Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is the oldest national wildlife refuge in the State of Mississippi. It was established in 1936 as one of the links in a chain of refuges that provide for the wintering needs of ducks and geese in the Mississippi Flyway.
Yazoo NWR is located in the heart of Mississippi’s Delta Region, 25 miles south of Greenville and five air miles east of the Mississippi River in Washington County. This refuge is home to American alligators, migratory waterfowl, wading birds, state record white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit and raccoon.
Yazoo NWR offers a wide variety of activities for visitors. Thousands of people visit the refuge each year to take advantage of outdoor recreation opportunities such as hunting, wildlife photography and observation, and environmental education. Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge is known as one of the premier hunting refuges in the southeastern U.S. For years, hunters have traditionally scheduled their vacations to hunt Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge’s white-tailed deer. Total refuge acreage is 13,036.
Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, and raccoon hunting opportunities. The deer muzzleloader and deer archery hunts are among the most popular hunts in the State. The Refuge also now offers a limited draw hunt for youth waterfowl. ATV’s are prohibited on refuge roads and trails; however, all refuge roads are open to foot traffic except where otherwise posted. Consult the current brochure or Refuge map for details. An Annual Public Use Permit is required for hunting. For a copy of our current regulations or to purchase a permit or apply for Limited Draw Hunts, please visit our website.
Hiking & Wildlife Viewing
Two dedicated wildlife observation areas on the Refuge provide great opportunities to view native wildlife, although wildlife can certainly be observed from anywhere. The Holt Collier Boardwalk and Observation Tower is a 0.25 mile boardwalk trail leading to an observation platform on Lizard Lake. You can stroll across the slough on the boardwalk and possibly view pied-billed grebes, moorhens, wading birds, wood ducks, and American alligators from the safety and comfort of the observation platform. At Alligator Pond, an open-sided observation tower provides excellent views of alligators, purple gallinules, moorhens, green herons and other wildlife.
There are also many opportunities for wildlife photography on the Refuge. Stop by and talk with Refuge staff to learn about what is offered. Many photographers use the main roads and Wildlife Drive to capture photographs of migratory and resident songbirds, waterfowl, and wading birds along with white-tailed deer, the threatened Louisiana black bear, and others.
The butterfly garden on Yazoo NWR is a wonderful addition to the refuge and attracts visitors looking for opportunities to view butterflies and caterpillars. Visitors in the summertime can also usually see hummingbirds buzzing from flower to flower collecting nectar.
Cultural resources abound on Yazoo NWR. Stop by and enjoy the view of the Swan Lake Indian Mound on Yazoo Refuge Road and view Native American artifacts at the Visitor Center. Special environmental education events and presentations can be arranged by calling the Refuge at 662-839-2638 and speaking with staff. School groups, 4-H groups, scout troops and others are welcome to call and schedule a program tailored to your group’s specific needs.
Your National Wildlife Refuge's are open year-round! However, access and conditions can change throughout the year so be sure to watch the weather closely and follow these helpful hints to get the most out of your visit.
In the summertime, temperatures can be extreme! Be sure to bring plenty of insect repellent, drinking water, and sunscreen. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to visit, especially during the summertime when temperatures are more moderate and wildlife is most active.
Although cooler and less buggy, winter is typically the wettest time of year. If you plan to hike, be prepared for muddy trails.
Yazoo NWR electronic gates are open 4 A.M. - 8 P.M
For those hunting and fishing, a Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex Annual Public Use Permit ($15) is required in addition to State and Federal licenses. For more information please visit our website.
Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs are only permitted for hunting purposes. They may be used in the pursuit of raccoon, squirrel, or the February rabbit hunts. Retrievers are allowed for the retrieval of migratory game birds (dove, youth waterfowl, and snow goose).