Ouachita - LeFore Wildlife Management Area
By: Jeff Ford, Biologist, Ouachita WMA. Phone: (918)653-2012
Ouachita WMA covers 212,000 acres of the Ouachita National Forest Lands in southeastern Oklahoma. The area is managed cooperatively between the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the United States Forest Service. The area is located in southern Leflore county approximately 10 miles south of Heavener, Ok. on Highway 59. Located in the scenic, mountainous, oak-pine forest, the area’s primary species is deer and turkey, more than 400 acres of food plots are planted annually for these species.
The Talimena Scenic Drive cuts the area in half running along the top of Winding Stair Mountain from Highway 271 to the Arkansas line. This drive offers many scenic vistas to pull off and enjoy the view. Some camping is available along the drive and at the Cedar Lake Camp ground.
WMA Driving Directions:
WMA Headquarters – From Heavener: 7 miles south on U.S. Hwy 59, 0.1 mile east on Fish Hatchery Rd, first building on right side of road.
U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center – From Heavener: 10 miles south on U.S. Hwy 59. (3 miles south of WMA Headquarters.)
U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center – From Talihina: 3 miles north on U.S. Hwy 271.
U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center (open seasonally) – From Talihina: 8 miles north on U.S. Hwy 271, turn east on Talimena Dr (State Hwy 1).
From Broken Bow: 40 miles north on U.S. Hwy 259, look for USFS/Ouachita WMA boundary signs.
From Mena, AR: 15 miles west on AR State Hwy 8, turns into OK State Hwy 63, look for USFS/Ouachita WMA boundary sign.
From Acorn, AR: 13 miles west on U.S. Hwy 270 to OK state line, look for USFS/Ouachita WMA
From Queen Wilhelmina State Park, AR: 4 miles west on AR State Hwy 88, turns into OK State Hwy 1, look for USFS/Ouachita WMA boundary sign.
Game Species of Interest:
Deer: White-tailed deer are present in good population, but are highly sought after.
Turkey: Eastern wild turkeys are present in good numbers but are highly sought after.
Squirrel: Fox and gray squirrels are present in good numbers.
Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat and raccoon are available.
River-Otter: Otter’s are present in the Black Fork Creek and Holson Creek drainages.
Black Bears: Good population of Bears.
Nongame Species of Interest:
Bald Eagle: Generally have a large population of eagles that winter on or around the WMA.
Description of Fish and
Wildlife Management Practices:
Approximately 400 acres of food plots are planted annually, 20,000 acres prescribed burned, and about 800, 1/4 to ½ acres ponds on the area , to help all wildlife species with food and water. There are three larger bodies of water, (Cedar Lake, Crooked Branch, Boney Ridge) that are managed for fishing.
Camping and Facilities:
There are many primitive camping sites on the area, and two sites at Cedar Lake and Winding Stair Vista that have modern facilities. The area also has two shooting ranges, one on the south side, off Hwy. 63, and one on the north, off Hwy. 59
Fishing opportunities for bass, catfish and sunfish exist at Cedar Lake, Crooked Branch, and Boney Ridge.
Ouachita WMA LeFlore and Cucumber Creek Unit - best general purpose map, pdf format (8.5x11)
Cedar Lake, Billy Creek and Winding Stair Mountain Recreation Areas are closed to hunting.
additional information and area attractions:
Kiamichi Country Tourism
Heavener Chamber of Commerce
501 West First St, Heavener 74937
Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409
Poteau Chamber of Commerce
200 South Broadway, Poteau 74953