Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1991 and consists of 4,199 acres in the Mississippi Delta. Since these lands were acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1,300 acres have been removed from agricultural production and reforested with native hardwood species. Today, the refuge is a patchwork of old fields and small scattered hardwood bottomland forests bisected by the meandering Tippo Bayou.
The old oxbows and low-lying fields along Tippo Bayou flood each winter and hold large concentrations of waterfowl, including mallards, northern shovelers, blue-winged and green-winged teal, and northern pintails. Wood ducks abound here and the unit has a very healthy deer herd. Bald eagles, barred owls, great blue herons, eastern meadowlarks, northern flickers, and pied-billed grebes are common year-round residents. Summer visitors include indigo buntings, blue grosbeaks, dickcissels, white ibis, and prothonotary warblers. Although less common wood storks and black-bellied whistling ducks are some unique summer visitors. The refuge is complemented on the south by the 9,483-acre Malmaison Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.
The refuge is open to hiking, birding, wildlife photography, and other passive wildlife viewing from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. Please be aware that all visitors are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of hunter orange from October 1 through February 28, even in the no hunting area.
Hunting and fishing are allowed on refuge lands south of Highway 8 with the purchase of a North Mississippi Refuges Complex permit. Permits cost $15 and are available at any Mississippi state hunting license vendor. Refuge hunting and fishing regulations are available at refuge kiosks or online.
The refuge is most popular with waterfowl hunters, but also sees many deer, rabbit, and squirrel hunters as well. Long Branch (an oxbow lake) and Tippo Bayou both feature boat ramps and have bass, crappie, and brim. Please be aware that non-native asian carp are present in these water bodies when boating.
Tallahatchie NWR offers visitors an opportunity to watch wildlife in the closed wildlife sanctuary area of the refuge with the Beaver Brake boardwalk and observation tower with a ramp and handrail for accessing the lower level. Located on Mabus Road, the boardwalk takes visitors through a Mississippi cypress brake where woodpeckers, waterfowl, and a variety of other wildlife can be observed. The boardwalk ends at an observation tower where white-tailed deer and other wildlife can often be seen feeding.
Please follow these simple Refuge regulations to help protect the Refuge's natural resources:
- No alcohol
- No All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) or Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs)
- No littering
- No camping or fires
- No collecting, removing, or damaging and plants, animals, or historic artifacts
Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The interior refuge road gates are closed to vehicular traffic from March through September 15, but are still open for foot traffic.
Hunters please read and keep a copy of our hunting regulations with you while visiting the refuge. The State of Mississippi's hunting seasons are not always the same as the Refuge's so be sure to check the brochure.
A $15 North MIssissippi Refuges hunting permit is required for any hunter/angler over the age of 15.
Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs are allowed for hunting migratory birds, squirrels, rabbits, quail, and raccoons during designated seasons only. Dogs must remain in the control of their handlers at all times and should be tagged with the owner's name and contact information. Dogs are not allowed on Refuge properties outside of hunting season.
All domestic animals are prohibited on the refuge.