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Howard County WMA

Zone: 370

County: Howard

2020-21 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
2020-21 Crow

Sept. 1, 2020-Feb. 21, 2021. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.

2020-21 Deer

Deer Archery: Sept. 26, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021
Deer Muzzleloader: Oct. 17-25, 2020 and Dec. 29-31, 2020
Deer Modern Gun: Nov. 14-25, 2020 and Nov. 28-Dec. 9, 2020
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunts: Nov. 7-8, 2020 and Jan. 2-3, 2021
WMA Deer Bag Limit: Four deer, no more than two bucks, which may include:

  • Two bucks with archery,
  • Four does with archery,
  • One buck and one doe with muzzleloader,
  • One buck and one doe with modern gun.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take one deer, buck (no antler restrictions) or doe.

Deer Notes:

  • Three-point rule.
  • No dogs.
2020-21 Quail

Nov. 1, 2020-Feb. 7, 2021. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.

2020-21 Rabbit

Sept. 1, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.

2020-21 Squirrel

May 15, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.

2021 Turkey

Youth Hunt: April 10-11, 2021. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt: April 19-May 9, 2021. One legal turkey, no jakes (youths may take one jake as part of their statewide seasonal limit).


Access on the west side is facilitated by crossing Gillham Lake dam and following Gillham Lake Rd. (County Rd.) through the area. Access on the north and east is facilitated by utilizing Weyerhaeuser roads off Hwy. 4.


The area became a WMA in the 1970s.


Camping is permitted on the area at designated campsites. Additional campsites area available at Blue Ridge Recreational Area on Dierks Lake and at the Gillham Lake dam area.


Typical Athens Piedmont Plateau habitat includes rolling hills intensively managed for pine production and pine/hardwood mixed stands along creeks. The area is bordered on the west by Gillham Lake and the Cossatot River and partially on the south by Dierks Lake.

Hunting Opportunities

Deer, quail, turkey, squirrel, and rabbits. This area is known for producing large bucks. See current regulations for season and permit requirements.


Located in Howard County, 10 miles north of Dierks and 3 miles southwest of Umpire.

Management Practices

Wildlife management practices are integrated with timber management practices to provide quality wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities. These management practices provide substantial open land habitats and stimulate excellent browse production. Several food plots are planted throughout the area and along the lake to supplement natural browse.

  • In addition to a General WMA Use Permit, a Howard County WMA leased lands permit is required to hunt, trap or camp on the area. Leased lands permits may be purchased at any license vendor, AGFC regional office or online at

This area is made up of approximately 23,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser Company land.




The primary objective of this management area is to provide quality wildlife habitat and public hunting opportunities.

Recreation Other Than Hunting

Fishing opportunities are good in both Gillham Lake and Dierks Lake. Cossatot River State Park and Natural Area lies upstream on the Cossatot River. The Ouachita National Forest is located approximately 10 miles north.

Restaurants and Other Facilities

Facilities are located in Dierks and Umpire. Corps of Engineer campground at Blue Ridge Recreational Area on Dierks Lake is equipped with a concrete boat ramp.


Due to the large network of Weyerhaeuser roads that run throughout the area it is recommended that anyone not familiar with the area obtain an area map from the AGFC office.

Detailed Interactive Map Public Use Maps