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Hey Guys

New to Arkansas, turkey hunting is second to none to me. I was just transfered and am stationed near Fort Smith. So:flag: within a 2 1/2 hr drive from me, where in Arkansas should I be looking for longbeards this spring? I already took the orientation class at Fort Chaffee.

Should I scout and hunt Chaffee hard, try to beg my way into a club late, or hunt Nat'l Forest lands?

Any suggestions will be appreciated and repaid when I get some local info

Thanks

Matt
 

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Mind you I've never hunted there, but I hear that the White Rock area has turkey. Again, never hunted it. Just know from an avid hunter that he's seen and hunted them there. Also got bear. Deer.

Not sure about public land near Ft. Smith but I've seen them several times just south of Greenwood and have found tracks off Cherokee Creek in Huntington.

Mikey
 

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there are turkey's on chaffee, but they are about 1 bird per 10 hunters.....i would not waste much time trying for birds there. the national forest would be 100x better. jmo.
 

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I live just north of you on the other side of those mountains. Theres more land than you can hunt in your lifetime there and lots of birds if you're willing to do some scouting. Buy an Arkansas Road Atlas and start driving. Maybe see you out there this spring.
 

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Hey Guys

New to Arkansas, turkey hunting is second to none to me. I was just transfered and am stationed near Fort Smith. So:flag: within a 2 1/2 hr drive from me, where in Arkansas should I be looking for longbeards this spring? I already took the orientation class at Fort Chaffee.

Should I scout and hunt Chaffee hard, try to beg my way into a club late, or hunt Nat'l Forest lands?

Any suggestions will be appreciated and repaid when I get some local info

Thanks

Matt
Forget about Chaffee in the mornings. Just hunt mid-day and afternoons. If you get a bird to goble from the roost in the morning there will be five guys around the tree before he flies down.

Try the White Rock WMA near Cass. Since they shut down the ATV's that has become a great turkey hunting spot. Go to Redding campground and turn N/E up the mountain. There are a ton of old (closed) ATV trails that you can walk down for easy access.

Good luck and welcome to God's country!
 

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I hunt the White Rock WMA for deer and turkey, and as some of the others have said there are turkey there. The key at White Rock is getting off of the roads, and away from the other hunters. Last spring we were down there and had plenty of gobbling action, however everyone I talked to said they couldn't find any birds; I also noticed that they were just staying on the trails with their quads runnin and gunnin. You might also try the turkey hunting over at Mill Creek wich isn't that far from White Rock WMA, they have a turkey hunting area thats off limits to quads and has been managed by the NWTF chapter. There were some nice birds taken out of there during last years youth hunt, one that I know of had a nice 9in. beard.
 

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Turkeys are hurting in the Ozarks and have been on the decline for years. I think if I were you I would drive 2 hours west and hunt Oklahoma. They have lots of birds and quite a bit of Public land. I go out there myself. The west end of the State is loaded with birds.
As for Arkansas, White Rock is just ok, and Piney Creek is just bad. Muddy Creek in the Ouachita's has more birds than both White Rock and Piney Creek put together.

Oh, and the other posters are dead on! Forget Chaffee. 1 bird for every 10 hunters is right.

Good luck and welcome to the Natural State.
 

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I say, if you can hunt during the week, then hunt Chaffee Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. It is phenomenal hunting when the crowd is at work. Now, if you are like me, and don't get the opportunity to hunt much during the week, then do as mentioned: White Rock to the North and Jack Creek, Poteau Mtn areas South. Lots of terrain and lots of turkeys. Welcome to the Fort!
 

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I havent hunted Chaffee the past few years, but that's where I started hunting them. It has one of the better bird populations of anywhere I've been, but there are a ton of hunters! Keep it in mind for a weekday/after work spot.

Somebody else mentioned it... If you're going to drive two hrs, go west! The OK side of the Quachita Natl Forest seems to always have more birds. As a turkey hunter, you've picked a tough time to come to AR. Our turkeys are hurting. Harvests have been somewhere around 1/2 of what they used to be. They'll get back on the upswing sooner or later, but it looks like it'll more likely be later.
 

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Black Kettle is probably the most famous OK WMA for turkeys. It's probably the most recognized public land for Rios period, but it's way across the state. Generally speaking OK has more birds the further W you go and they're Rios, so you kind of have to decide what you're looking for. However, I've known guys that hunt the Quachita Natl Forest for easterns that do unbelievably well. Get a map of that forest, and I bet you wont have a hard time finding an area to hunt.

I have mostly hunted Spavinaw up in the NE corner because it's only about an hr from the house, but I wouldnt recommend it. I couldnt hardly get on a bird over there last year.
 
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