Not For The Faint Of Heart… Hunting Sprewell Bluff WMA

Call it Cohutta South. You’ll be shocked when you see the steepness on most of this archery-only area along the Flint River.

GON Staff | September 1, 2002

One of the most beautiful mountain views in Georgia, a vista overlooking a deep gorge that frames a river tumbling over rocky shoals, is located not in the north Georgia mountains, but 60 miles south  of Atlanta.

Sprewell Bluff Natural Area is unique, and not only in topography. Located at the three-corners of Upson, Meriwether and Talbot counties, the property on both sides of this stretch of the Flint River is owned by Georgia Power Co. The state has a long-term lease on three tracts of Georgia Power land that total about 2,800 acres.

The Sprewell Bluff Tract, which is 1,200 acres on the Upson County side, contains a riverside area that is maintained by DNR’s Parks Division. The park manager since August 1, 2001 is Ken LaLumiere, who also lives in a house on the area. Ken’s a hunter, and last season on November 6 he arrowed one heck of a buck on the Sprewell Bluff tract. The 12-pointer grossed 145 4/8 points, and after getting walloped with 17 inches in deductions, the rack still scored 128 4/8 to make the Pope & Young record book.

“Last year was my first year ever hunting the area,” Ken said. “I was really surprised at how difficult the terrain is. This is actually the end of the Pine Mountain ridge, the southernmost point of the Appalachian mountains, which people don’t realize is south of Atlanta. A lot of these ridges you have to use your hands to help you walk up.”

On an unseasonably warm afternoon last season, Ken was hunting a Not for the faint of heart… Sprewell Bluff Call it Cohutta South. You’ll be shocked when you see the steepness on most of this archery-only area along the Flint River. Lock-on stand positioned at the bottom of two long ridges. He had already seen a doe and two yearlings, and then he spotted the legs of at least two other deer walking at the bottom of one of the ridges.

“I then looked behind me and to my left and saw a doe walking at about 50 yards quartering toward me. I stood up and grabbed my bow, and then saw that another deer was behind her at about 40 yards. When he stepped into a natural lane, I knew he was a big deer.”

Ken fulfilled a long-time dream of getting a trophy buck with his bow, and he did it from a rather unlikely spot.

“There’s deer in there. It’s a well hunted area, probably mostly because there’s no quota or sign-in,” Ken said. “On the Sprewell Bluff Tract, the only hunter access is off Double Bridges Road, so you have to park along the road. If you park and head in, you’re bound to walk right past someone who doesn’t want to walk too far.”

Ken said most of the deer sign and activity he’s seen is on the ridges.

“You have to find that one particular draw and ridge top they are using. It seems like they walk the tops more than down in the bottoms. There’s a lot of white oaks on the tops.

“Last year we had a bumper crop of muscadines, so many you couldn’t set up on any spot in particular. This year there’s not as many, so if you find some that would be a great spot during bow season.”

David Danner is a WRD wildlife technician who has spent some time on the Sprewell Bluff area.

“If you’ve ever been on Cohutta, it’s every bit as rough — but it’s real pretty,” David said.

“A few local people hunt it, and they kill some deer. The density is not real high, and it’s not a real big producer, but they can go hunting there.”

David said some people who haven’t been to Sprewell Bluff assume there are bottomland hardwoods along the Flint River.

“Some parts of the bottom along the river run from 50 yards wide to five yards wide. A big section on the west side is no yards wide. It goes straight up,” David said.

A lot of hunters tend to head straight for that little band of woods along the river.

“You probably want to be up on top of the ridges and look for little saddle- type areas, just like you would hunt deer in the north Georgia mountains. They like the ridges, and they like those dips where crossing the ridges is easier.

“If you drop off in some of those bottoms, I don’t know how you would get a deer out of there if you killed one. A lot of those places the only way to get down them is on your rear-end. It’s not like a vertical wall, but it doesn’t give up much to a vertical wall.”

David said the Nichols and Pigeon Sprewell Bluff Natural Area Double Bridges Rd. To Manchester ➔ Flint River Old Alabama Rd. No Hunting Pigeon Creek Tract Nichols Tract Sprewell Bluff TractTo Hwy 36/Thomaston ➔  Creek tracts on the west side of the river are newer additions where hunting is allowed, but he said the terrain on the west side of the river is even more rough than the Sprewell Bluff tract on the east.

“Both of the tracts on the west side of the river are pretty much straight up and straight down. The biggest part of the west side is really pretty to look at, but hard to do more than that.

“If you don’t like steep, don’t even think about the Pigeon Creek Tract. It’s all straight up and down — really big ridges,” he said.

“There are some places on the Nichols Tract that are easier to hunt, up on some of the ridge tops mainly.”

David said the Sprewell Bluff Tract has more huntable land in terms of topography.

“On the east side there’s a big ridge that drops down, but on the south side there’s more level land that you could actually walk on without holding onto a tree. Sprewell Bluff starts off with a really high ridge that the road goes along. Down at the river there is a parking area and picnic areas at the park, and all of that is a safety, no hunting zone.

“All the hunting access is off of Double Bridges Road. To the right it’s a long slope from that road up to the paved road. The closer you get to the paved road, the steeper it gets. On the left side of Double Bridges, it is a little more gentler terrain, then it hits timber company land.”

The property lines are well marked, but make sure to stay off the private land that surrounds the property, and don’t venture into the safety zone areas of the park while hunting.

You need a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) stamp to hunt Sprewell Bluff. Other than that, all you need are some strong legs and maybe a sense of adventure.


Best Bucks Ever Recorded From Sprewell Bluff WMA

1138 4/8 Perry Murphy2005MeriwetherBow
2128 4/8 Ken LaLumiere2001UpsonBow
3126 5/8 Mark McCord2002MeriwetherBow
4115 4/8 Carl Norton2017MeriwetherGun
5118 6/8 (NT)Tyler Johnson2017MeriwetherBow

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