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County
Jefferson
Region
Gulf Coast
Nearby
Parks
J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area
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J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area Information:
The habitat of this 12,267 acre Wildlife Management Area consists of intermediate and brackish marsh. The WMA has several units including the 8,312 acre Big Hill Unit, the 591 acre Hillebrandt Unit, the Salt Bayou Unit, and the 4,074 acre Lost Lake Unit. The WMA habitat is highly diversified. Water habitat consists of fresh, intermediate and brackish wetlands and a small amount of saline wetlands. The freshwater wetlands support an expanding variety of exotic and noxious wetland plants. The WMA is an important nesting and brooding site for mottled ducks, and is becoming increasingly important as a nesting area for fulvous and black-bellied whistling ducks. Blue-winged teal and snow geese also nest in the area. A large colonial waterbird rookery is located immediately west of Lost Lake Camp. Mammals include the muskrat, nutria, swamp rabbit, eastern cottontail, raccoon, river otter, coyote, mink, opossum, armadillo, striped skunk, rice rat, white-footed mouse, bobcat, and cotton rat. Freshwater and saltwater fishes common to the Texas coast are found in the area. Turtle species include the Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, and the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. The American alligator is the single most important reptile and predator on the area with a dense population estimated at better than one alligator per acre. Alligators were commercially harvested in 1984 and have been hunted in subsequent years by special permit public hunts. Restrooms and potable water are unavailable. Public Accessis restricted to boats due to the predominance of lakes, bayous and marshes on the WMA. Airboats are permitted on the Big Hill Unit, Taylor Bayou, Hildebrandt Bayou, Blind Bayou, and Keith Lake. A limited number of campsites are available at Sea Rim State Park. The WMA is located just east of the Sea Rim State Park Marshlands Unit off SH 87 near Sabine Pass, and southwest of Port Arthur. Stop at the headquarters before visiting. The headquarters is located on the south side of SH 73, at the intersection of Jade Avenue in Port Arthur.  
 
Archeological Significance at J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area:
The Atakapa primitive Indian tribe lived in the area, and prehistoric historic archeological deposits have been found at three sites. Two sites on record exist on Eagle Lake in the Big Hill Unit, and one site is recorded on the shore of Hillebrandt Bayou in the Hillebrandt Unit. Check the above link for general access information.
 
Mosquito Information for Texas:
The months of April through October are the worst months for mosquitoes. . Mosquitoes love standing water, and love you when you eat bananas. Mosquitoes are also attracted to some perfumes, including perfumed shampoos. Rub yourself with Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, or with Vicks Vapor Rub or pure Mexican Vanilla. Some swear taking a daily vitamin B-1 pill works to repel mosquitoes. Planting Marigolds in your yard repels mosquitoes. On a picnic table try covering the bottom of a white plate with “lemon fresh” dish wash soap, or use citronella candles. Home Depot sometimes sells the candles in small metal buckets. The ThermaCell Mosquito Repellant is also quite effective in ridding small outdoor areas of mosquitos. Dynatrap Company makes a large standing electric mosquito machine that works like electric bug zappers. It is very successful at making large areas mosquito free. When purchasing mosquito repellent buy those with the ingredient N, N-diethyl-M-toluamide. Some that work include Off! Deep Woods, Off! Family Care Unscented with Aloe Vera, Cutter Unscented, Maggie’s Farm Natural, EcoSmart, All terrain Herbal Armor, Off Clip On, and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Oil with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E (expensive). The fine net clothing available from Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores is highly effective in preventing mosquito bites.For more information, contact  Jefferson County Mosquito Control, (409) 719-5940. 8905 1st Street, Beaumont, Texas 77705. .   
 
J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area Activities Overview:
Activities include hunting, fishing, birding and other wildlife viewing. Activities are limited during scheduled public hunts for September teal, and regular waterfowl, feral hog and alligator hunting seasons. 
 
Birding J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area:
The park is #029 on the Sabine Loop of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. The area is a key nesting and brooding area for mottled ducks, and is increasing used as a nesting area by fulvous and black-bellied whistling ducks. Snow geese and blue-winged teal also nest in the area. A large colonial water bird rookery is located immediately west of Lost Lake Camp. The wildlife viewing platform in Compartment 1 of the Big Hill Unit is ADA compliant. Bird species include the brown pelican, piping plover, migratory birds and waterfowl, common moorhen, American coot, American bittern, least bittern, purple gallinule, black crowned night heron, tri-colored heron, roseate spoonbill, glossy and white ibis, Carolina chickadee, brown-headed nuthatch, red-headed pileated woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, yellow breasted chat, prairie warbler, tufted titmouse, Eastern bluebird, yellow throated and Swainson’s warblers, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, and broad-winged hawk.
 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Upper Texas Gulf Coastal Region:
Sabine Loop: Orange, Vidor, near Beaumont, Port Neches, Bridge City, West Orange, Groves, Nederland, Fannett, Sabine Lake, Texas point WNR, McFaddin NWR, JD Murphree Lake and NWR
Texas Birds Checklist
Southeast Texas Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Park December 29, 2016 Bird Count, Sabine Pass
Sea Rim State Park Fall Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Park Winter Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Park Spring Bird Checklist
Sea Rim State Summer Park Bird Checklist
 
Texas Marshland Birding Tours:
Captain Jerry Norris offers birding tours of the J.D. Murphree WMA, the Blue Elbow Swamp WMA, and the Sabine Pass area. (409) 736-3023. 3262 Bell Street, Port Arthur, Texas 77640.
 
Hunting J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area:
Public hunting is permitted for alligator, waterfowl, gallinule, rail, and snipe. Special Alligator Hunts for adult and youth are scheduled yearly. Half day waterfowl hunts occur on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday of the regular waterfowl season, and each day of the September Teal season. Check each year for hunting information changes. Access to the WMA is by boat. Airboats are prohibited on the WMA except in Taylors, Hildebrandt, Big Hill and Blind Bayous, and in Keith Lake. On the Salt Bayou Unit, airboats may only be used for access by permitted waterfowl hunters and must have a motor of less than 10 horsepower. No reservations; first come, first served basis. Fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish and other species is allowed.
J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area Alligator Hunting Brochure
 
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
                      
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations
 
J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area Directions:
From Port Arthur, take SH 73 west three miles to theBig Hill Unit where the headquarters is located.
 
Hillebrandt Unit:  Go east 200 yards from the headquarters to Jade Street. Go left on Jade Street and continue approximately 1.5 miles to FM 365. Go left on FM 365 and drive 2.5 miles to the entrance on the left.
 
Salt Bayou Unit:  From the headquarters, go 2.5 miles east on SH 73 to SH 82. Go south and SH 82 and drive 2.5 miles to SH 87. Go south on SH 87 for 4.7 miles to the Lost Lake check station.