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Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA

Zone County
290 Sharp
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear Modern Gun
  • Quail
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 (permit hunt): Nov. 4-8, 2023
Deer Modern Gun (permit hunt): Dec. 2-6, 2023
Deer Modern Gun Youth Hunt (permit hunt): Jan. 6-7, 2024WMA Deer Bag Limit: Three deer, no more than one buck, which may include:

  • One buck with archery,
  • Three does with archery,
  • One buck and one doe with muzzleloader permit,
  • One buck and one doe with modern gun permit.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take three deer,
    two buck (no antler restrictions) and one doe.

Deer Notes:

  • 12-inch inside spread or 15-inch main beam rule.
  • No dogs.
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: Nov. 4-8, 2023 (deer permit holders only)Bear Notes:

  • Statewide bag limit.
  • No dogs.
  • Bear Zone 1 quota does not apply on this WMA.
2024 Turkey
Youth Hunt (permit required): April 6-7, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms (permit required): April 15-17, April 20-22 and April 27-29, 2024. One legal turkey.Turkey Notes: A WMA Turkey Hunt Permit is required to hunt turkeys on this WMA. Click here for details.
About the Name
The area was first named Spring River WMA because of its location and the fact the river runs along part of the area boundary. Harold was the father of conservation in Arkansas. We who worked with him and studied under him are much richer for having done so. Our wildlife resources are benefitting today from the Harold Alexander work of decades past,” said Steve Wilson, former director of the AGFC. Alexander began work at the AGFC in 1942 as a field biologist in Howard County, becoming one of the first professionals in the newly emerging field of wildlife management. During World War II, his talents with watercolors led to his assignment as a medical illustrator. In 1950, he returned to the AGFC as chief biologist and head of research, remaining with the agency until his retirement in 1976. The name was changed to Harold E. Alexander WMA upon his retirement in recognition of his contribution to conservation in The Natural State.
There are three accesses to the area. Two of which are on Highway 62/167 at Highland and at Hardy, signs are at these accesses. In each of these, the roads start out as paved and turn into county gravel roads. The third access is off highway 58 at Sitka, turn north on county gravel road at Sitka.
The area was purchased in 1976.
Area Notes
The area has 5 primitive camping areas scattered in the area. Theses areas are maintained by the commission and camping is only allowed in these areas. Each camping area has 10 – 15 sites. Camping area 1 is in the north end , camping area 2 is located adjacent to the area headquarters in the middle of the area, camping are 3 is in the southern portion of the area and camping area 4 is in the southern portion of the area.
Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA is located within the Salem Plateau of the Ozark Highlands and is characterized by gently rolling to hilly topography encompassing narrow ridges and drainages. Spring River and Strawberry River, tributaries off the black River, are two major watersheds within HEASR WMA. The habitat on Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA is mainly an Oak -Hickory dominated forest with an interspersion of glades. Additionally, 1000 acres of openlands are kept in historic pre-settlement stages by fire and herbicide application. Rock Creek Natural Area consists of 415 acres located in the center of the WMA along Rock Creek, and is managed under a conservation easement with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to help in the preservation of several threatened and endangered plants. Soils on the area can best be described as cherty silt loam with an abundance of exposed limestone, dolomite deposits, and glade rock.
Hunting Opportunities
The major hunting opportunities are white-tailed deer and Eastern wild turkey. Deer hunting by modern gun and muzzleloader are managed by permit hunts to prevent overcrowding and enhance the experience for successful applicants. Archery season is the same as the zone regulations and dates. Turkey hunting by gun is by permit only. Other hunting opportunities exist with squirrel, rabbit and quail.
Harold E. Alexander Spring River WMA is approximately 6 miles south of Hardy, 4 miles north of Sitka, and 5 miles east of Highland in Sharp County. The nearest major cities close to the area are Jonesboro, 70 miles east, Batesville, 49 miles south and Mountain Home, 64 miles west.
Management Practices
The primary habitat management focus on Harold E. Alexander WMA involves a focus on glade restoration, reclamation of old field systems and hardwood stands, and management of upland hardwood forests for woodland/savannah conditions where appropriate. Recent management activities have resulted in the removal of cedar and undesirable vegetation from glades and open lands interspersed throughout the WMA, WSI treatment of hardwood forest for woodland restoration purposes, and conducting prescribed fire. Land management practices conducted on this area prior to AGFC ownership has resulted in primarily an even-aged, over-stocked, upland hardwood forest. Future habitat prescriptions for this area will be developed with a focus on continuing woodland restoration efforts, reclamation of old field habitats, and restoration of glade habitats. Habitat management efforts described above will not only benefit a host of Species of Greatest Conservation Need identified within the Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan, but will also provide tremendous benefits to both deer, quail, and turkey
13,939-acres are owned by the AGFC; A small, yet interesting part of this WMA is the 415-acre Rock Creek Natural Area, managed by the Arkansas Natural
Heritage Commission. It has one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in Arkansas, most of which are found in a series of seep-fens – permanently
saturated areas – and dolomite glades along Rock Creek and its tributaries.
The WMA was created because of a growing concern of habitat loss in the area. The primary goal was to create optimum habitat conditions for white-tailed deer and turkey, with secondary goals for habitat development for quail, rabbit, squirrel and furbearers. As it stands, the goal for the number of deer per acre has been reached. Management practices are now used to ensure it stays at this level. In the past, the area was used as a restocking refuge for turkey. Turkey hunting is now allowed by permit only.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
The other existing recreational opportunities that exist are fishing, canoeing along the Spring River, hiking, sight seeing on the natural area and a chance to observe bald eagles during late winter along Spring River. A boat ramp was built in the mid 1990s on the WMA for access to Spring River. All caves are closed to public access to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome into Arkansas in order to protect bat populations. The Rock Creek Natural Area is composed of 415 acres along the creek and some streams feeding into the creek. This natural area is in cooperation with the Heritage Commission. Along Rock Creek a .6 mile natural trail has been constructed that goes from the road bridge on the county road up to Bubbling Springs. The area has a natural area: Bubbling Spring, located in Sect. 7, T18N, R4W, and is the principal water source of Rock Creek. The flow of the spring has been estimated at 1,500 gpm. If you’re a plant enthusiast, this is the place to come to. The area has documented 812 species of plants and is the most diverse area in the state.
Restaurants and Other Facilities
Restaurants and grocery stores can be found close to either one of the accesses of highways 62/167 at Highland and Hardy. Motels and modern camping areas can be found at Hardy.
Careful considerations should be given to the location of the 7 holdings. Even though these are within the area and subject to management area rules and regulations, it is private land (some posted) and without permission from owners, should not be entered upon. Most of the boundaries along the inholdings are marked in some way.
WMA Master Plan
View the master plan for this AGFC-owned WMA.