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Caney Creek WMA

Zone County
120 Howard, Montgomery, Pike, Polk
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
2023-24 Crow
Sept. 1, 2023-Feb. 19, 2024. Open Thursdays through Mondays only. No limit.
2023-24 Deer
Deer Archery: Sept. 23, 2023-Feb. 29, 2024
Deer Muzzleloader: Oct. 21-29, 2023 and Dec. 9-11, 2023
Deer Modern Gun: Nov. 11-Dec. 3, 2023 and Dec. 26-28, 2023
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5,  2023 and Jan. 6-7, 2024

WMA Deer Bag Limit: Three deer, no more than two bucks, which may include:

  • Two bucks with archery, muzzleloader or modern gun,
  • Three does with archery,
  • One doe with muzzleloader season, Oct. 15-23, 2022 or Dec. 10-12, 2022
  • During the youth hunt, youths may take three deer, no more than two bucks (no antler restrictions) and one doe.

Deer Notes:

  • Three-point rule.
  • No dogs.
2023-24 Quail
Nov. 1, 2023-Feb. 5, 2024. Daily limit – 6, possession limit -12.
2023-24 Rabbit
Sept. 1, 2023-Feb. 29, 2024. Daily limit – 8, possession limit – 16.
2024-25 Squirrel
May 15, 2024-Feb. 28, 2025. Dogs allowed. Daily limit – 12, possession limit – 48.
2023 Bear
Bear Archery: Sept. 13-Nov. 30, 2023
Bear Muzzleloader: Oct. 21-29, 2023
Bear Modern Gun: Nov. 11-30, 2023
Bear Modern Gun Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5, 2023

Bear Notes:

  • Statewide bag limit.
  • No dogs.
2024 Turkey
Youth Hunt: April 6-7, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt: April 15-May 5, 2024. One legal turkey.
About the Name
The name was derived from a creek located on the southwest portion of the management area.
The area can be reached from Mena via Ark. 375 south for ten miles. From Glenwood, follow Ark. 8 west 25 miles until you see the sign announcing “Little Missouri Falls and Albert Pike Recreation Areas.” From US 71 at Vandervoot the area can be reached via Ark. 246 (10 miles).
The area was established in 1968 as a result of a “memorandum of understanding” between the USDA Forest Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Area Notes
Camping opportunities are endless. The Forest Service allows unrestricted camping. Bard Springs Recreational Area and Shady Lake Recreational Area all have developed camping areas with restroom facilities and drinking water. Camping is free at Bard Springs, but a nominal fee is charged at Albert Pike and Shady Lake. Camping with electricity and cabins is available at a private campground at Albert Pike. For more information call 870-356-3964.
Howard, Montgomery, Pike, Polk
Caney Creek consists of 85,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain and narrow valleys which form the headwaters of the Little Missouri and Cossatot Rivers. The predominant timber types on the area are upland hardwoods, shortleaf pine and mixed hardwood. Typical of the Ouachitas, the ridges run in an east-west fashion. Hardwoods are generally found on the north and east aspects of the mountains while pine occupies the south and west aspects. In addition to the Little Missouri and Cossatot rivers, there are several smaller streams on the management area. These include Caney Creek, Short Creek, Sugar Creek, Mine Creek, Straight Creek, Crooked Creek, Long Creek, Blaylock Creek and East Saline Creek. One man-made lake, Shady Lake, is located on the south side of the management area.
Hunting Opportunities
Many hunting opportunities exist on the WMA, including deer, turkey, squirrel, bear, furbearers, rabbits, bobwhite, raccoon, mourning dove, coyote, woodcock, snipe and ducks. The area is noted for its high-quality deer potential. Squirrel hunting can be outstanding following a year of good hard mast production.
The area is in the Ouachita Mountains, about 12 miles southeast of Mena.
Management Practices
Several practices are used on the area to enhance wildlife habitat. These include approximately 135 food plots, several hundred acres of controlled burns, overstory mast development to increase acorn production, timber harvesting, midstory thinning and bushhogging.
Primary ownership is by the USDA Forest Service although there is some privately owned land within the management area boundary.
The area was created to enhance management of all wildlife species in west central Arkansas.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
Of special interest is the Caney Creek Wilderness Area (14,433 acres). One has a choice of a couple of trails to hike depending on time allotted. Whitewater kayaking is available on the Cossatot River for those with considerable experience in white water. The Cossatot is not a river for beginners, however. “Cossatot” is derived from American Indian words meaning “skullcrusher.”
Restaurants and Other Facilities
The nearest restaurant and motel will be found at Mena, but groceries can be purchased in the community of Langley.
There is the possibility of becoming lost. The area is home to many bears, so use common sense dealing with garbage and cooking materials.