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Howard County WMA

Zone County
370 Howard

Howard County WMA is a leased land WMA, meaning hunters, trappers and campers 16 years of age or older must purchase a Howard County WMA leased lands permit (LHC) along with a free annual General Use Permit (WMP). Permits are available online by clicking “Buy Licenses” at or by calling 833-345-0325 or any regional office.

2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
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. 29-31, 2023
Deer Modern Gun: Nov. 11-22, 2023 and Nov. 25-Dec. 6, 2023
Deer Modern Gun Special Youth Hunts: Nov. 4-5, 2023 and Jan. 6-7, 2024

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

  • Two bucks with archery,
  • Four does with archery,
  • One buck and one doe with muzzleloader,
  • One buck and one doe with modern gun.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take one deer, buck (no antler restrictions) or doe.

Deer Notes:

  • Three-point rule.
  • No dogs.
  • Limit during the modern gun special youth hunt is one
    deer: buck (no antler restrictions) or doe.
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.

2024 Turkey

Youth Hunt: April 6-7, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt: April 15-May 5, 2024. One legal turkey.


Access on the west side is facilitated by crossing Gillham Lake dam and following Gillham Lake Rd. (County Rd.) through the area. Access on the north and east is facilitated by utilizing Weyerhaeuser roads off Hwy. 4.


The area became a WMA in the 1970s.

Area Notes

Camping is permitted on the area at designated campsites. Additional campsites area available at Blue Ridge Recreational Area on Dierks Lake and at the Gillham Lake dam area.


Typical Athens Piedmont Plateau habitat includes rolling hills intensively managed for pine production and pine/hardwood mixed stands along creeks. The area is bordered on the west by Gillham Lake and the Cossatot River and partially on the south by Dierks Lake.

Hunting Opportunities

Deer, quail, turkey, squirrel, and rabbits. This area is known for producing large bucks. See current regulations for season and permit requirements.


Located in Howard County, 10 miles north of Dierks and 3 miles southwest of Umpire.

Management Practices

Wildlife management practices are integrated with timber management practices to provide quality wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities. These management practices provide substantial open land habitats and stimulate excellent browse production. Several food plots are planted throughout the area and along the lake to supplement natural browse.


This area is made up of approximately 23,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser Company land.




The primary objective of this management area is to provide quality wildlife habitat and public hunting opportunities.

Recreation Other Than Hunting

Fishing opportunities are good in both Gillham Lake and Dierks Lake. Cossatot River State Park and Natural Area lies upstream on the Cossatot River. The Ouachita National Forest is located approximately 10 miles north.

Restaurants and Other Facilities

Facilities are located in Dierks and Umpire. Corps of Engineer campground at Blue Ridge Recreational Area on Dierks Lake is equipped with a concrete boat ramp.


Due to the large network of Weyerhaeuser roads that run throughout the area it is recommended that anyone not familiar with the area obtain an area map from the AGFC office.