Wildlife Management Area Details 

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NameHenry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA
WMA Zone310
Region2
County CoverageWhite
Location
This area is in White County, 5 miles east of Bald Knob and 3 miles south of state highway 64.
Phone877-734-4581
Seasons and Regulations
Turkey:
Youth Hunt: April 11-12, 2015. One bearded turkey.
Waterfowl:

 

 See Area Notes for Access Regulations

 

Deer:
Deer Archery: Sept. 27, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015.
Deer Muzzleloader (permit hunt): Oct. 18-22, 2014.
Deer Modern Gun (permit hunt): Nov. 8-12, 2014.
WMA Deer Bag Limit:
Three deer, no more than two bucks, which may include:
• Two bucks with archery,
• Three does with archery,
• One buck and one doe with muzzleloader permit,
• One buck and one doe with modern gun permit.
Deer Notes: 15-inch inside spread or 18-inch main beam rule. No dogs.
Deer Permit:
Deer hunting on this area is restricted to special permit hunts.
Click here for more information and to apply.
Quail:
Nov. 1, 2014-Feb. 1, 2015. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.
Rabbit:
Sept. 1, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.
Squirrel:
May 15, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.
Crow:
Sept. 1, 2014-Feb. 21,2015. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.
CLOSED:
  • Bear
  • Alligator
  • Elk
Area Notes:
  • No boats allowed from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 22-Jan. 25 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1
    • Exception 1 - Boats allowed in the White River and Little Red River.
    • Exception 2 - Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Jan. 23-25 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
    • Exception 3 - When the main gate at Mitchel Corner is open, boats are allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the following waters:
      • Bollie Pond, Big Hurricane Lake (to include Little Hurricane), Big Bell Lake (to include Little Bell), Whirl Lake, Honey Lake, Willow Pond, Glaise Creek and Mallard Pond.
    • Exception 4 - When the main gate at Mitchell Corner is closed, boats are allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the following waters:
      • Glaise Creek from the WMA's north boundary to the main water-control structure at Whirl Lake.
      • Whirl Lake to include Whirl Creek.
  • Closed to all access (except in the White River, the Little Red River, designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and boat staging areas) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 22-Jan. 25 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
  • Area closes to deer hunting when the White River exceeds 26 feet on the Augusta gauge and reopens when the Georgetown gauge has fallen below 14 feet. Click here for details.
  • Nonresidents need a Nonresident Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit to hunt waterfowl.
  • Boat motors larger than 50 horsepower and airboats may not be used during duck season.
Leased Land Permit RequiredNo
About the Name
Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake was formerly called Hurricane Lake WMA. In 1985 the name was changed to Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake WMA primarily due to Mr. Gray being instrumental in the initial purchase of the area. Records show the first owner of most of the land was Singer Sewing machine Company, which in turn sold this land to Fisher Body Company in the early 1930’s. In 1941, the area was made into a game refuge.
Ownership
Purchases were made by the AGFC from 1958 - 1970.
Age
The area was established as a WMA in 1958.
Purpose
This land was purchased to obtain and preserve wildlife habitat in an area where the bottomland hardwoods habitat type was being converted to farmland at a rapid pace. The WMA now serves as a wintering area for waterfowl and it is managed primarily for deer and waterfowl and secondarily for small game.
Description
The area consists of 17,000 acres of prime bottomland hardwoods habitat. The area has numerous sloughs and flats throughout and several ridges. Elevation ranges from 190 to 210 feet above sea level. The White River bound the WMA on the east and the Little Red River separates approximately 4,000 acres from the main body of the acreage. Glaise Creek is another main tributary located on the area. The WMA also has several oxbow lakes, the main ones being, Big Hurricane, Little Hurricane, Big Bell, Little Bell, Whirl lake, honey Lake, Big Brushy and Mallard Pond.

Fishing opportunities and hunting and camping use make this WMA one of the most heavily used WMA’s in the state. It is the third-largest state-owned management area.
Access
Access can be gained by taking US highway 64 east from Bald Knob for 5 miles, where one will see the Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake WMA road sign. Turn right at this sign onto the county road, stay on this road for 4 miles and it WILL enter directly into the area.

