Floy Ward McElroy
Floy Ward McElroy donated this property to LDWF in 1990 to establish a wildlife refuge and management area. Mrs. McElroy retained use of the property, primarily for cattle production, until her death in November 2000. Mrs. McElroy mandated that LDWF use this WMA for outdoor education and youth hunting activities.
The property consists of pastures with scattered hardwood timber, a band of hardwoods along the Boeuf River, which borders the WMA for 4 miles, and one stand of approximately 20 acres of bottomland hardwoods. The upland hardwood habitat on Floy Ward McElroy WMA is unique in this part of the state. Sloughs and backwater areas are found along the Boeuf River. LDWF has planted 240 acres of the pastures with hardwood seedlings. Tree species on the WMA include water, willow, cherrybark, cow, Shumard, overcup, nuttall, white, and post oak; hickory; sweet and bitter pecan (water hickory); sweetgum; sycamore, basswood; elm; cypress; swamp cottonwood; persimmon; and honey locust. The forest is very fragmented; many trees are found along old fencerows and river scars.
The majority of the WMA’s terrain is flat, varying only 10 feet in elevation, from 75 to 85 feet below sea level. Elevation dips to 65 feet near creek bottoms and the Boeuf River. Other than backwater flooding of the drains stemming from the Boeuf River, the property does not flood.
In the early 1980s, beavers impounded a scar of the Boeuf River, creating a swamp-like 32-acre lake. Permanent water has killed most of the timber in this area, except cypress, black willow, water elm, and buttonbush.
Activities and Amenities
Hunting: LDWF holds annual youth lottery hunts for white-tailed deer and squirrel on Floy Ward McElroy WMA. There is also an open youth dove hunt the second weekend of the dove season each year. See regulations for details.
In addition, LDWF holds a physically challenged wheelchair-confined lottery hunt for deer.
Birding and wildlife viewing: The wetland area of this WMA provides habitat for wood ducks, wintering waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, alligators, and wetland mammals. LDWF has constructed an observation platform overlooking the lake.
Floy Ward McElroy WMA is located 2 miles north of Rayville. This WMA is only open to vehicular traffic on specified days.