Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA
- 2020-21 Closed Seasons
- Deer Muzzleloader
- 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 Modern Gun Youth Hunt (permit hunt): Nov. 7-8, 2020. This area has special firearms restrictions; see below.
Deer Modern Gun Hunt (permit hunt): Nov. 14-18, 2020. 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.
- 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.
- This WMA is in Flood Prone Region B. Click here for details.
- Three-point rule.
- No dogs.
- A free annual General Use Permit (WMP) is required to hunt or trap. .
- For access restrictions that affect all users during waterfowl season, check the waterfowl guidebook.
- 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.
- 2020-21 Waterfowl
- No boats allowed Nov. 16-20, Dec. 1-10 and Dec. 24-25.
- Closed to all access (except in designated campsites, parking areas and boat launch ramps) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 21-Jan. 31 and Feb. 6.
- 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.
- Nonresidents need a Nonresident 5-day Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit (Page 12) in addition to a Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms Waterfowl Hunting Daily Use Permit to hunt waterfowl.
- No boats allowed from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m., Nov. 21-Jan. 31. Exception 1 – Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 5, Jan. 31 and Feb. 6.
- Boating regulations on WMAs and NWRs.
- From Nov. 21-30, 2020, and Dec. 11-23, 2020 and Dec. 26, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021, Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA is open for waterfowl hunting only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 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 Thursdays, non-restricted permits are available at the parking area at the end of Cypert Road (south of headquarters), the east end of Jones Island Road (Cypert Tract) 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. 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.
- Due to CDC guidelines and recommendations concerning COVID 19, onsite draw procedures will be modified. Only designated party leaders are allowed to sign up a group of up to four hunters per party. Please refer to special draw instructions posted at the WMA headquarters
- On-site permit draws will be suspended on Saturdays and Sundays when the White River at Georgetown reaches 19’ and reinstated when the river falls to 17.5'. WMA will remain open to hunting during this time.
- Five permits, one mobility-impaired blind permit, one youth blind permit and one permit for the Magellan Tract will be available through online drawing. Visit www.agfc.com and click on "Buy Licenses" to apply. Holders of permit for the Magellan Tract are authorized to access this tract via ATV/UTV. Mobility Impaired card is not required.
- 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.
- In addition to a valid Arkansas hunting license, nonresidents need a a valid Arkansas waterfowl stamp (DSN) and a 5-day Nonresident WMA Waterfowl Hunting Permit (NW5) to hunt waterfowl on wildlife management areas. The permit costs $30.50 and is valid only Nov. 21-30, Dec. 27-Jan. 5, Jan. 22-31. It is available online, by telephone or from license dealers. Nonresidents will also need a free WMA General Use permit (WMP) when hunting on any WMA.
- 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.
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.
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.
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