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Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA

Zone County
605 White
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Alligator
  • Bear
  • Turkey
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 Special Youth Hunt: Nov. 4-5, 2023
Deer Modern Gun (permit hunt): Nov. 11-15, 2023WMA 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 modern gun permit.
  • Limit two (one buck and one doe) with muzzleloader permit.
  • During youth hunt, youths may take two deer, one buck (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.
2023-24 Waterfowl

Waterfowl Notes:

  • No boats allowed Nov. 11-17, Nov. 27-Dec. 8 and Dec. 24-26.
    Exception – Boats allowed from 4 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
  • Closed to all access (except in designated campsites, parking areas and boat launch ramps) from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Nov. 18-Jan. 31 and Feb. 3.
  • Spinning-wing and mechanically operated decoys not allowed. See Page 43.
  • No outboard motors larger than 25 horsepower, surface-drive motors larger than 37 horsepower or airboats allowed. Motors with factory exhaust systems only during waterfowl season.
  • No boats allowed from 1 p.m. to 4 a.m. Nov. 18-Jan. 31 on open hunting days. No boats allowed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Nov. 18-Jan. 31.
    Exception 1 – Boats allowed from 1 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Dec. 2 and Jan. 31.

  • From  Nov. 18-26, 2023 and Dec 9-23, 2023 and Dec. 27, 2023-Jan. 31, 2024 , Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms WMA is open for waterfowl hunting only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and the last day of regular duck season.
    • On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the last day of regular duck season, non-restricted permits are available at the parking areas at the end of Cypert Road (south of headquarters), east end of Jones Island Road (Cypert Tract) and boat ramps A and B. Hunters are not restricted to designated locations on these days. Anyone entering flooded areas must have a signed Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms Waterfowl Hunting Daily Use Permit on their person. All permits must be carried while hunting, completed and returned to the collection box at the end of the hunt.
    • On Saturdays and Sundays, a limited number of permits will be available through online drawing. Visit and click on “Buy Licenses” to apply. Hunters are not restricted to designated locations. No more than four participants per party are allowed for each permit and all members of the party must hunt together.
    • Online drawing for permits will be suspended on Saturdays and Sundays when the White River at Georgetown reaches 19 feet and reinstated when the river falls to 17.5 feet. The WMA will remain open to hunting during this time.
    • Permits are available through online drawing for the following designated locations on the WMA on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays: Magellan Tract, mobility-impaired blind and youth blind. Visit and click on “GET A LICENSE” to apply. Youth permit applications only appear if logged in under the youth hunters’ Customer ID. Holders of a permit for the Magellan Tract are authorized to access this tract via ATV/UTV. Mobility-Impaired card is not required.
    • Permits are not required during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt except for the youth blind permitted hole.
About the Name
The management area was named for the creek and tributaries that dominated the property prior to the 1960’s and for Steve N. Wilson, former director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Raft Creek was a natural overflow hardwood bottomland and backwater area until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when it was cleared for soybean farming.
From Searcy: Take HWY 36 to West Point, at West Point, take HWY 323 south approximately 8 miles to Showalters Corner. At Showalters Corner turn east onto Jones Island Road. Go approximately 5 3/4 miles to the second Raft Creek WMA project sign. Turn south on Cypert Road, go 1/2 mile to WMA Headquarters From DesArc: Take HWY 11 North approximately 14 miles to Showalters Corner. At Showalters Corner turn east onto Jones Island Road. Go approximately 5 3/4 miles to the second Raft Creek WMA project sign. Turn south on Cypert Road, go 1/2 mile to WMA Headquarters.
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 access restrictions that affect all users during waterfowl season, check the waterfowl guidebook.
Steve N. Wilson/Raft Creek Bottoms WMA consists of 4,000 acres in White County.
Hunting Opportunities
Deer, waterfowl, quail, rabbit, squirrel, crow, coyote and furbearers.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the AGFC are in the process of restoring the area’s hydrology and native vegetation. This includes creating approximately 1400 acres of shallow water areas and about 11 miles of restored channels (Raft Creek and tributaries), which can be used as boat lanes. Restored channels, sloughs and breaks are fringed with Cypress/Overcup plantings. The remainder of the site (above flood pool) is planted in Nuttall Oak, Cherrybark Oak, Willow and Water Oak, Sweet Pecan and Green Ash. The escarpment to the south, as well as the area around the headquarters will be seeded to native prairie plants. Raft Creek has played an important role in providing wetland habitat for thousands of wintering migratory birds. Placing this gem under public ownership has secured a perpetual guarantee in providing this unique wildlife management complex for generations to enjoy.
WMA Master Plan
View the master plan for this AGFC-owned WMA.