of a variety of uneven-aged timber species, with a relatively closed canopy. On ridges, the predominant tree species are loblolly and shortleaf pine. Also present on the ridges are hickory, elm, ash, and a variety of upland oak species. The lower elevations and creek bottoms support stands of beech, magnolia, hickory, sweet gum, black gum, and oak. Important species in the understory are flowering dogwood, arrowwood, rattan, huckleberry, buckeye, greenbriar, blackberry, and grape.
SIHWMA offers many recreational opportunities for the outdoor oriented public. There are two primitive camping areas and three nature trails including a rugged 7-mile long hiking trail. Big Creek Nature Trail winds through stands of mature pine hardwoods and passes many scenic points of interest including several waterfalls. The area supports a substantial turkey population which is hunted by lottery only. A youth lottery turkey hunt is held each year on the weekend prior to the regular turkey season. Deer and squirrel hunting are popular with the public. Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at P.O. Box 1640, Ferriday, LA 71334. Phone (318) 757-4571.

Floy Ward McElroy WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
681 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 343-4044

Floy Ward McElroy Henry donated a 681acre tract in Richland Parish, two miles north of Rayville, to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1990 for the purpose of establishing a wildlife refuge and wildlife management area. Mrs. McElroy retained use of the property until her death in November 2000. Mrs. McElroy mandated that the Floy Ward McElroy WMA be use restricted for outdoor education and youth hunting activities. The WMA is not open to vehicular traffic on a daily basis.

The property consists of pastures with scattered hardwood timber, a band of hardwoods along the Boeuf River, and one stand of approximately 20 acres of bottomland hardwoods. Sloughs and backwater areas are found along the Boeuf River, which borders the property for a distance of four miles. Cattle production was the primary use of the tract during Mrs. McElroy?s ownership. Department personnel have planted 240 acres of the pastures with hardwood seedlings.

Timber species on the area include water oak, willow oak, cherrybark oak, cow oak, Shumard oak, overcup oak, Nuttall oak, white oak, post oak, hickory, sweet pecan, bitter pecan (water hickory), sweetgum, sycamore, basswood, elm, cypress, swamp cottonwood, persimmon, and honey locust. The forest is very fragmented with many trees occurring along old fencerows and river scars.

A swamp-like 32-acre lake was created in the early 1980's when beavers impounded a scar of the Boeuf River. Permanent water has killed most of the timber on the site, except cypress. Black willow, water elm, and buttonbush are present. This wetland is providing habitat for wood ducks, wintering waterfowl, wading birds, shore birds, alligators, and wetland mammals. An observation platform has been constructed overlooking the lake.

An access road and parking areas have been constructed. Additional development plans include a fishing pond and nature trails.

Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 368 CenturyTel Drive, Monroe, Louisiana 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.

Soda Lake WMA

Information
Owned: 
Caddo Levee District, USACOE
Acreage: 
2,500 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050
Map: 

Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in Caddo Parish about 15 miles north of Shreveport, approximately one mile east of Louisiana Highway 1. Access into the area at the southern end is from La. Hwy. 173 west of Twelve Mile Bayou and at the northern end from La. Hwy. 169 east of Twelve Mile Bayou. Access in the area is limited to walk-in and bicycles only.
Soda Lake is comprised of 2,500 acres owned by the Caddo Parish Levee District and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The entire area is located in an area that historically was a seasonal lake that flooded during late winter and spring. A similar water regime continues today with only the bluffs located on the western edge of the area remaining above flood level. The lower elevation habitat is a broken woodland consisting of willow, cottonwood, ash, hackberry and overcup oak. Due to annual flooding, the understory is very sparse containing rattan, peppervine, dewberry, and sawbriars. Open areas support wild millet, smartweed and several species of grasses.
The rugged escarpment of Twelve Mile Bayou located on the western edge of the area supports a diverse, old growth forest. Approximately 35 acres in size, a unique, natural, upland plant community of shortleaf pine, oak and hickory can be found there. Dominant species include shortleaf pine, sweetgum, white, post, cherrybark, shumard, and cow oaks. The dominant trees are estimated to be 100 to 130 years old. Two state-rare plants, American alumroot (Heuchra americana L.) and lowland brittle fern (Cystopteris protrusa Bernh.) have been found growing on the north and east facing bluffs.
The Department manages the area primarily as a refuge for migrant waterfowl and songbirds. However, Soda Lake WMA also provides year around habitat for a diverse population of resident songbirds, game and non-game mammals and insects. A cooperative agreement among the Department, Ducks Unlimited and the Caddo Levee District helps to maintain a series of moist soils impoundments that provides excellent waterfowl and bird watching opportunities.
White-tailed deer hunting opportunities are provided through an archery-only season. The area is a noted year around bird and wildlife viewing area.
Camping is not available on the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1401 Talton Street, Minden, Louisiana 71055. Phone (318) 371-3050.

