Spavinaw WMA covers 14,316 acres in western Delaware and eastern Mayes counties in northeast Oklahoma and is located south of Hwy. 20 (southwest of the town of Jay).
Acquired by the ODWC back in the early ’30s, Spavinaw WMA was purchased along with four other areas including Cookson, Okmulgee, Cherokee, and Pushmataha. The intention was to not only reintroduce deer into eastern Oklahoma but to also help biologists get a better understanding of deer biology. At the time, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant was one of the only areas in the east that had a good source of deer to capture and relocate to these new areas since it was a protected area. After relocating almost 9,000 deer from 1947 to 1972 across the state, along with implementing management techniques on these areas, biologists began to see the fruits of their labor through a growing and healthy whitetail deer population.
Current management practices on the WMA are specialized to help manage the area's deer, turkey, and quail population. The use of yearly prescribed burns and controlled hunts are the primary tools of management on the area. If it weren't for the intense conservative management practices that were used and studied on these areas by Department employees, today's hunters would probably not be benefiting from the current deer population. Thanks largely to Spavinaw WMA and the other areas that were purchased, along with the hard work of Department employees, today's whitetail deer population flourishes.
Spavinaw WMA is a part of the Ozark Plateau with rugged flint hills, bottomlands, and some prairie on the west side. Oak and hickory trees predominate the flint hills, which are interspersed with Eastern Shortleaf Pine, dogwoods, and other understory plants. Bottomlands consist of Sycamore, walnut, and elm trees with some cleared fields present. The prairie area is comprised primarily of native prairie grasses (Big and Little bluestem/Switchgrass/Indian Grass), native forbs, and legumes. The average annual precipitation for the area is about 44 inches.
From Jay: 5 miles west on State Hwy 20 (look for WMA signs), 7 miles south on N4559.
From Salina: 11½ miles east on Kenwood Rd (becomes CR487), WMA sign 1 mile past the town of Kenwood, go 5 miles north on Fairview-Eucha Rd.
Game Species of Interest:
- Quail: Bobwhite quail are present in low numbers in the prairie areas.
- Deer: White-tailed deer are present in low to fair numbers and are highly sought after.
- Turkey: Eastern turkeys are present in fair numbers but are highly sought after.
- Squirrel: Both fox and gray squirrels are at low numbers.
- Rabbit: Cottontail are present in fair numbers.
- Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat and raccoon are available.
- Waterfowl: Limited duck hunting around Spavinaw and Eucha lakes.
Nongame Species of Interest:
- Bald Eagle: Eagles winter on Spavinaw and Eucha lakes.
- Nongame Birds
- Bats: Species that are uncommon or rare that migrate through the area.
Description of Fish and Wildlife Management Practices:
Approximately 25-30 small ponds provide watering areas for wildlife. There have been several clearings made throughout the area to promote native plant growth and are maintained through prescribed burning and mowing. Management efforts focus on producing native wildlife foods, although some small agricultural food plots are planted. Control hunts are offered on the GMA portion of the WMA (muzzleloader and gun). The smaller portion of the WMA is the PHA which provides plenty of hunting opportunities (certain restrictions apply to deer gun seasons).
Camping and Facilities:
One designated primitive camping area is offered on the area, allowed only during open hunting seasons, while both lodging and restaurants are available in Jay. The Jay Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (918) 253-8698.
Fishing opportunities exist at Spavinaw and Eucha lakes, owned by the City of Tulsa. Both lakes are within one mile of the WMA boundary, and are best known for their exceptional bluegill fishing. Largemouth bass and catfish are also popular. Spavinaw creek also provides opportunity for bass and sunfish species. There are no ponds or permanent pools stocked with fish on the area.
For additional information and area attractions:
Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409
Upper McClellan-Kerr Waterway Association
PO Box 2361
Muskogee, OK 74402
Muskogee Convention and Tourism
412 Boston, Muskogee OK 74402
Stilwell Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 845
Stilwell OK 74960
Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau
Williams Center Tower II
Two West Second Street, Tulsa OK 74103
Greater Tenkiller Area Association
PO Box Ten-K
Cookson OK 74427