Russell Sage, Boeuf WMAs provide great public duck hunting

The balance in your checking account isn’t large enough to cover an expensive duck blind right on Highway 15?

No problem: There are plenty of public hunting lands within the region.

Access isn’t as easy or the amenities as numerous, but the hunting can be great.

One quick note: If you plan to hunt here, get up early. On opening day and when there are lots of ducks in the area, it isn’t uncommon to see a line of trucks at the access points at 3 a.m.

Competition for the best hunting spots can be stiff.

The top WMAs are Russell Sage — especially with the addition of the Wham Brake property on the north section — and Boeuf.

Any of the areas around Highway 15 are great for breaking in new or young duck hunters because, unless something crazy is going on, you will see ducks.

Wham brake is located near Swartz, north of Monroe. It is accessible from Coulee Swamp Road and Buckley Hill Road to the south, where the main parking and launch area is.

Farther south, below I-20, is the greentree reservoir, which can be reached from East Road, East West Road or by boat from Bayou Lafourche.

Parking areas are provided, but you have to walk or four-wheeler in to the reservoir on designated trails in most spots.

There are also numerous potholes and flooded timber that provide opportunities.

Boeuf WMA is located between Winnsboro and Columbia, and there are three popular impoundments with easy-access boat ramps and ATV/UTV trails.

One popular area is at Crew Lake off Highway 4. There is also a large impoundment just northeast of the refuge Headquarters on Highway 559.

The third large area is to the south, where the Boeuf and Ouachita rivers meet.

Several smaller impoundments are located to the south, as are numerous brakes and sloughs available via ATV/UTV trails.

Good WMA maps are available online to help you get a feel for where to start looking:

• Russell Sage WMA — www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/wma/2777-russell-sage-wma/russellsage.pdf

• Boeuf WMA — www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/wma/32649-boeuf/boeuf.pdf

NOTE: Remember to pick up self-clearing permits and follow all special rules, regulations and season dates on WMAs and other public land.

About Kinny Haddox 597 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.