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Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA

Zone County
580 Lawrence
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
  • Deer 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): Oct. 21-25, 2023
Deer Modern Gun Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5, 2023. This area has special firearms restrictions; see Area Notes.

WMA Deer 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 muzzleloader permit.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take one deer, buck (no antler restrictions) or doe.

Deer Notes:

  • 12-inch inside spread or 15-inch main beam rule.
  • No dogs.
2023-24 Dove
Sept. 2-Oct. 22, 2023 and Dec. 8, 2023-Jan. 15, 2024

Mourning Dove and White-Winged Dove 
Daily Limit – 15, possession Limit – 45

Eurasian Collared-Dove
No daily or possession limit
Eurasian Collared Doves must remain fully feathered in the field and while being transported from the field.

Dove Notes:

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission prepares a few fields each year for the opening weekend of dove season so the public has a place to enjoy this exciting form of wingshooting.

A WMA Dove Hunt Permit is required to hunt dove opening weekend on this Area. Afterwards, the area is available on a first-come, first-served basis. WMA acreage put into dove fields is relatively small because most hunters only pursue doves the first few days of the season. However, after opening weekend of dove season, many wildlife species feed in the fields, particularly those that were topsown with winter wheat.

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.
2023-24 Waterfowl

Waterfowl Notes:

  • No boats allowed Nov. 11-17, Nov. 27-Dec. 8 and Dec. 24-26.
    Exception 1 – Boats allowed from 4 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
    Exception 2 – Boats allowed on the following waters:
    • Black River.
    • Shirey Bay, Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough.
    • The diversion ditch from county Road 317 to the diversion ditch water-control structure.
  • Closed to all access (except in designated campsites, parking areas, boat launch ramps and boat staging areas) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Nov. 18-Jan. 31 and Feb. 3. Boats may only be launched in boat staging areas after 2 a.m. and must remain occupied between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Spinning-wing and mechanically operated decoys not allowed. See Page 43.
  • No boats allowed from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m. Nov. 18-26, Dec. 9-23 and Dec. 27-Jan. 31.
    Exception 1 – Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 2 and Jan. 31.
    Exception 2 – Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the following waters:
    • Black River.
    • Shirey Bay, Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough.
    • The diversion ditch from county Road 317 to the diversion ditch water-control structure.
  • No outboard motors larger than 25 horsepower, surface-drive motors larger than 37 horsepower or airboats allowed. Excluding Shirey Bay, Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough during nonhunting activities.
  • Motors with factory exhaust systems only during waterfowl season.
  • Waterfowl rest areas are open to deer modern gun youth hunt permit holders only Nov. 4-5.
  • Waterfowl hunters may not possess shot shells containing shot larger than No. 2 and may possess no more than 15 shells unless hunters are in camping, parking or boat launching areas or during the Special Youth Waterfowl Hunts (Dec. 2 and Feb. 3) and Special Military Hunt (Feb. 3).
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
Was appropriately named for the two large bodies of water on the area. The east side of the area known as Shirey Bay got its name from an old oxbow off Black River. The Rainey Brake located on the west side is so called due to a large pond or brake, as it is sometimes called.
Follow Arkansas Highway 25 to Black Rock and turn right under the Black River Bridge following Arkansas Highway 25 to Lynn. Turn left in Lynn at the directional sign indicating the project location.
The area was purchased beginning in the early 1950s and continuing through the 1970s.
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.
  • A hunting or fishing license or AGFC Camping Permit is required to camp.
  • For all hunters except deer permit holders during deer permit hunts, the moist soil units and the waterfowl rest areas in Sections 3, 7, 8 and 18, Township 15N, Range 2W and Sections 21, 28, and 32, Township 16N, Range 2W are closed to access Nov. 1 and will reopen to access Feb. 16.
  • Modern guns are restricted to shotguns (.410 or larger) with slugs (no buckshot allowed) and certain handguns during deer muzzleloader (permit hunt) and deer modern gun youth hunt. Archery equipment and muzzleloader rifles may also be used.
  • For access restrictions that affect all users during waterfowl season, check the waterfowl guidebook.
Camping is permitted in designated areas only. Many primitive campsites are on both sides of the area. Mosquitoes and biting flies are a major nuisance to campers during warm weather. Large numbers of campers occupy the campsites every fall at the beginning of squirrel season. Campers enjoy the combination of squirrel hunting and fishing in the area lakes or in Black River
The area consists of 11,308 acres and is divided by the Black River. Approximately 3,000 is on the east side of the Black River adjacent to an oxbow named Shirey Bay, near the community of Portia, in Lawrence County. The remaining 7,000-plus acres are directly across Black River to the west near the community of Lynn in Lawrence County. The western edge of the WMA is in the Ozark Foothills region, but most of the acreage is bottomland hardwood forest. More than 1,000 acres of old field systems add an open land component. These are maintained by a combination of prescribed fire, mechanical vegetation control and specialized farming and moist soil management. Over half the area is subject to overflow by the Black River with at least one flood event per year on the average.
Hunting Opportunities
Over 3,000 acres of green tree reservoir attracts many ducks and provides some of the finest timber hunting opportunity in the state. Squirrel hunting is very popular on the area and is second only to duck hunting with regards to hunter participation. Field edges and stream banks offer good rabbit hunting. Deer hunting is limited to archery/crossbow and to a youth modern gun hunt and muzzleloader season by limited permit. A huntable population of turkeys is found on the area.
This 10,711 acres WMA is located southwest of Walnut Ridge on Highway 25 west, approximately 20 miles from Walnut Ridge.
The area was purchased to provide wildlife habitat and public hunting opportunity.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough offer good fishing. The area offers excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife photography. Four moist soil management units attract large numbers of ducks and shorebirds during late fall through February. Black River is very scenic and offers excellent fishing at times. A concrete boat ramp is available on the west side of the area near Horseshoe Lake. Black River has several recreation activities to offer. Lake Charles is located about 10 miles north of the area, which has modern camping sites within Lake Charles State Park.
Restaurants and Other Facilities
Restaurants and overnight lodging is available in Walnut Ridge, Newport and Hoxie, as well as sporting goods and other necessities. Boat ramps are available on Black River, Horseshoe Lake and Hill Slough. Handicapped access trails are marked with signs.
The Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Flood prone region may be closed when an emergency exists due to high water. For information, refer to the current regulations guide or call the Jonesboro Regional office. Maps of the area are available from the area headquarters or regional office in Jonesboro. Boating safety laws and regulations should be closely observed. Boat traffic is heavy at times, especially during duck season. Mosquitoes and biting flies are a nuisance and insect repellent is a necessity. Poison ivy grows profusely in all wooded areas. Venomous snakes including timber rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths are abundant.