Friends of White River 

National Wildlife Refuge


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  • 23 May 2017 3:53 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Quota Hunt Application Change!!

    With input from hunters, the refuge staff has been busy putting together a more streamlined Quota Hunt application process.

    Beginning this year, both the Muzzleloader and Modern Gun Quota hunts will be applied for online instead of through mail. Look for the online application process to open this August.

    No more back and forth mailings, no more need for "official US" postcards, no stamps! Definitely a huge improvement.

    To ensure everyone is educated about the change, the refuge will be mailing specific instructions on how to apply to past refuge hunters and will periodically post info and updates as they become available.

  • 21 Apr 2017 3:56 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Did you know that IN LIEU OF YEARLY LAND TAXES, your refuge pays local counties at a rate NEARLY TWICE the amount collected from private landowners?

    A portion of timber sales is shared with local communities under its "Revenue Sharing program." For 2016, the refuge PAID the following amounts to our local counties that had refuge lands within their borders:

    Arkansas County - $126,167!

    Desha County received: $49,373,

    Monroe County -$150,588.

    Phillips County-$18,190.

    These funds are paid DIRECTLY TO COUNTIES for much needed school funding and other needs.

    How's THAT for being a good neighbor to our county schools?

  • 16 Dec 2016 1:00 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Historically, black bears were so abundant that the unofficial motto for Arkansas was “The Bear State.” Yet Black bears became rare in Arkansas after 1850, due to over-harvesting and habitat destruction.

    By 1930 less than 50 black bears were thought to remain in the state, with most residing in the rugged remote bottomland areas of what is now the Dale Bumpers/White River National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Arkansas.

    The refuge played a critical role in the comeback story of these native Arkansas bears. Established in 1935 the refuge provided the first buffer against bulldozers that were actively clearing and leveling the surrounding forests for farmland. By protecting and managing these remaining forest lands our refuge provided one of the most successful comeback stories in wildlife management history.

  • 15 Nov 2016 1:06 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Our annual Youth Hunt at the Cooks Lake Conservation Center was recently featured on "Arkansas Wildlife TV"- 
    The annual hunt, coordinated each year by the staff at the Dale Bumpers/White River National Wildlife Refuge and the AGFC, is specifically targeted toward youths who may not have hunting experience or a place to hunt. The young participants receive instruction about conservation, game biology, hunting techniques and safe gun handling from refuge and AGFC staff as well as other volunteers.

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  • 29 Jul 2016 4:08 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    A reminder that Buck Finn's Geauxrilla Flotilla is July 16th! The brainchild of Louis Gibbs, this annual fun packed boat run from Clarendon to St Charles offers boaters fun and fellowship as they enjoy the river.... all while raising money for worthwhile causes. Last year the Flotilla charitable fund donated a whopping $10,000 to the Friends of White River Refuge! As a LOCAL non-profit private 501-C3 friends group that receives no government funding these badly needed funds that were put to good use in support of outreach services for youth and disabled hunts at held in cooperation with AGFC and refuge staff each year at Cooks Lake. Support em!

    Pictured Left to Right: Bo Sloan, (Refuge Manager), Louis Gibbs, & Walter Jones (Friends of the Refuge President)

    Jim Taylor Louis Gibbs Walter Jones

  • 12 Feb 2016 4:11 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)


    The Friends of the Refuge helped wrap up duck season by partnering with the Dale Bumpers/White River Refuge, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation, and the Arkansas Baptist Boys Ranch for a weekend youth duck. Held at Cooks Lakes, the activities included gun safety, waterfowl identification field trips along with morning and afternoon duck hunts. In addition the kids were treated to some top notch calling lessons from World Champion duck caller Jim Rondquest

    Jay Hitchcock, refuge waterfowl biologist and one of the hunt coordinators said: “A lot of ammunition was shot, memories made and hopefully a foundation was laid for future conservationists. We wish to thank our hunt sponsors Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, Friends of White River NWR and White River Guide Service for their generous support and to the Arkansas Baptist Boys Ranch for being a part of this hunt. And a big thanks to Jim Ronquest for taking time out of his busy schedule to spend an hour with these kids to teach them how to blow a duck call.”


  • 08 Dec 2015 4:14 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Annual Youth Hunt at the Cooks Lake Conservation Center Casscoe AR

    Coordinated by the staff at the Dale Bumpers/White River National Wildlife Refuge at St. Charles, with the Cook's Lake being the host site. Each year 10 lucky youths are drawn to participate. The hunt is specifically targeted toward youths who have not killed a deer or may not have hunting experience.

  • 21 Nov 2015 12:03 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Twelve year old Johnathan Maury demonstrating safe gun handling and proficiency to his assigned mentor/ chaperon Jim Taylor while at Thor Shooting Range in Van Buren, AR on Saturday.
    Jonathan was one of just 10 lucky youths drawn to participate in the hunt scheduled for Dec 5th & 6th at the Cooks Lake Conservation Education Center near Casscoe, AR. Hosted each year by the AGFC and Dale Bumpers/White River Refuge, the hunt is limited to youths( 6-15 yr olds) that don't have the place or an experienced hunters to take them.

  • 02 Nov 2015 9:23 AM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Friends of The Refuge donated five deer stands for use at the annual youth deer hunt at Cooks Lake. SPECIAL thanks to Green's Customs LLC for supporting the kids and the refuge by giving us a great deal on the stands!

    Jay Hitchcock, refuge biologist and one of the coordinators of the annual event said in thanking the Friends group: "There will be many memories made in these deer stands over the years! Thanks!" 
    -- jt

  • 19 Aug 2015 4:26 PM | Jim Taylor (Administrator)

    Refuge research indicates late high water this year may lead to more crappie.

    With the assistance of staff from AGFC and USGS, nets designed to catch crappie were set in Escronges Lake on August 17-18.

    While only 26 crappie were big enough to tag there were hundreds of 1-2" crappie in the nets, indicating that this late high water that we had may have provided good spawning conditions.

    Anglers are encouraged to report any tagged crappie they catch, as this will provide invaluable data used to help manage crappie fisheries on the Refuge. Each of the tags has an id number on it as well as contact information to report your fish.

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