Arapaha Wildlife Management (AWM, Arapaha) is a lease of land from Langdale Timber Company located in Echols County, Georgia. It is bordered to the north and south by private properties, to the east by U.S. Route 129/Georgia State Route 11, and to the west by the Alapaha River. AWM is located approximately north of the Florida/Georgia border on U.S. highway 129 and approximately south of Statenville, Georgia on the same highway.
Santa María de los Ángeles de Arapaja
The name "Arapaha" comes from the Spanish spelling of the name of a local Native American tribe that inhabited the area around the Alapaha River in Echols County
at the time the Spanish missionaries established missions in the area. The mission, Misión Santa María de los Ángeles de Arapaja, was in operation at approximately the current site of Statenville from 1625-1657 . The Alapaha River
was also named based on this spelling and pronunciation, the only difference being the change of "r" to "l" in the first syllable..
To this day, one can still find evidence of those that used the land before history. Many ancient Native American artifacts have been found to date on AWM, items ranging from pottery shards with embossed designs to carefully chipped and serrated arrow points and knives. Indian Hill is a location in AWM where one can commonly find artifacts. Artifacts have also been recovered on Road to the River near Creek Ford Plot. Such locations in ancient AWM lent themselves to easy access to Alapaha River and Jim Branch but safety from floods.
Within AWM's borders
The land on which AWM is established lies in the eastern Alapaha River basin and is covered with live oaks, slash and long-leaf pines, and other deciduous trees. Jim Branch, a small tributary of the Alapaha River, enters AWM from the northeast and meanders south, and then north and west and south again until it gradually feeds into the Alapaha River south of AWM. There are two low, wet areas, Beaver Swamp and Arapaha Swamp, both through which flows Jim Branch. The soil in AWM is very sandy, which provides well for pine trees.
The Alapaha River is beautiful within Echols County, and the border it shares with AWM is no exception. The water of the Alapaha generally appears black, and if one were to dip a some of the water up, it would be about the colour of a glass of tea, due to its tannin content. The banks are lined with cypress trees and oaks. The banks are made up of sandy soil, and there are also huge boulders within the banks of the river in AWM. At one spot on AWM off of Riverbank North, the rocks and boulders traverse the river, forming Arapaha Shoals. Several Native American artifacts have been found in these shoals.
AWM was established in 2000 under a lease spanning 10 years from the Langdale Timber Company
out of Valdosta, Georgia
. Planted pine forests make up about 45 percent of AWM’s land area, which Langdale Timber Company manages. The forests were thinned in 2006 making it easier for light to reach the thickets.
Caring for wildlife
To provide for local wildlife on AWM, a network of food plots span the property. The plots vary in size from less than half and acre to over 1½ acres. The food plots are frequently planted with such items as alfalfa, sunflowers, and clover. The two main types of wildlife on AWM, deer and turkeys, enjoy the foliage from the food plots every year.
Each food plots on AWM has a designated name, number, and colour. Information such as plot dimensions, area, and wildlife sightings are categorized by food plot. Generally, each food plot will have a stand by which hunter may take wildlife. A stand will either be placed on a specific plot or between two plots.
AWM has a system of roads for transportation. The roads are one-lane and wide enough for a full-sized pick-up to travel; however, two vehicles cannot pass because the roads are too narrow. Sometimes the roads serve as food plot space and are therefore planted for that purpose. There is a system of standardised road signs in AWM that assist visitors with road names and destinations. These signs serve to guide visitors to selected destinations within AWM, or to simply denote the names of roads. AWM has one entrance, The Gate, located in the northwest corner of the property leading out to U.S. Route 129
. The Gate serves as the main destination for signs on eastbound roads. The River, AWM's western destination, serves as the destination noted on westbound signs. Big Oak serves as a central, secondary destination, and Arapaha Shoals serves as a secondary destination on Riverbank North. All roads in AWM are classified as either main, secondary, or plot roads. Main roads run east-west and link The Gate to The River. Secondary roads tie together main roads and run north-south. Plot roads simply link food plots or are roads that dead-end at food plots with no other destinations.
Each road, save plot roads, in AWM is assigned a separate colour which also corresponds to the food plot(s) that are located on the said road. Road colour designations are as follows:
Arapaha Road, red characters on white background.
Road to the River, orange characters on white background.
Oak Line Road, black characters on yellow background.
Mocassing Crossing Road, white characters on green background.
Indian Hill Road, blue characters on white background.
Riverbank North, violet characters on white background.
The Jog, brown characters on white background.
Riverbank South, white characters on black background.
All plot roads, green characters and borders on white background.
AWM has 14 food plots, some of which constitute roads. As mentioned above, plots that also serve as roads are named plot roads (PR#). Each plot is assigned a number and a name, a list of which follows:
Plot 1, Big Oak. Located on Big Oak Break and Indian Hill Road.
Plot 2, Magnolia Tree. Plot Road 2.
Plot 3, Turkey. Located on The Jog and Oak Line Road.
Plot 4, River Bank. Located on the northern end of River Bank North.
Plot 5, Arapaha Swamp. Located on Road to the River and Arapaha Road.
Plot 6, Creek Ford. Located at Road to the River and Mocassin Crossing Road.
Plot 7, Oak Line. Located on Big Oak Break at Oak Line Road.
Plot 8, Springhead. Plot Road 8.
Plot 9, Indian Hill. Located on Indian Hill Road.
Plot 10, Diamondback Ridge. Plot Road 10.
Plot 11, Catfish Hole. Located on Road to the River.
Future Plot 12, Red Oak. Located on Arapaha Road.
Plot 13, Marsh Field. Located on Mocassin Crossing Road.
Plot 14, Twin Fawns. Located on Road to the River.