Fort Polk Wildlife Management Area, a military reservation, is located ten miles southeast of Leesville in Vernon Parish just east of U.S. Highway 171, one mile south of Louisiana Highway 28 and one mile north of Louisiana Highway 10. The area contains many all-weather roads which make all portions accessible for hunting.
The terrain is primarily rolling hills interspersed with flats. There are several fairly large stream bottoms in addition to numerous small creeks and greenheads. Approximately seventy percent of the area is dominated by longleaf pine. Blackjack, sandjack, red and post oaks are scattered throughout much of this timber type. The understory is very sparse and is composed of wax myrtle, dogwood, huckleberry, yaupon, French mulberry and seedlings of the overstory.
The creek bottom overstory consists of willow oak, water oak, cow oak, beech, sweetgum, blackgum and magnolia. The understory contains seedlings of the overstory in addition to red bay, white bay, sweetleaf, ironweed, fetterbush, wild azalea, gallberry, deciduous holly and viburnums.
Approximately 110 acres are planted each year in wildlife foods such as browntop millet, sunflower, sorghum, cowpea and winter wheat.
Game species available for hunting are deer, squirrel, quail, woodcock, dove, rabbit and turkey. Trapping is allowed for raccoon, fox, bobcat, skunk, opossum, beaver, mink and coyote. All hunters and trappers must obtain an annual permit from the United States Army.
Fort Polk is a popular area for bird watching with numerous species of non-game birds being present, including the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Fort Polk contains bog communities with unusual plant forms such as Venus' fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant and sphagnum moss.
Camping is not permitted on Fort Polk, but camping areas are available on nearby United States Forest Service lands. A free special use permit is required from the army and daily check in is required.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 70601. (337) 491-2575