Chaparral WMA

Phone: (830) 676-3413
South Texas Ecosystem Project Office
64 Chaparral WMA Dr.
Cotulla, TX 78014

Contact: Whitney Gann, Project Leader

Dates Open:

General Public Use is allowed uninterrupted from April 1 through August 31 each spring and summer. Contact area manager for additional dates or special events. Public Hunts are available annually by special permit and annual permit.

Area Biologist: Diego Navarro and Lori Massey


The Chaparral WMA (CWMA) was purchased in 1969 with Pittman - Robertson funds to serve as a research and demonstration area for the Rio Grande Plains ecological area. The Area was part of a historic south Texas cattle ranch owned by the Light family since the early 1900's. The Area typifies the majority of south Texas with approximately 65 percent of the CWMA having been historically (pre-1960's) subjected to mechanical treatments to reduce brush. Previous and present mineral exploration have resulted in several oil/natural gas well sites, as well as numerous seismic and pipeline right of ways.

Since Parks and Wildlife purchased the "Chap", it has provided a site for conducting numerous research studies involving, but not limited to, white-tailed deer, feral hog, javelina, bobwhite quail, Texas tortoise, Texas horned lizard, and their habitats. Vegetative communities have also been monitored intensively to assess the effects of various management practices. Baseline inventories are regularly conducted to determine the composition and population fluctuations of the Area's flora and fauna. Research on vegetative response to habitat treatments provides management information to private landowners.

The CWMA is managed from an ecosystem management approach with particular emphasis on management for diversity of habitats and resultant diversity of plants and wildlife. Public hunting to meet research, management, and recreational goals has been an integral part of the CWMA program since it's purchase, providing approximately 103,377 hunter days of recreation (1969 - 1997). Public hunts have been conducted for mourning dove, scaled quail, bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer, feral hogs, javelina, and coyotes. The CWMA has become a favorite location for primary and secondary school field trips, college field trips, wildlife management field days, workshops, and nature tours.

Chaparral Wildlife Management Area encompasses 15,200 acres of South Texas brush country in La Salle and Dimmit Counties approximately 100 miles southwest of San Antonio. The area is located eight miles west of Artesia Wells on FM 133.

Please Note
  • A wheelchair-accessible half-mile nature trail, Arena Rojo, circles around the headquarters office.
  • A wheelchair-accessible restroom at the main campsite is available except during hunts when the facilities are reserved for hunters.