Hunting is the most popular recreational activity on refuges in the Complex. Recreational hunting (a wildlife-dependent activity) has been identified in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 as a priority public use, provided it is compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established.
Managing wildlife populations and their habitats is the primary responsibility of the Complex and a required component of the Refuge System’s "wildlife first" mission. If managed appropriately, hunting provides a biologically sound form of outdoor recreation that is used extensively throughout the Refuge System to manage wildlife populations. The Complex hunting program is coordinated annually with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Recreational hunting is offered from October through April each year for deer, waterfowl, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, and raccoon. Hunters are also allowed to take feral hogs, raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, bobcat, and nutria according to refuge regulations. Frogging is allowed at night with gigs and by hand grabbing. Frogging is the only activity (except coon hunting) that is permitted after dark. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are allowed on designated trails for hunting access.
Each person 16 years of age or older hunting at Hillside NWR must possess a Theodore Roosevelt NWR Complex Annual Public Use Permit. Permits ($15) are available for purchase online by clicking here or may be obtained in person via check or money order at the following locations: Panther Swamp NWR, Yazoo City, MS and Yazoo NWR, Hollandale, MS. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4 pm. Permits are valid August 1 – July 31. Mail-in requests for permits will not be accepted.