Elm Hall

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
2,839 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(337) 948-0255
Map: 

 
Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area is located in Assumption Parish about five miles west of Napoleonville. It is located on the northeast corner of Lake Verret with the western boundary of the WMA fronting the Lake. The land was acquired in 1998.
Access to the 2,839 acre tract is by boat only with major public launches available: (1) Attakapas Landing at the end of Hwy. 401, (2) Pierre Part on Hwy 70, and (3) end of Hwy 402.
An aesthetically rich, natural flooded cypress-tupelo swamp is present next to Lake Verret. There is a slight elevation rise moving east through the area toward a more bottomland hardwood area. Bayous and oilfield canals provide access and diversity to the area. Most of the swamp stays flooded year round with the bottomland areas receiving periodic flooding.
The prevalent swamp plant species are cypress, tupelo, buttenbush, alligator weed, smartweed, elephant ear and duckweed. In the bottomland areas Red maple, black willow, swamp privet, and hackberry are prevalent. Cottonwood, sycamore and oaks are present on the slightly higher areas, especially on the banks of oilfield canals.
Common game animals are white-tailed deer, rabbit and squirrel. Waterfowl species are present during winter migration. Wood ducks are year-round residents on the area. Other animals present on the area are beaver, nutria, otter, bobcat, opossum, and alligators.
Bald eagles nest in the tall cypress trees surrounding Lake Verret and will frequent area. Ospreys, hawks, owls and neo-tropical migrants are present on the area.
Excellent bream, sac-a-lait and bass fishing occurs in the oilfield canals and on the edge of the management area in the northeast corner of Lake Verret. Other fish include catfish, mullet and freshwater drum. Camping is allowed in the designated camping area. A self-clearing permit is required for hunters only. Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, Louisiana 70570. Telephone 337-948-0255.

Spring Bayou WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
12,506 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 253-7068

Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area is located in north central Avoyelles Parish, two miles east of Marksville, off Louisiana Highways 115 and 452. These highways connect to Louisiana Highways 1 and 107 in the immediate vicinity of Marksville. Convenient access to the area headquarters on the west side is provided by a blacktop road. Access by vehicle to the east side is provided by an improved shell road off the Bordelonville levee. Access to the interior is mainly by boat. Three concrete boat ramps are provided for this purpose.
Spring Bayou contains 12,506 acres and is owned by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The area is in the low lying Red River backwater system. General topography is low, poorly drained land, with numerous finger lakes and narrow ridges. About 40 percent is covered by water, with various open lakes, bayous, bays, and sloughs. The area is drained by Little River.
The forest cover consists of nuttall oak and overcup oak with bitter pecan on the higher elevations. The lower elevations contain overcup oak, bitter pecan, swamp privet, and buttonbush. Lake edges are finged with cypress, willow and buttonbush.
The understory consists of deciduous holly, hawthorn, dogwood and the saplings of the overstory. Other plants include rattan, greenbrier, peppervine, trumpet creeper, dewberry, smartweed, verbena, wild lettuce, vetch, sedges and grasses. Aquatic species are water hyacinth, alligator weed, delta duck potato, water primrose, lotus, duckweed, and others.
Game species hunted are deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, and woodcock. Bowhunting is allowed for deer. Trapping for furbearers is allowed and species avalailable are raccoon, mink, bobcat and nutria.
Fishing is excellent; principal species caught are largemouth bass, various panfish, and catfish. Commercial fishing is allowed by permit. Species caught are catfish, buffalo, freshwater drum, and garfish. Boating and water skiing are popular in open water portions.
Additional information concerning Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area can be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570. Phone 337-948-0255

Elbow Slough WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
160 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050

Elbow Slough is a small tract consisting of 160 acres located in southeastern Rapides parish near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 1 and LA Hwy 3170. It was formerly cropland.The area lies within the Red River floodplain.Terrain is flat with heavy clay soils that are poorly drained. Approximately 100 acres were planted to native hardwood species in the early 1990's. A 40 acre impoundment was constructed and is managed to provide seasonal shallow water habitat to benefit migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds. The remaining acreage is in natural water and planted fields. Although small in size Elbow Slough provides quality habitat for numerous wildlife species. A wide variety of resident and migratory song birds utilize the area as well as many species of wading birds. Mammals ranging in size from shrews to white-tailed deer make Elbow Slough their home. Hunting opportunities are limited due to the size of the tract. However, success is usually good for dove and rabbits. Hunters should take note that the use of non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

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