Wildlife Management Area Details 

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NameSteve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA
WMA Zone605
County CoverageWhite
Seasons and Regulations
Turkey Season Closed


From Nov. 21-29, 2015, Dec. 10-23, 2015, and Dec. 26, 2015-Jan. 31, 2016, Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA is open for waterfowl hunting only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Anyone entering flooded areas must have a signed Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms Waterfowl Hunting Daily Use Permit on their person.

  • On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, non-restricted permits are available at the parking area at the end of Cypert Road (south of headquarters) and boat ramps A and B. Hunters are not restricted to designated locations on these days.
  • On Saturdays and Sundays, a limited number of permits will be available by drawing. Permits will be for designated locations (pending water conditions). The permit drawing will take place at the area headquarters two hours before legal shooting time. There may be a total of four hunters per party for each designated hole drawn. 
  • Five permits, one mobility-impaired blind permit and one youth blind permit will be available through online drawing. Online drawing schedules for these permits are available at  http://www.agfc.com/licenses/Documents/WMAWaterfowlHuntApplicationDates.pdf. For more information about the online draw and to apply, visit https://ar-web.s3licensing.com/ 
  • All permits must be carried while hunting, completed and returned to the collection box at the end of the hunt.
  • Permits are not required during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt except for the youth blind permitted hole.

See Area Notes for Access Regulations.

Deer Archery: Sept. 24, 2016-Feb. 28, 2017.
Deer Modern Gun Youth Hunt (permit hunt):
Oct. 22-23, 2016. This area has special firearms restrictions; see Area Notes.
Deer Modern Gun Hunt (permit hunt):
Nov. 12-16, 2016. This area has special firearms restrictions; see Area Notes.
WMA 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 modern gun permit.
• During youth permit hunt, youths may take two deer, one buck (no antler restrictions) and one doe with permit.
Deer Notes: Three-point rule. No dogs.
Deer Permit:
Deer hunting on this area is restricted to special permit hunts.
Click here for more information and to apply.
Nov. 1, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.
Sept. 1, 2016-Feb. 28, 2017. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.
May 15, 2016-Feb. 28, 2017. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.
Sept. 1, 2016-Feb. 21, 2017. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.
  • Alligator
  • Deer muzzleloader
  • Bear
  • Turkey
Area Notes:
  • No boats allowed from noon to 4 a.m., Nov. 191-Jan. 29.
  • Exception - Boats allowed from noon until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 3, Jan 27-29 and Feb. 4.
  • Closed to all access (except in designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and boat staging areas) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 19-Jan. 29 and Feb. 4.
  • Click here for boating regulations on WMAs
  • Boats with outboard motors larger than 25 horsepower, surface-drive motors larger than 36 horsepower and airboats may not be used.
  • Nonresidents need a Nonresident Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit in addition to their permit acquired through the daily drawing to hunt waterfowl. This permit is available online, by telephone or from license dealers.
  • Only shotguns (.410 and larger) with slugs (no buckshot allowed) or muzzleloading rifles shooting a single projectile are allowed for deer hunting.  
  • This area is in Flood Prone Region B. Click here for details.
Leased Land Permit RequiredNo
About the Name
The management area was named for the creek and tributaries that dominated the property prior to the 1960's and for Steve N. Wilson, former director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Raft Creek was a natural overflow hardwood bottomland and backwater area until the late 1960's and early 1970's when it was cleared for soybean farming.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the AGFC are in the process of restoring the area's hydrology and native vegetation. This includes creating approximately 1400 acres of shallow water areas and about 11 miles of restored channels (Raft Creek and tributaries), which can be utilized as boat lanes. Restored channels, sloughs and breaks are fringed with Cypress/Overcup plantings. The remainder of the site (above flood pool) is planted in Nuttall Oak, Cherrybark Oak, Willow and Water Oak, Sweet Pecan and Green Ash. The escarpment to the south, as well as the area around the headquarters will be seeded to native prairie plants.

Raft Creek has played an important role in providing wetland habitat for thousands of wintering migratory birds. Placing this gem under public ownership has secured a perpetual guarantee in providing this unique wildlife management complex for generations to enjoy.
Steve N. Wilson/Raft Creek Bottoms WMA consists of 4,000 acres in White County.
From Searcy:
Take HWY 36 to West Point, at West Point, take HWY 323 south approximately 8 miles to Showalters Corner. At Showalters Corner turn east onto Jones Island Road. Go approximately 5 3/4 miles to the second Raft Creek WMA project sign. Turn south on Cypert Road, go 1/2 mile to WMA Headquarters

From DesArc:
Take HWY 11 North approximately 14 miles to Showalters Corner. At Showalters Corner turn east onto Jones Island Road. Go approximately 5 3/4 miles to the second Raft Creek WMA project sign. Turn south on Cypert Road, go 1/2 mile to WMA Headquarters.
Hunting Opportunities
Deer (archery only), waterfowl, quail, rabbit, squirrel, crow, coyote and furbearers.