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Explore Outdoor Arkansas

A Guide to Arkansas Hunting & Fishing

Whether visiting Arkansas for National Hunting & Fishing Day – celebrated in late September just so you know – or just here for a scenic getaway, Arkansas has what you need in hunting and fishing.

Make your way to the Ozark National Forest in northern Arkansas for hunting in one of six wildlife management areas. Whether on the hunt for waterfowl or black bear, these famed forests have your answer. Found yourself on Arkansas’ Mississippi River Delta?

Head to the White River National Wildlife Refuge for Archery Deer and Furbearer. Exceptional when it comes to waterfowl hunting, the White River National Wildlife Refuge is set along the Mississippi Flyway – an ideal spot for mallard hunting.

Fishing in central Arkansas is a must do when exploring the great outdoors of the Natural State. Head to the nearly two-million-acre Ouachita National Forest and saddle up next to Lake Ouachita. Known as the Striped Bass Capital, you can cast out for catfish, walleye and, of course, bass. After that, make your way to the 14,000-acre Lake DeGray near Arkadelphia for crappie, bream and hybrid striped bass.

Fishing and hunting in Arkansas – hard to think of a better way to spend your time in the Natural State.

Central & Southern Arkansas
When you think of nature and wilderness in central Arkansas, you think of the Ouachita National Forest. Encompassing 1.8 million acres of Natural State land, this forest is home to excellent fishing. Try fishing along one of Ouachita National Forest’s many rivers, such as Mountain Fork River, Little Missouri River, and Ouachita River.

Try spear fishing at Lake Ouachita – overflowing with largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass, not to mention crappie, catfish, and walleye. Also known as the Striped Bass Capital of the World, Lake Ouachita is a miraculous fishing spot. DeGray Lake – set less than 10 miles from Arkadelphia along the Arkansas Scenic Byway 7 – is the epicenter of DeGray Lake Resort State Park.

The park is located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, and has one big lake perfect for fishing in central Arkansas. Anglers may head for DeGray Lake and cast out for walleye, crappie, bream and catfish – not to mention hybrid striped bass. So pack up your tackle box and head to this 13,800-acre fisherman’s paradise.

Mississippi River Delta
There’s no better place to explore nature than the Natural State. Set along the Arkansas’ own Mississippi River Delta, the White River National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to kick off hunting season. Set on 160,000 acres, headed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, this refuge is home to several acres of land ideal for hunting during the appropriate season.

White River National Wildlife Refuge includes seasons such as Archery Deer, Furbearer, Turkey and Waterfowl. One thing to target is waterfowl, seeing as the area has the largest concentration of wintering mallard along the Mississippi Flyway – one of the major bird migration routes in North America. Waterfowl hunting is allowed from 4 a.m. until noon in the refuge, and decoy, portable blinds and retriever dogs are permitted.

The Delta also features the 22,600-acre St. Francis National Forest – one of the country's smallest national forest areas. Located near Crowley's Ridge, St. Francis features two large fishing spots: Bear Creek Reservoir and Storm Creek Lake – both packed with crappie, warmouth, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.

Whether after duck or deer, trying out some newly purchased toys or enjoying a bonding experience in the wilderness, Arkansas’ Mississippi Delta has just what you need. Familiarize yourself with upcoming hunting seasons, and start packing.

Ozarks & Northern Arkansas
Grab an Arkansas hunting or fishing license – acquired from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission – and head to northern Arkansas. There you’ll find the Ozark National Forest – an area of 1.2 million acres. Where there’s 370 miles of streams, 2,000 acres of lakes and ponds, and 11,000 acres of old-growth forests, there’s bond to be some good hunting and fishing.

Attention anglers: If you’re in the Ozark National Forest, then you’ve come to the right place. Head over to the 825-acre Bear Creek Lake and hook some blue gill, redear sunfish and blue catfish. Trout fan? Cast out for rainbow and cutthroat trout along the White River, or see if you can snatch some area-specific Ozark bass. You can even set up shop near Storm Creek Lake for hybrid striped bass.

Looking to hunt? The Arkansas Ozarks is home to six wildlife management areas. Choose from areas like White Rock, Sylamore, Piney Creeks, and Mount Magazine – each managed by none other than the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Set out for anything from waterfowl and quail to white-tailed deer and black bear. So get to know the hunting seasons for the Ozark National Forest, and make your way to northern Arkansas.