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McIlroy Madison County WMA

Zone County
430 Carroll, Madison
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear Modern Gun
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 Special Youth Hunt: Jan. 6-7, 2024

WMA Deer Bag Limit: Three deer, no more than one antlered buck, which may include:

  • One antlered buck with archery,
  • Three antlerlesss with archery,
  • One antlered buck and one antlerless with muzzleloader permit,
  • One antlered buck and one antlerless with modern gun permit.
  • Limit during the modern gun special youth hunt is two deer; one antlered buck and one antlerless.

Deer Notes:

  • No antler restrictions.
  • 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: 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 for Deer Muzzleloader Permit Holders.
2024 Turkey
Youth Hunt (permit required): April 6-7, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt (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 renamed in January 2008 to honor the previous owners of the land. The McIlroy family of Fayetteville owned approximately 15,000 acres in the county where the WMA is now located.
Major access to area is from state highway 23. To find the area from Huntsville take highway 23 north approximately 12 miles or from Eureka Springs south about 13 miles. Highway directional signs indicate access roads from Highway 23 to the interior of the area. Except for one small tract the area lies east of Highway 23.
The initial purchase for the area was July of 1957.
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 or by calling 833-345-0325 or any regional office.
  • CWD regulations apply.
  • All deer and bear harvested during the permit hunts must be checked in at the Area Headquarters.
  • All caves closed to public access.
  • Holders of AGFC mobility Impaired Access (MIA) may operate ATVs only on designated mobility access areas; roads 2c, 13c, and 16c.
There are currently 23 primitive camping sites designated on the area. These areas were developed and are maintained by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Area maps depict exact locations of camping sites as well as the natural area and overlook. Camping is restricted to designated areas only.
The area is typical rugged Ozark Mountain terrain with numerous steep mountains and hollows. Elevations range from 1,100 to over 1,600 feet above mean sea level. The area is extensively forested in upland hardwood and shortleaf pine/upland hardwood timber stands with associated understory and midstory vegetation. There are numerous small streams on the area that are all tributaries of the nearby Kings River which skirts the eastern boundary of the area. The area consists of a total of 14,536 acres of state owned land.
Hunting Opportunities
The area provides good public hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels and raccoons. Modern gun and muzzleloader deer hunting has been by permit only in recent years in order to maintain hunting pressure and the corresponding deer harvest at desirable levels. Hunters wishing to apply for firearms deer hunting permits should contact an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission office in early May of each year to obtain information or an application for the permit hunt drawings. Archery deer hunting and small game hunting only require the appropriate hunting license at this time. Hunters should always refer to a current edition of the Arkansas Hunting Guidebook prior to hunting on any wildlife management area. Hunting seasons and regulations may be changed from year to year for management purposes.
The entire area is in Madison County, 12 miles north of Huntsville on state highway 23 and/or 13 miles south of Eureka Springs on highway 23.
Management Practices
There are 136 wildlife openings/food plots totaling about 200 acres on the area. These openings are maintained in nutritious grass/legume forage and are mowed, limed and fertilized on a planned schedule. These openings are distributed evenly throughout the area and are designed to provide a dependable source of high quality forage when natural foods are in short supply. Game and Fish Commission personnel also utilize forestry practices including planned timber harvests and controlled burns in order to maintain general forest diversity which provides habitats for the broad spectrum of native forest wildlife species.
The area was purchased primarily as a public hunting area but it is also used for a variety of other outdoor activities.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
The area is used for a variety of outdoor activities including environmental education as well as recreation. Nature study, wildlife observation, horseback riding, bicycling, camping and picnics are all very popular activities on the McIlroy Madison County WMA. Scenic Overlook – A high bluff that overlooks the Kings River known for its exceptionally beautiful view.
Restaurants and Other Facilities
Restaurants and motels are available in nearby Huntsville and Eureka Springs. It would be advisable to obtain motel reservations ahead of time to ensure accommodations. Eureka Springs is a popular tourist attraction during warmer months of the year. There are a wide variety of arts and crafts, curio and antique shops, and entertainment available.
Hunters and hikers should be on the lookout for venomous snakes during the warmer months of the year. They should also use a good insect repellent to ward off disease causing ticks and chiggers.
WMA Master Plan
View the master plan for this AGFC-owned WMA.