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May 5, 2021 Comments Off on Sylamore tops for turkeys, recreation Latest

Sylamore tops for turkeys, recreation

Flip Putthoff

Sylamore Wildlife Management Area ranked No. 4 among the state’s top public hunting areas for turkey harvest in 2020.

“Turkey and deer would be its strong points,” said Jeremy Wood, turkey program coordinator with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “But there’s also a lot of recreation here.

“Sylamore falls within the heart of the Ozark ecoregion in Arkansas. This particular area along the White River and bordering counties to the east have held the highest density of wild turkeys for the past several decades,” he said.

The Sylamore tract is within the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. The Ozark Highlands Trail bisects the area, offering hiking opportunities through the terrain of hardwoods, big hills and hollows. There are several trailheads throughout the area for hiking, as well as mountain biking. Horse riding enthusiasts will find available trails, too.

Shooters can hone their skills at a pistol and rifle range off Arkansas 5 within the property, a project of Game and Fish and the Forest Service.

Also within the boundary of Sylamore Wildlife Management Area is the Blanchard Springs Caverns. Campgrounds are situated near the caverns. Two other primitive camping areas are available in Gunner Pool and Barkshed. Campers can set up their own campsite throughout the wildlife management area, though campers are asked to stay off food plots.

Bordering the tract to the northeast is the White River, with four species of trout available from Norfork to Calico Rock and beyond. Mirror Lake, dammed up next to Blanchard Springs, has stocked rainbow trout. North Sylamore Creek, which runs through the area, is rarely high enough for any extended paddling due to its shoals, but there is smallmouth bass and other fish within its waters.