About Oaky Woods

A beautiful whitetail doe moves quietly through the woodlands in Oaky Woods WMA.

We often talk about saving the" last best places" in the United States, but one exists right here in our own backyard and the opportunity to save it from development is slipping away unless we act now! The Oaky Woods Wildlife Management Area is located in southeast Houston County near Kathleen, Georgia and is comprised of 19,200 acres, 16,000 acres of which is now owned by private developers. This is the largest contiguous property in Houston County and is considered by the Georgia Nature Conservancy to be the third wildest property in Georgia, behind only the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia and the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia.


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Coveys of wild bobwhite quail can be found in the food plots and grassy areas of Oaky Woods. This covey has taken shelter under some corn stalks.
For almost 40 years, Oaky Woods has been the closest thing we will ever have to a national forest in Houston County where citizens can fish, hunt, camp, observe plant and animal life or ride mountain bikes. There are several unique features within Oaky Woods that help make it very special:

It has a very small black bear population that has been holding on to existance in the thick woodlands, hiding from human encroachment, but their future would be very uncertain and threatened if the property is developed.

The hardwood trees along Big Grocery Creek have not been cut in 80 years and many have never been cut, thus they are the oldest in Houston County. Four are listed as Champion Trees, the largest and oldest of their species anywhere in Georgia. Developers plan to cut all these trees down to build a lake.

Oaky Woods has several unique plant communities, most notabably the "Black Earth Prairies" where special ancient sedimentary soils exist along with rare prairie cone flowers. These soils are very porous and contract and expand with moisture, thus it can be difficult to build houses or roads on these soils, making Oaky Woods more suitable for wildlife than houses.

Oaky Woods has a very special population of true Russian boar, which were stocked into the area in the 1970's by Bobby Tuggle of Perry. This is the only population of Russian boars known to exist in Georgia, and they are vigorously pursued by hunters from all over the United States.

Oaky Woods has a unique geology, including an ancient limestone ridge that dates from 65 million years ago which hold sea shells, sand dollars and whale bones.

Oaky Woods is the home of a very diverse wildlife population, including whitetail deer, wild boar, wild turkeys, foxes, bobcats, o'possums, raccoons, armadillos, snakes, black bears, squirrels, rabbits and a wide variety of birds including bald eagles, ducks, hawks and numerous song birds.

Oaky Woods is irreplaceable and if it is developed, its potential for greenspace, wildlife management , outdoor recreation and nature observation will be lost to the citizens of Houston County and Georgia forever! Perhaps we have one last opportunity to save Oaky Woods... through a combination of a local bond issue with state and federal resources, we may be able to preserve this very important property for future generations. Please browse this site to learn more about Oaky Woods and how you can help!