Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area

By: Jack Waymire, Senior Biologist at Pushmataha, Yourman and Gary Sherrer WMA’s. Phone: (918) 569-4329 office. 

Area Description:
Pushmataha WMA covers 19,247 acres of northern Pushmataha County in the southeastern part of Oklahoma. Located approximately five miles south of Clayton, Pushmataha WMA is on the western fringe of the Ouachita mountain range and is comprised of a mixture of oak/pine forest and oak/pine savannahs with steep slopes, shallow soils and rocky terrain. 

In areas where the canopy has been released, all four major prairie grasses exist with numerous forbs and native legumes.  There have been over 650 varieties of native plants identified on the area.  Some of the native tree species you will encounter are shortleaf pine, post oak, red oak, black oak, hickory, elm, blackgum, sweetgum, rusty blackhaw, flowering dogwood, and hawthorne.  You will also encounter high bush huckleberry, low bush huckleberry, different varieties of sumac, coralberry, poison ivy, green brier, blackberry and many others.  The average annual precipitation for the area is about 52 inches. 

WMA Driving Directions:  

From Clayton: From the intersection of State Hwy 2 and U.S. Hwy 271, 1.8 miles south on U.S. Hwy 271 (look for 4x8 ft. WMA sign), ½ mile west on Game Refuge Road, sign at the “T” in the road directs WMA visitors to the south (left), 3 miles to headquarters.

Game Species of Interest: 

Deer: White-tailed deer exist in good numbers but are heavily sought after. 

Quail: Bobwhite quail are present in fair numbers. 

Elk: A small encapsulated elk herd exists with permits offered through our controlled hunts program. 

Turkey: Eastern wild turkeys are present in good numbers but are heavily sought after. 

Rabbit: Cottontails are present but not usually in large numbers. 

Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat, opossum, skunk and raccoon are available.   

Dove: Occur for short periods of time during their annual migration. 

Waterfowl: A few wood ducks and mallards may be found on the ponds and on Caney Creek. 

Woodcock: Occur in relatively low numbers.

Squirrel: Fox and gray squirrels are usually present in good numbers. 

Black Bears: Good population of Bears.

Nongame Species of Interest:

Bachman’s Sparrow: Present on the WMA.  

Brown Creeper: Present, but only in very low numbers. 

Owls: Several species of owls may be observed on the area. The Screech owl is a
favorite. 

Eastern Wood Pewee: Is also a favorite of bird watching enthusiasts. 

Description of Fish and Wildlife Management Practices:
Timber stand improvements within the mixed oak/pine forest are progressing and maintained with an aggressive prescribed burning regime.  Management efforts focus on producing native wildlife foods such as ragweed and sunflower and maintaining the woody structure height for a variety of wildlife species.  In 1982 one of the longest running research projects regarding vegetation response to fire frequency was initiated and continues on the area today.  Tours of the research area are available by appointment to interested landowners, organizations, agencies, clubs, associations, and other interested groups and individuals.

Camping and Facilities:
Two designated primitive camping areas are offered on the area, while both lodging and restaurants are available in Clayton. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (918) 569-4776.  Clayton Lake State Park is located on the east side of the area, also other RV parks and hook-ups are available in the surrounding area.

Three shooting ranges are available to anyone who possesses a current hunting license.  The rifle range offers 25, 50, 100 and 200 yard target frames. A pistol range is available as well as a place to set up a trap and do some trap shooting.  No target shooting is allowed on the area except at the designated shooting ranges. 

Fishing Opportunities:
Fishing opportunities exist at Sardis Lake on the north side of Clayton, Clayton Lake on the east side of Clayton, the Kiamichi river, Little river, Blackfork river and numerous mountain streams in the surrounding area.  Wister lake is east of the area in Leflore county, Eufaula lake is northwest, Robbers Cave State Park has a wintertime trout fishing season north of Wilburton on Hwy. 2.  Broken Bow lake is in McCurtain county, with good trout fishing opportunities on the Lower Mountain Fork River, Pine Creek lake is southeast of the area on Hwy. 3 & 7 and Hugo lake is south. All of these lakes offer good opportunities for black bass, crappie and catfish. The streams in the area are at times floatable with canoe in the spring and offer great opportunities for smallmouth bass and sunfish.

Maps:

Pushmataha WMA Map - best general purpose map, pdf format (8.5x11)

Regulations: Seasons on public lands section of hunting regulations

Pushmataha WMA - Outdoor Oklahoma Magazine Article (May/June 2006)

For additional information and area attractions:
Kiamichi Country Tourism  
1-800-722-8180

Clayton
PO Box 279, Dept KC03
Clayton 74536
(918) 569-4135

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409
www.travelok.com

Pushmataha County Chamber of Commerce
212 North High Antlers OK 74523
(580) 298-2488

Talihina Chamber of Commerce and Ouachita National Forest Interpretive Association
900 Second St, Suite 12, Dept 03,
Talihina, OK 74571
(918) 567-3434
www.talihinacc.com
vera@talihinacc.com