Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Reelfoot NWR Calendar

Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS


  • Waterfowl concentrations of up to 400,000 ducks and 150,000 geese
  • Time to apply for the Reelfoot NWR Turkey Quota Hunt! Applications are accepted throughout the month of January

  • February

    • Bald eagle population at its peak, over 200 on Reelfoot Lake area.
    • Cold weather crappie fishing is going strong.
    • Canada geese are still wintering in large numbers.
    • Grassy Island unit open for fishing on February 1st.
    • Free Eagle Tours

    • March

      • Bald eagles begin northward migration by the 15th. Nesting osprey return from South America.
      • The Long Point Unit and Lake Isom open to sport fishing on the 15th.
      • Resident wood ducks return and start nesting activity. Large numbers of shovelers and blue-winged teal arrive on northward migration.
      • Wild turkey are very visible on the Grassy Island unit.

      • April

        • Spring turkey hunt.
        • Spring wildflowers bloom at Reelfoot.
        • Shorebirds and ducks are abundant in refuge moist soil units and temporary wetlands.
        • Refuge quota turkey hunt

        • May

          • Bluegill fishing is at its peek.
          • Migratory Bird Day-Excellent time for bird watchers at Reelfoot. Up to 240 species have been documented. Songbirds are abundant, especially warblers. Mississippi kites can be observed.
          • This is the month for frog listening, especially spring peepers and tree frogs, and seeing deer and wild turkey in the early morning and late evening.
          • Winding Through the Wetlands canoe trip at Grassy Island

          • June

            • Deer fawns become visible this month.
            • Herons and egrets can be observed fishing in shallow water. Cormorants and occasionally anhingas are present.
            • Emergent and floating aquatic vegetation is blooming.
            • Annual youth fishing rodeo held at our maintenance shop pond in conjunction with National Fishing Week.
            • Jr. Ranger Camp
            • Summer Nature Programs

            • July

              • The heat index rises to breath taking heights in Northwest Tennessee. Mosquitoes and deerflies swarm our bottomland forest.
              • Summer Nature Programs
              • Time to apply for the Reelfoot NWR Deer Quota Hunt! Applications will be accepted throughout the month of July

              • August

                • Refuge squirrel season opens on the fourth Saturday of the month.

                • September

                  • Marsh hawks obserbved near refuge headquarters.
                  • Fall fishing for "stripes," crappie, and bass begins.
                  • Squirrel and archery deer hunts. Check out our online Public Use Regulations for specific hunting dates.

                  • October

                    • Good hiking and canoeing weather.
                    • Large numbers of gadwall and American widgeon arriving. Eagle population begins to build.
                    • Raccoon season kicks off.
                    • Migration Celebration

                    • November

                      • The three day quota deer gun hunt is held the first weekend in November.
                      • Grassy Island walking trail open with excellent wildlife obseravtion such as deer, turkey, waterfowl, and songbirds.
                      • Manangement Units closed to public entry on the 15th as to protect the migrating waterfowl from disturbance.
                      • Refuge quota deer gun hunt

                      • December

                        • Migrating Bald Eagles begin showing up at Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge. Excellent opportunities to observe ducks, geese, and eagles on the Long Point unit, Kentucky Highway 1282.
                        • The local Audubon Spociety chapters conduct the annual Christmas Bird Count.

Last updated: March 3, 2015