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Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA

Zone: 580

County: Lawrence

2019-20 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
  • Deer Modern Gun
2019-20 Crow

Sept. 1, 2019-Feb. 21, 2020. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.

2019-20 Deer

Deer Archery: Sept. 28, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020.
Deer Muzzleloader (permit hunt): Oct. 19-23, 2019.
Deer Modern Gun Youth Hunt: Nov. 2-3, 2019. This area has special firearms restrictions; see below.
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.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take one buck (no antler restrictions) and one doe.

Deer Notes:

  • A WMA Deer Hunt Permit is required to participate in the muzzleloader permit hunt on this WMA. Click here for details.
  • 12-inch inside spread or 15-inch main beam rule.
  • Modern gun hunting during the youth hunt are restricted to shotguns (.410 or larger) with slugs (no buckshot) and certain handguns. Archery equipment and muzzleloading rifles also may be used. 
  • This WMA is in the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Flood Prone Region.Click here for details.
  • No dogs.
2019-20 Quail

Nov. 1, 2019-Feb. 2, 2020. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.

2019-20 Rabbit

Sept. 1, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.

2019-20 Squirrel

May 15, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.

2019-20 Waterfowl

View Statewide Waterfowl Season Dates and Bag Limits.

Waterfowl Notes: 

  • It is unlawful to use any device that simulates wing movement or movement of any kind through electrical or mechanical means, except traditional jerk strings.
  • Nonresidents need a 5-day Nonresident WMA Waterfowl Hunting Permit (NW5) to hunt waterfowl on this WMA. The permit costs $30.50 and is valid only Nov. 23-Dec.2, Dec. 27-Jan. 5 and Jan. 22-Jan. 31.
  • Waterfowl hunters may not possess shot shells containing shot larger than No. 2 and may possess no more than 15 shells unless hunters are in camping, parking or boat launching areas or during the Special Youth Waterfowl Hunt.
  • See notes for access regulations.
2020 Turkey

Firearms Hunt (permit required): April 13-15, April 18-20 and April 25-27, 2020. One legal turkey, no jakes (youths may take one jake as part of their two-bird seasonal limit).

Turkey Notes: A WMA Turkey Hunt Permit is required to hunt turkeys on this WMA. Click here for details.

About the Name

Was appropriately named for the two large bodies of water on the area. The east side of the area known as Shirey Bay got its name from an old oxbow off Black River. The Rainey Brake located on the west side is so called due to a large pond or brake, as it is sometimes called.


Follow Arkansas Highway 25 to Black Rock and turn right under the Black River Bridge following Arkansas Highway 25 to Lynn. Turn left in Lynn at the directional sign indicating the project location.


The area was purchased beginning in the early 1950s and continuing through the 1970s.


Camping is permitted in designated areas only. Many primitive campsites are on both sides of the area. Mosquitoes and biting flies are a major nuisance to campers during warm weather. Large numbers of campers occupy the campsites every fall at the beginning of squirrel season. Campers enjoy the combination of squirrel hunting and fishing in the area lakes or in Black River


The area consists of 11,308 acres and is divided by the Black River. Approximately 3,000 is on the east side of the Black River adjacent to an oxbow named Shirey Bay, near the community of Portia, in Lawrence County. The remaining 7,000-plus acres are directly across Black River to the west near the community of Lynn in Lawrence County. The western edge of the WMA is in the Ozark Foothills region, but most of the acreage is bottomland hardwood forest. More than 1,000 acres of old field systems add an open land component. These are maintained by a combination of prescribed fire, mechanical vegetation control and specialized farming and moist soil management. Over half the area is subject to overflow by the Black River with at least one flood event per year on the average.

Hunting Opportunities

Over 3,000 acres of green tree reservoir attracts many ducks and provides some of the finest timber hunting opportunity in the state. Squirrel hunting is very popular on the area and is second only to duck hunting with regards to hunter participation. Field edges and stream banks offer good rabbit hunting. Deer hunting is limited to archery/crossbow and to a youth modern gun hunt and muzzleloader season by limited permit. A huntable population of turkeys is found on the area.


This 10,711 acres WMA is located southwest of Walnut Ridge on Highway 25 west, approximately 20 miles from Walnut Ridge.

  • Moist soil units and the waterfowl rest areas in Sections 3, 7, 8 and 18, Township 15N, Range 2W and Sections 21, 28, and 32, Township 16N, Range 2W are closed to access Nov. 1-Feb. 15 (except deer permit holders during deer permit hunts).
  • Boats with outboard motors larger than 25 horsepower, surface-drive motors larger than 37 horsepower and airboats may not be used.
  • No boats allowed from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 23-Jan. 31.
    • Exception 1 - Boats allowed within the Black River.
    • Exception 2 - Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 7, Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 8.
    • Exception 3 - Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the following waters:
      • Shirey Bay,
      • Horseshoe Lake
      • Hill Slough
      • The diversion ditch from County Road 317 to the diversion ditch water-control structure.
  • Closed to all access (except within the Black River, in designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and boat staging areas) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 23-Jan. 31 and Feb. 8.





The area was purchased to provide wildlife habitat and public hunting opportunity.

Recreation Other Than Hunting

Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough offer good fishing. The area offers excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife photography. Four moist soil management units attract large numbers of ducks and shorebirds during late fall through February. Black River is very scenic and offers excellent fishing at times. A concrete boat ramp is available on the west side of the area near Horseshoe Lake. Black River has several recreation activities to offer. Lake Charles is located about 10 miles north of the area, which has modern camping sites within Lake Charles State Park.

Restaurants and Other Facilities

Restaurants and overnight lodging is available in Walnut Ridge, Newport and Hoxie, as well as sporting goods and other necessities. Boat ramps are available on Black River, Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough. Handicapped access trails are marked with signs.


The Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Flood prone region may be closed when an emergency exists due to high water. For information, refer to the current regulations guide or call the Jonesboro Regional office. Maps of the area are available from the area headquarters or regional office in Jonesboro. Boating safety laws and regulations should be closely observed. Boat traffic is heavy at times, especially during duck season. Mosquitoes and biting flies are a nuisance and insect repellent is a necessity. Poison ivy grows profusely in all wooded areas. Venomous snakes including timber rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths are abundant.

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