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Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA

Zone: 605

County: White

2021-22 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
  • Deer Muzzleloader
  • Turkey
2021-22 Deer

Deer Archery: Sept. 25, 2021-Feb. 28, 2022
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunt: Nov. 6-7, 2021. 
Deer Modern Gun Hunt (permit hunt): Nov. 13-17, 2021. 

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 hunt, youths may take two deer, one buck (no antler restrictions) and one doe.

Deer Notes:

  • Three-point rule.
  • No dogs.
2021-22 Waterfowl

Waterfowl Notes:

  • No boats allowed Nov. 15-19, 2021, Nov.30-Dec. 10, 2021 and Dec. 24-25, 2021.
  • Closed to all access (except in designated campsites, parking areas and boat launch ramps) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 20, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022 and Feb. 5, 2022.
  • It is unlawful to use any device that simulates wing movement or movement of any kind through electrical or mechanical means, except jerk strings. See exact code.
  • 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. 20, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022.
    Exception 1 – Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 4, 2021and Jan. 31, 2022.
  • See Page 44 for boating restrictions.

  • From Nov. 20-29, 2021, and Dec. 11-23, 2021 and Dec. 26, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022, Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA is open for waterfowl hunting only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays.
    • On Tuesdays and Thursdays, nonrestricted permits are available at the parking areas at the end of Cypert Road (south of headquarters), east end of Jones Island Road (Cypert Tract) and boat ramps A and B. Hunters are not restricted to designated locations on these days. Anyone entering flooded areas must have a signed Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms Waterfowl Hunting Daily Use Permit on their person. All permits must be carried while hunting, completed and returned to the collection box at the end of the hunt.
    • On Saturdays and Sundays, a limited number of permits will be available through online drawing.
    • Applications will be accepted online for each hunt period from 3 p.m.Thursday through midnight Sunday of the weekend immediately preceding the hunt. Permits will be drawn and winners notified via email the Monday preceding the hunt. Visit www.agfc.com and click on "Buy Licenses" to apply. Hunters are not restricted to designated locations on these days. No more than four participants per party are allowed for each permit and all members of the party must hunt together.
    • Online drawing for permits will be suspended on Saturdays and Sundays when the White River at Georgetown reaches 19’ and reinstated when the river falls to 17.5’. The WMA will remain open to hunting during this time.
    • Permits are available through online drawing for the following designated locations on the WMA on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays:Magellan Tract, mobility impaired blind and youth blind. Visit www.agfc.com and click on "Buy Licenses" to apply. Holders of a permit for the Magellan Tract are authorized to access this tract via ATV/UTV. Mobility Impaired card is not required.
    • Permits are not required during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt except for the youth blind permitted hole.
2022-23 Crow

Sept. 1, 2022-Feb. 20, 2023. Open Thursdays through Mondays. No limit.

2022-23 Quail

Nov. 1, 2022-Feb. 5, 2023. Daily limit - 6, possession limit -12. Bird dogs allowed.

2022-23 Rabbit

Sept. 1, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023. Daily limit - 8, possession limit - 16. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts.

2022-23 Squirrel

May 15, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023. Dogs allowed except during firearms deer hunts. Daily limit - 12, possession limit - 48.

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.

Access

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.

Area Notes
  • A free annual General Use Permit (WMP) is required to hunt or trap on WMAs. Permits are available online by clicking "Buy Licenses" at agfc.com or by calling 800-364-4263 or any regional office.
  • Only shotguns (.410 and larger) with slugs (no buckshot allowed) or muzzleloading rifles shooting a single projectile are allowed during the modern gun permit hunt.
  • For access restrictions that affect all users during waterfowl season, check the waterfowl guidebook
Description

Steve N. Wilson/Raft Creek Bottoms WMA consists of 4,000 acres in White County.

Hunting Opportunities

Deer, waterfowl, quail, rabbit, squirrel, crow, coyote and furbearers.

Ownership

AGFC

Phone

877-734-4581

Purpose

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 used 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.

WMA Master Plan

View the master plan for this AGFC-owned WMA. 

Detailed Interactive Map Public Use Maps