|Name||Piney Creeks WMA|
|County Coverage||Johnson, Newton, Pope|
Pope, Johnson and Newton counties. Located 16 miles north of Russellville or 50 miles south of Harrison on Hwy 7 and 15 miles northeast of Clarksville, on Hwy. 123 north.
|Seasons and Regulations|Turkey:
Youth Hunt: April 11-12, 2015. Two bearded turkeys, no more than one jake.
Firearms Hunt: April 18-May 3, 2015. Two bearded turkeys, no jakes (youths may take one jake as part of their statewide seasonal limit).
Deer Archery: Sept. 27, 2014-Feb. 28, 2015.
Deer Muzzleloader: Oct. 18-26 and Dec. 13-15, 2014.
Deer Modern Gun: Nov. 8-30 and Dec. 26-28, 2014.
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunt: Nov. 1-2, 2014 and Jan. 3-4, 2015.
WMA Deer Bag Limit:
Three deer, no more than one buck, which may include:
• One buck with archery, muzzleloader or modern gun,
• Three does with archery,
• One doe with muzzleloader or one doe with modern gun (taken on Nov. 8-10 only).
Deer Notes: Three-point rule. No dogs. Limit during the modern gun special youth hunt is two deer: one buck (no antler restrictions) and one doe.
Bear Archery: Sept. 26-Nov. 30, 2015.
Bear Muzzleloader: Oct. 17-25, 2015.
Bear Modern Gun: Nov. 1-6 and 9-30, 2015.
Bear Modern Gun Youth Hunt: Nov. 7-8, 2015.
Bear Notes: Statewide bag limit. Bear season closes earlier if bear zone quota is reached.
Nov. 1, 2015-Feb. 7, 2016. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.
Sept. 1, 2015-Feb. 29, 2016. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.
May 15, 2015-Feb. 29, 2016. Dogs allowed except Nov. 14-22. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.
Sept. 1, 2015-Feb. 21,2016. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.
Refer to USDA Forest Service website for more information.
|Leased Land Permit Required||No|
|About the Name|
Named for Big and Little Piney Creeks, those generally wind from North to South through the area.
USDA Forest Service (Although there are some privately owned land inholdings, the majority of the land within it is Federally owned.)
Established 1967 through a cooperative agreement between the USFS and AGFC.
To restore, protect and enhance native wildlife and aquatic species and provide optimal recreational opportunities for the people of the state and nation.
Contains 176,000 acres of rugged Ozark Mountain terrain. The area is predominantly forested in upland hardwoods and mixed shortleaf pine/hardwood forest types. Big Piney Creek and the North Fork of the Illinois Bayou flow generally north to south through the central and eastern part, respectively, and Little Piney Creek more or less traverses the western and southern boundaries of the area.
From I-40 at Russellville; turn north on Hwy. 7 and go 15 miles north and you will be at the southern boundary of the area when you pass the Ozark National Forest portal sign. Exit I-40 at Lamar; take Highway 64 west to Highway 123 and go 15 miles north to the National Forest/WMA boundary. Take Highway 7 south from Harrison about 50 miles to Pelsor, at Pelsor State Highway 16 is the northern boundary to the east and Highway 123 is northern boundary to the west until you reach the junction Newton County Rd 61.
The Piney Creeks WMA provides fair to good hunting and trapping opportunities during most years for all resident forest game and furbearer species including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bear, gray and fox squirrels and raccoons. The scarcity of alternative food sources and the dependence on fickle mast crops for winter food on the area often results in dramatic fluctuations in survival and reproductive rates of popular game birds and animals. Hunters can expect to encounter population cycles that are very obvious increases or decreases in the numbers of animals and birds observed from one year to the next. Cyclic fluctuations may be quite dramatic for such species as squirrels, wild turkey and raccoons.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U. S. Forest Service work closely together to manage the wildlife and fisheries resources on all National Forest lands including the Piney Creeks WMA. Multiple strategies including conservative hunting seasons, more intensive law enforcement efforts and habitat improvement projects are utilized. Since 1968 a total of 364 wildlife openings/food plots averaging about an acre and a half and 220 waterholes have been constructed on the Piney Creeks area. These openings are mowed on a planned schedule and most of them are maintained in a
mixture of nutritious grasses and legumes that are heavily utilized by popular wildlife species. These openings/food plots are designed to improve habitat conditions on the area by increasing the availability of nutritious forage and by providing a dependable emergency food source when natural food sources are scarce.
The AGFC also works closely with the Forest Service in planning and coordinating timber management activities to enhance wildlife habitat on the area. A variety of different ages and conditions of forest vegetation dispersed throughout the area results in improvements in both the volumes and distribution of natural foods and cover. Controlled burning the use of which has been increased dramatically in recent years also provides increases in forage quality and quantity over relatively large areas for a reasonable expense.
Monitoring of wildlife populations, general health and habitat conditions are also a very important component of a balanced wildlife management program. Biological check stations are utilized to collect data and develop baseline information over time that is a benchmark for annual comparisons of various health statistics. Spotlight counts for deer and drumming counts for ruffed grouse provide long-term trend information on the relative abundance and distribution of these species. Radio telemetry tracking of black bears and wild turkeys has provided valuable information about reproduction, mortality, survival and habitat use and preferences for these species. Projects such as these have been ongoing in and around the Piney Creeks WMA for many years.
|Recreation Other Than Hunting|
The Ozark Highlands Trail traverses the entire breadth of the Piney Creeks area. Big Piney Creek and the North Fork of the Illinois Bayou, offer canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. Driving through area observing the abundant wildlife and admiring the scenery especially in the spring and fall is also very popular.
Hurricane Natural Bridge is in the Hurricane Wilderness Area. The historic Ft. Douglas CCC and the Sandgap CCC Camps are both located in the area. Pedestal Rocks, a unique geological feature is near State Highway 16 just east Sand Gap.
Longpool Recreation Area is a developed camping, picnic and swimming area that is located on Big Piney Creek, 5 miles west of Hwy. 7 near the southern boundary of the area. Rotary Ann Recreation Area is located 4 miles south of Pelsor on Hwy. 7. and Haw Creek Falls Campground is located 2 miles south of Ft. Douglas on Hwy. 123. The U.S. Forest Service maintains all of the developed recreation areas. Primitive camping is allowed anywhere but on food plots and areas marked closed to camping.
|Restaurants and Other Facilities|
Mack’s Pines, is located on Hwy. 7 north 18 miles from Russellville. Numerous motels and restaurants are available in Russellville, Clarksville and Jasper. Camping supplies, food, and official wildlife check stations are available at Hagarville, Dover, Sand Gap and Hector.
Longpool Recreation Area has a pavilion for meetings.
It is rough and hilly Ozark Mountain terrain, hikers and hunters should be careful of their footing in steep areas. During the warmer months of the year hunters, hikers and campers should use a good insect repellent to ward off disease carrying ticks and chiggers. People should watch for venomous snakes when venturing off roadways and campers should take precautions to prevent bear encounters.