Access to the south side of the area can be gained by taking state highway 36 east from Searcy to Georgetown. This highway will run through part of the area approximately 1 mile east of Georgetown. Access can also be gained by turning left on the gravel county road approximately 10 miles east of Searcy at the Georgetown water tower, where Nimmo Access sign is located. Follow this road for approximately 3 miles, take the first gravel road to the right, and follow 1 mile to camping area and WMA boundary.
Hunting Opportunities
Hunting for black bear and turkey is closed on this WMA, with the exception of permit youth hunt for turkey.

Deer -- there is an increasing population and the opportunity to harvest a bragging size buck is better than average. Gun and muzzleloader hunts are by permit only, but archery and crossbow seasons are the same as statewide.

Waterfowl -- this area has several water control structures put in place to manage water for wintering waterfowl. Hunting is usually good if the right water conditions exist.

Small Game -- Cottontail rabbit and squirrel populations tend to fluctuate somewhat. Generally there is a good population of each about every 3 years. Swamp rabbit hunting is better than average but also tends to be cyclical.

Quail -It is classified as poor. The opportunity to do extensive quail management on this area just does not exist.

Furbearers, raccoons and mink are the main furbearers sought after on this area. The season and regulations are the same as statewide. Hunting and trapping are both legal. Check WMA regulations pamphlet for particulars on hunting and trapping of furbearers on that part of the area designated as waterfowl rest areas.
Management Practices
Controlling water on this area is a number one priority. In early fall, water control structures are closed in an attempt to catch and hold runoff water from fall rains. This is done to make the area more attractive to migrating waterfowl. In March, structures are reopened and dewatering begins. After this area drains as much as the river stages will allow, personnel begin removing beaver dams to get rid of water standing on green timber. Approximately 8,000 acres are flooded and drained.

Forest habitat management for wildlife is an on going practice on the WMA. Each year approximately 500 to 600 acres are cruised, marked and cut to improve the composition and diversity of the forest and increase the quality of the habitat for forest wildlife.

Each year area personnel plant approximately 30 acres of food plots. Future plans are to establish food plots in clover and other perennials.

One 60 acre-field will be reforested in hardwoods.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
Fishing attracts more people to the WMA than any other activity. The area has 11 fishable lakes available to the public. Ranging from 3 acres to 33 acres. The species most sought after are black bass (primarily largemouth), crappie and bream. There are also good opportunities for trotline and net fishing in White and Little Red rivers, with channel and flathead catfish and buffalo the most sought after species.

The area is rich in birdlife and opportunities exist for visitors to see more than 80 different species of birds during the right time of the year.

Opportunities exist for visitors to see unique wetland areas such as cypress tupelo brakes and mature bottomland hardwood trees.
Camping
There are 35 campsites available to the public on the WMA. All sites are primitive and are maintained by area personnel. The sites are marked by signs and/or ringed by blue paint and are located at the following places: Bolie Pond, along the entrance road, headquarters, Three Sister Lake, along Glaise Creek, Honey Lake, Whirl Lake, Big Bell Lake, Big Hurricane Lake, Willow Pond, White River, Holland Beach, Red Rivers Boat Ramp, Mud Pond Slough, Mallard Pons, at Nimmow Access Area, Cypert’s Bluff, Spanish Grant, Deep Bank Slough and at Georgetown Access Area. No other accommodations exist.
Restaurants and Other Facilities
Bald Knob is the nearest town with restaurants, motels and places to obtain supplies. Bald Knob is approximately 10 miles from the area headquarters. A small store near the headquarters carries a limited selection of goods including bait and also serves meals.

There is one pavilion built by the Hurricane Lake Bowhunters Association and donated to the AGFC. Also there is a 28-target field archery range available to the public.
Safety
During the summer and early fall, bring plenty of mosquito repellent as the mosquitoes are usually plentiful. Most roads are open to the public and are all-weather gravel roads. Visitors should exercise great caution when traveling these roads, which are narrow and not built for speed. Also, if visiting the area during July, August or September, sportsmen should take extra precautions and watch for log trucks. The area’s many unimproved roads are off limits to vehicular traffic, they are clearly marked with "Road Closed" signs.