Skip to main content

Joe Budd - Planning Your Visit


Joe Budd Pond is closed to public access until further notice due to water control structure repairs. See the WMA Open/Closed Status page for updates.

WMA Open/Closed Status

Helpful Information

fox squirrel in a tree

Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area is popular with hunters not only because of abundant wildlife, but because of the limited number of people allowed on the area each hunt day. To ensure a quality hunting experience, the area is open only to permitted hunters on hunt days. During the rest of the year (more than 300 days), the area is open to everyone during daylight hours to explore the many interesting and unique plant and animal communities. Rare plants bloom in the slope forests and the calls of warblers, both resident and migratory, may be heard. Non-hunting days in the spring are pleasant times to hike, bike or horseback ride on Joe Budd. The public may fish on Joe Budd Pond Saturdays and Sundays from Independence Day through Labor Day. Thousands of students explore aquatic ecosystems firsthand at the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center.

  • Get directions to Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area.
  • For hours of operation and vehicle use guidelines, see the regulations summary brochure.
  • Dogs are permitted, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Find regulations regarding hunting dogs in the regulations summary brochure.
  • Restrooms are available at the High Bluff Campground.
  • No Daily-Use Permit is required. To hunt or fish you must possess the appropriate license and permit.
  • During scheduled hunt days, all WMA visitors are encouraged to wear a daylight fluorescent orange shirt, vest, jacket and/or hat.

Joe Budd Hunting Seasons

Year-at-a-Glance Calendar

Small Game: Oct 2 – Dec 5 (Saturday and Sunday only)
Archery: Dec 10 – Jan 9 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only)
Archery/Muzzleloading Gun: Jan 14-30 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only)
Turkey: Mar 19-20, 26-27, Apr 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24
Youth Turkey: Mar 12-13
Migratory Bird: See migratory bird hunting dates

These season dates are not comprehensive guides to the hunting seasons on these areas and may be subject to change. For additional information about dates, times and regulations please check the regulations summary brochure.