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Gene Rush WMA

2017-18 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
2017-18 Deer

Deer Archery: Sept. 23, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018.
Deer Muzzleloader: Oct. 21-29 and Dec. 9-11, 2017.
Deer Modern Gun: Nov. 11-Dec. 3 and Dec. 26-28, 2017.
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5, 2017 and Jan. 6-7, 2018.
WMA Deer Bag Limit: Four deer, no more thanÊtwo bucks, which may include:

  • Two bucks with archery, muzzleloader or modern gun,
  • Four antlerless with archery,
  • Two antlerless with muzzleloader or modern gun.  
  • During youth hunt, youths may take four deer, two bucks (no antler restrictions) and two antlerless.

Deer Notes:

  • No antler restrictions.
  • No dogs.
  • CWD regulations apply in Newton and Searcy counties.
2017 Bear

Bear Archery: Sept. 23-Nov. 30, 2017. 
Bear Muzzleloader: Oct. 21-29, 2017.
Bear Modern Gun: Nov. 11-30, 2017.
Bear Modern Gun Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5, 2017.
Bear Notes:

2017 Crow

Sept. 1, 2016-Feb. 21, 2017. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.

2017 Elk

Oct. 2-6 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017. Permit required.

2017 Quail

Nov. 1, 2017-Feb. 4, 2018. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.

2017 Rabbit

Sept. 1, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.

2017 Squirrel

May 15, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.

2017 Turkey

Youth Hunt: April 8-9, 2017. Two bearded turkeys, no more than one jake. Firearms Hunt: April 10-25, 2017. Two bearded turkeys, no jakes (youths may take one jake as part of their statewide seasonal limit).

About the Name

The area was originally called Buffalo River WMA (due to its proximity to the Buffalo River), but was renamed in honor of Gene Rush, long-time employee, native of Newton County and former chief of the AGFC Wildlife Management Division.

Access

Access to the WMA is off U.S. Highway 65 and Ark. Highways 123, 7, and 74 and various county roads from these highways. Highway directional signs point the way from the above mentioned highways at Western Grove, Carver, Mt. Judea and south of Jasper.

Camping

Camping is primitive and is restricted only to designated campsites.

Description

The topography of the area is rolling hills to mountainous with some sheer bluffs with elevations ranging from 800 feet msl to 200 feet msl. Three major creeks flow through the area - Big Creek, Cave Creek and Lick Creek, all flow generally northward and are tributaries of the Buffalo River.

Hunting Opportunities

The area offers good public hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bear, elk and squirrels.

Location

The WMA is about 15 miles southeast of Jasper and 15 miles northwest of Marshall. The area is bordered to the north by the Buffalo National River and to the south by the Ozark National Forest.

Management Practices

Wildlife management on Gene Rush WMA involves multiple strategies that include conservative hunting seasons and regulations, more intensive law enforcement efforts, and an ongoing aggressive habitat management program. Habitat management is accomplished in several ways including the development and management of permanent openings, construction of waterholes, and forest management practices including planned timber harvests, timber/wildlife stand improvement practices and controlled burning.

Notes
  • Horses and mules are not allowed on the portion of Gene Rush WMA east of Searcy County Road 14 and west of the Buffalo National River property line from Woolum Ford to the intersection of Searcy County roads 12 and 14.
  • All caves are closed to public access.
Ownership

The area was purchased by the AGFC in two major segments. The first segment totaled 9,198 acres and was purchased during 1966-1973 from Paul Meers, the Eleven Sixty-Six Corporation and some smaller landowners. This first segment is located south of the Buffalo River and west of Cave Creek. The second major segment was purchased from the Sutton family from 1978-1980 and consisted of 7,248 acres (this segment was officially designated the "Sutton Unit". The Sutton Unit lies east of Cave Creek, south of the Buffalo River and west of Richland Creek. The purchase of several smaller tracts of land over the years has increased the total size of the WMA to 17,652 acres.

Phone

866-253-2506

Purpose

The area was purchased to ensure the perpetual integrity of the wildlife habitat and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for the citizens of the state and country.

Recreation Other Than Hunting

Fishing on the area is limited to the nearby Buffalo River and its tributaries. The Ozark highlands hiking trail crosses the east side of the area and provides access from the Ozark National Forest to the south across the area to the Buffalo National River to the North. The area is also popular for viewing wildlife, especially elk that can often be observed grazing in the managed fields on the area. Horseback riding is an increasingly popular activity on the area as well. All caves are closed to public access to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome into Arkansas in order to protect bat populations.

Restaurants and Other Facilities

The nearest motels and restaurants are in Jasper, about 15 miles west of the area. The nearest supplies can be found at small grocery stores in Hasty, Piercetown, Mt. Judea, Western Grove and Jasper.

Safety

This is a rugged mountain area, where 4-wheel drive vehicles can prove handy at times to reach out of the way places. The WMA and surrounding area has a good bear population, so campers should remain alert and take appropriate precautions.

Detailed Interactive Map Public Use Maps