Size, Location and History
Boeuf Wildlife Management Area consists of 50,971 acres located 10 miles southeast of Columbia, La. Major access routes to Boeuf WMA are Louisiana Highways 4, 559, 133 and 848. The majority of the area was purchased by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries through the Conservation Fund in three components between 1977 and 1981 totaling 38,444 acres. The Tensas Delta Tract was purchased through the State Duck Stamp Fund and a purchase agreement with TDLC between 1993 and 1998 and totaled approximately 10,000 acres. The remaining acreage, The Topan Tract, was purchased in mid-2000.
Description of Landscape:
The topography is flat and poorly drained with numerous backwater lakes, sloughs, and bayous. The majority of this area is subject to frequent flooding from Boeuf River and Bayou LaFourche. Boeuf River is the only stream and borders the eastern boundary of the management area for approximately 47 miles. Eight bayous are located on the area and their combined length encompasses approximately 30 miles of waterways. There are 26 lakes located on this area totaling approximately 1800 acres. All lakes and bayous at Boeuf are subject to annual overflow. A large portion of Boeuf WMA consists of prior-converted farmland that has been partially reforested in bottomland hardwoods and approximately 4000 acres along with an 1800 acre greentree reservoir are managed extensively in moist soil and shallow water for waterfowl and shorebirds.
The forest overstory is a relatively closed stand of mixed bottomland hardwoods. On the higher elevations the predominant tree species are willow oak, Nuttall oak, post oak, cedar elm, sweetgum, green ash, persimmon, and honey locust. Important species in the lower elevations are overcup oak, bitter pecan, cypress, and tupelo gum. Understory species include rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species. Invasive species include several nuisance aquatics.
The most popular game species are white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrels/rabbits, and turkey. Dove, woodcock, and snipe hunting opportunities are also available. Several dove fields, planted annually in brown-top millet are available to area users. Freshwater fish including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish are popular with area users.
The Louisiana Black Bear frequents this area and reported sightings are on the increase.
Bald Eagles are observed frequently on this area and nesting is documented in the surrounding area.
Boeuf WMA is visited by many neo-tropical and shorebird bird species annually and 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 waterfowl hunting and viewing opportunity.
The largest user group of this area is deer hunters with waterfowl and squirrel hunters following closely. The Department maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. Several walking trails follow pipelines rights-of-way. Boat launches are available on most area lakes. Seven permit stations located at major entrances to the area are provided to meet self-clearance requirements. Three primitive camping areas are available on Boeuf WMA. The three-fourths mile Bayou Crew Nature Trail is located in the interior of the area and Bucks Brake located in the Hebert area contains a rookery that provides resting and nesting habitat for many species of wading birds, egrets, and woodducks that may be viewed in large numbers.
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, commercial fishing, hiking, birding/sightseeing, horseback riding, berry picking, frogging, raccoon field trials, and crayfishing. A recreational lottery for alligators is allowed each year also.
Additional information may be obtained from LDWF, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, LA 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.
B0euf (Department Owned – 50,971 Acres, Monroe Office)