• 72°

Forever Wild adds land to Lowndes WMA

Thanks to Forever Wild, the Lowndes Wildlife Management Area has grown by an additional 1,343 acres, providing additional public hunting opportunities in the Alabama Black Belt.

The additional land, known as the Big Swamp Creek Tract, gives hunters a total of 12,500 acres to traverse in pursuit of white-tailed deer, Eastern wild turkeys, feral hogs, a variety of small game and waterfowl.

Gary Moody, chief of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries’ Wildlife Section, said the Lowndes WMA was established about 15 years ago as a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the mitigation for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

“Fortunately, during the last year, the opportunity came up to add acreage to the Lowndes WMA,” Moody said. “Thanks to Forever Wild, the public will have an additional 1,343 acres that joins the existing WMA on the south side.”

Chris Jaworowski, area biologist and Lowndes WMA manager, reiterated that access to the new parcel is going to be particularly challenging because the sale of the property did not close until recently.

“We just got it a month ago and the boundary lines have been marked so the public can use the property,” Jaworowski said. “It’s going to take a while before it looks like the rest of the property with food plots and maintained roads and all that. The road system is unimproved.”

As the name implies, the Big Swamp Creek Tract has basically no elevation change.

“It’s all flat land,” Jaworowski said. “There are some pine plantations, but they’re small, which is good for diversity. The majority of the property is in different stages of hardwood regeneration. There are existing mature hardwood stands that were thinned that will supply a lot of mast crops.”

To hunt deer, turkey or waterfowl, a permit for the specific WMA to be hunted is required. Lowndes WMA permits are available at sporting good stores or the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries District IV Wildlife Office at 1820-C Glynwood Drive, Prattville, AL 36066 (Phone: 334-358-0035).

Visit www.outdooralabama.com to learn more about the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or to read previous columns by David Rainer.