Powderhorn WMA

Phone: (361) 205-1510
Port O'Connor, TX 77982

Contact: Dan Walker

Dates Open:

Open only on specific days for hunts and bird tours.


The Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area is located in southern Calhoun County in the Texas Coastal Bend. The WMA consists of 15,069 acres of freshwater and brackish wetlands, coastal tallgrass prairie, and live oak mottes. Several miles of bayfront on both Powderhorn Lake and Matagorda Bay make up the north and east boundaries.

The Powderhorn property was purchased with funding and support from the BP Horizon oil spill mitigation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and many private donations helped secure this project. In October 2018 the property was donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, forming the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area.

The habitat in this area was historically considered to be coastal prairie with vast grasslands and scattered motts of large coastal live oaks. But land management practices of overgrazing and suppression of wildfires has resulted in a monoculture of running oak. Starting in 2015, we began to restore the prairie using herbicide treatment and prescribed fire. The result of these treatments currently is that about 4,000 acres has been converted back to native coastal prairie on Powderhorn. We will continue treatments in the future to further restore the habitat.

Powderhorn is an important resting spot for migrating birds. During spring migration, over 100 species can be tallied. So far 288 species have been documented for the WMA. The diversity of habitats on Powderhorn hosts a variety of birds year-round. A Christmas bird count centered on the WMA occurs each year in December.

Powderhorn WMA currently offers limited public access through bird watching tours and public hunts. Birding tours occur mostly in the spring and are allowed by appointment for larger groups, as well as a schedule for open birding days. Public hunts occur in the fall and winter and are available through the TPWD online drawing system. Standby positions may be available for drawn hunts. Youth and adult hunt categories are provided for white-tailed deer, sambar deer, axis, feral hogs, and turkey.

Read more about Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area: Powderhorn Ranch Becomes Texas' Newest Wildlife Management Area .