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County
Anderson
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Praries & Lakes
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Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area
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Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Information:
This 10,958 acre Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 2,000 acres of hardwood bottomland floodplain, almost 500 acres of natural springs and other waters, 350 acres of wetlands, pitcher plant bogs, marshes and swamps, and nearly 300 acres of sphagnum moss bogs. Habitat consists of Post Oak Savannah surrounded by coastal Bermuda grass pastures, harvested timberlands, and fragmented wildlife habitat. Although the land was used for livestock for many years, it was not extensively cleared. Mature bottomland forests still dominate the Catfish Creek area. Five hundred acres of post oak uplands have nearly been returned to its original Post Oak Savannah state through 35 years of prescribed burning. White-tailed deer are available in numbers large enough to permit hunting. Beavers are now abundant and have created many acres of wetlands on the WMA and surrounding lands. Wild turkeys did not prosper; so several more releases were made. The result was a small, unstable population of hybrids between pen-raised Eastern gobblers and Rio Grande hens. More recently, releases were made in 1988, 1995 and 1996. The first Eastern wild turkey hunt was held in 2003. The WMA’s rich variety of wildlife include 37 mammals, 156 birds, 54 reptiles and amphibians, 57 fishes and 900 plant species. From the south, at Palestine, take U.S. 287 northwest 21 miles.
 
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Campsites:
The campground features tent pads and restrooms. Camping is also available at nearby Fairfield Lake State Park, and lodging is available in Palestine. Scroll Down for WMA Map & Campsites
 
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Activities Overview: 
All visitors must sign in daily. Bring your own drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen.  Restrooms, the Dog Wood Nature Trail and the Beaver Pond wildlife observation blind are ADA compliant. Walking in the bog area is prohibited. Avoid alligators and poisonous snakes. It is recommended that bikers use mountain bikes. Activities include wildlife viewing, hunting, biking horseback riding, camping, driving the self-guided auto tour and school educational activities. Amphibians & Reptiles Checklist  Mammals Checklist   Vegetation Checklist
 
Mosquito Informationfor 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.
 
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Campsites:
2 campsites are located approximately 2 miles from the check station on CR 473, and 1 is located approximately 2 miles from the check station on U.S. 287. Drinking water and restrooms are located at the campsite on U.S. 287. Campsites on Eubanks Road (CR 473) do not have electricity.
The campground features tent pads and restrooms. Camping is also available at nearby Fairfield Lake State Park, and lodging is available in Palestine.
 
Hiking Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area:
Two nature trails, worn paths, and dirt roads crisscross the WMA. The wildlife observation blind is ADA compliant.
 
Equestrians Use at Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area: 
Designated equestrian campsites are available. Horses should be kept haltered on a lead or in the horse pen area. All horses must have proof of a negative Coggins test. Use of horses is prohibited without advanced written permission from the area manager. (903) 928-2251.
 
Birding - TEXAS PRAIRIES AND PINEYWOODS EAST BIRDING TRAIL:
Big Woods Loop:  Palestine, Tennessee Colony, Cayuga, Kerens, Corsicana, Ennis, Bardwell, Athens, Fairfield, Mexia, Teague, Groesbeck, Marquez, Centerville, Leona
Texas Birds Checklist
Bird Checklist for Pineywoods of Eastern Texas
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist
 
Fishing Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area:
Game fish and non-game fish can be caught in the spring-fed creek, streams, ponds and lake. Canoes and kayaks are permitted; watch for alligators. Open year round for fishing, except during hunting season.Fish Species Checklist 
Pond 1 (2 Acres) Fish Stocking History 
Pond 2 (1 Acre) Fish Stocking History  
Berry (4 Acres) Fish Stocking History 
 
Hunting Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area:
The WMA offers archery and gun hunting for white-tailed deer by compartment, and gun hunting by compartment for feral hogs, furbearers and predators, and waterfowl. Hunting amenities include a game skinning and processing area, cold storage, a first aid station, and coffee. Hunters are randomly selected during the Special Permit draw. Hunting is also available for Eastern wild turkey, squirrels, rabbits, hares, waterfowl, snipe, gallinule and woodcock. Waterfowl and small game hunters need only possess an Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit and valid hunting license to gain access on designated days during the appropriate season. All hunters must sign in daily. Bring your own drinking water. WMA Staff: (903) 928-2251.  Hunter Check Station: (903) 928-2648.
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Hunting Brochure & Map  
2017-2018 Hunting Details
 
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
 
Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Directions:
From the south, at Palestine, take U.S. 287 northwest 21 miles. Go to 16149 North U.S. 287, Tennessee Colony, Texas. Then turn north into the WMA and proceed ½ mile down the main road to the WMA Conservation Center on your left.