Jason Lindsey

For a chance at a trophy buck in some of the wildest country in the South, plan an archery hunt this month at the Piney Creeks Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Managed cooperatively by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U.S. Forest Service, Piney Creeks WMA covers 176,000 acres within the Ozark National Forest. Sprawling across Pope, Johnson and Newton counties, it contains broad, flat mountains forested with a mix of oak, beech, hickory and pine. It also has some extensive lowland areas along Big Piney and Hurricane creeks, as well as along the North Fork of the Illinois Bayou. The area supports healthy deer populations, and while whitetails in this region aren’t particularly large in terms of body weight, many grow impressive racks. Venture into the backcountry and away from the roads for a better chance to encounter an old buck that may never have seen a human before. While elevations in Piney Creeks WMA are modest, the entire area is extremely steep and rugged. Hunters visiting this area should be in peak physical condition. October features warm days and frosty nights. Expectfrequent thundershowers at night. Contact: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (877-967-7577).