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Trusten Holder WMA

Zone County
630 Arkansas, Desha
2023-24 Closed Seasons
  • Bear Modern Gun
  • Bear Muzzleloader
  • 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: Closed

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

  • Two bucks with archery,
  • Four does with archery,
  • One buck with muzzleloader permit,
  • Two does with muzzleloader permit.

Deer Notes:

  • 15-inch inside spread or 18-inch main beam rule.
  • No dogs.
  • Doe taken during the special mobility impaired permit hunt are bonus deer and do not county toward the seasonal bag limit. Contact Corp of Engineers at 870-548-2291 or at for specific mobility impaired criteria; application period July 5-Sept. 5.
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.

Dove fields on WMAs are 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:

  • Spinning-wing and mechanically operated decoys not allowed. See Page 43.
  • In areas where the park boundary follows the shoreline, a “no hunting” buffer zone (marked with signs or buoys) has been established. Possession of a loaded firearm within this zone is prohibited.
  • No airboats during duck season. (excluding Arkansas River, Arkansas Post Canal, Merrisach Lake, Moore Bayou and Post Lake)
2023 Alligator
Alligator (permit hunts): Sept. 15-18, 2023 and Sept. 22-25, 2023

Alligator Notes: Only permit holders may hunt alligators. Click here for details. 

2023 Bear
Bear Archery: Nov. 25-Dec. 3, 2023. Closed on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service property on Trusten Holder WMA.
Bear Firearms: Closed

Bear Notes:

  • Statewide bag limit.
  • No dogs.
  • Season closes early if bear zone quota is reached.
2024 Turkey
Youth Hunt: April 6-7, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt (permit required): April 15-17, 2024. One legal turkey.
Firearms Hunt (no permit required): April 18-May 5, 2024. One legal turkey.
About the Name
The area was named after Trusten Holder, a biologist and Federal Aid Coordinator for the AGFC in the 1950s.
To reach the area in Arkansas county, take Hwy 165 south of DeWitt toward Gillett 10 miles to the junction of Hwy 164 and Hwy 44, then east on Hwy 44 to Tichnor. At Tichnor take the paved county road south 10 miles as indicated by the directional sign toward Lock and Dams 1 and 2 and Merrisach lake. Upon reaching the Lock and Dam and Merrisach Lake turn-off continue south across the Post Canal Bridge at Lock 2 immediately over the bridge turn left as indicated follow the gravel road 1 mile. To reach the area in Desha County. From Pine bluff take Hwy 65 south toward Dumas for 30 miles to Gould, take Hwy 212 east for 10 miles to the junction of Hwy 212 and Hwy 65 at Pendleton Bridge of the Arkansas River, continue on 212 east toward the Pendleton Park Area and Dam 2. Green and yellow info signs indicate area boundaries.
Purchased in 1973.
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.
  • Check antler restrictions for important additional information.
  • Horses, Mules, ATVs, Bikes, and E-Bikes are not allowed on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property.
  • The Trusten Holder WMA has been expanded to include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands north and east of the Arkansas River downstream from the Pendleton Bridge to just below Dam 2 (Wilbur D. Mills Dam) and to Lock No. 2, including Merrisach Lake, Arkansas Post Canal, Moore Bayou to the old Highway 1, one lane bridge and Post Lake to Highway 169. Hunting equipment on this portion of Trusten Holder WMA is limited to archery equipment and shotguns using T-shot or smaller. Muzzleloader deer season is closed on this expanded portion of Trusten Holder WMA.
  • The National Park Service has made changes to the hunting boundary surrounding the Arkansas Post National Memorial.
    • In areas where the park boundary follows the shoreline, a marked “no hunting” buffer zone (marked with signs or buoys) has been established to insure the safety of visitors to Arkansas Post National Memorial.
    • Possession of a loaded firearm or discharge of a firearm within this boundary or the no hunting buffer zone is prohibited.
    • Portions of Trusten Holder owned by the USFWS are closed to bear hunting.
  • For access restrictions that affect all users during waterfowl season, check the waterfowl guidebook.
  • During elevated river levels or wet road conditions, temporary road closures may occur along the Benzal Road and Boundary Road access routes.
  • For more information contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Monticello Regional Office at 833-363-7638.
Area Type
There are 5 primitive camping areas located in Arkansas County.. Located 3 miles from the adjacent to Lock #2 is Merrisach Park. It is a fee area with all the modern facilities. Located along Hwy 212 East is Pendleton park. The park has water and electrical service at each of its 13 sites, a fee is charged and the park is open year round. Wilbur D. Mills Park is just down stream of Dam # 2 on the Desha County side of the river and offers the same services as Pendleton park, March through October.
The area is a typical overflow bottomland hardwood area with overcup oak, Nuttall oak, sugarberry, ash and persimmon being the dominate species. An oxbow lake, named LaGrues Lake, provides excellent wetlands habitat for the areaês native wildlife and migrating waterfowl.
Hunting Opportunities
Deer; excellent, area restricted to primitive hunting only. Permit is required for Muzzleloading hunts. Turkey, good; squirrel, good; rabbit, excellent; furbearers, good; quail, good; dove, good; waterfowl, good; snipe, poor; woodcock, poor.
Arkansas and Desha Counties; 35 miles SE of De Witt, near Lock and Dam no. 1 on the white River. In Desha County, area located 15 miles NE of Dumas near Pendleton bridge on the Arkansas River.
Management Practices
Include scheduled selective timber harvest which include clearcutting of wildlife openings in the scheduled harvest areas. These openings are 1 to 5 acres in size and are controlled burned at 3 to 5 year intervals. Other practices on the area is the planting of 10 acre food plots. In the spring a mixture of soybeans, cowpeas, millett and sorghum are planted on 5 acres; then in the fall all 10 acres is planted in winter wheat.
AGFC: 4,406 acres; USFWS: 1,490 acres; US Army Corps of Engineers: 4,372 acres.
The area was bought for the purpose of protecting prime bottomland hardwood tracts which had been dwindling in eastern Arkansas in the early 1970s because of increased farming activities.
Recreation Other Than Hunting
Fishing on the area is best during the spring and early summer when the water is receding and the rivers are clear. During the winter, you can observe Bald and Golden eagles along the Arkansas White ship canal.
The area may flood between Dec. and May. Periods of torrential flooding can happen in October.