Rules and Regulations

Entrance sign

While we offer many exciting activities for visitors at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, it is our first duty to ensure the habitat that wildlife calls “home” remains protected. The guidelines below help safeguard both wildlife and visitors.

Refuge property is marked on the outside boundary with yellow paint hash marks and blue goose boundary signs. The Refuge boundary signs delineate refuge property BEHIND the sign. Trespassing on posted or unmarked private property is a violation of Tennessee state law.

  • Firearms are permitted in accordance with state law. 
  • Searching for and removal of objects of antiquity is prohibited.
  • Disturbing or feeding wildlife, and collecting plants is strictly prohibited.
  • Pets on a leash are permitted. Dogs under verbal control are allowed during refuge hunts.
  • Camping and open fires are prohibited.
  • ATVs are not allowed
  • Bicycling and horseback riding is permitted on established roads during normal public use hours.
  • The use of artificial lights (including vehicle lights) to observe wildlife is prohibited.
  • Boats must be removed from the refuge after each day’s use.

To limit disturbance on waterfowl, portions of the refuge are closed seasonally: 

Open Year-round Closed November 15 - March 15 
Big Sandy Unit
     V.L. Childs Observation Deck
     Big Sandy Peninsula
     Bennett's Creek Observation Deck
     Chickasaw National Recreation Trail
     Mt. Zion Church
     Pace Point
Big Sandy Unit
    Swamp Creek
    Sulphur Well Bay
    Bennett's Creek Bay
Duck River Unit
    Pintail Point Observation Blind
    Duck River Bottoms Overlook
    Refuge Lane through Duck River Bottoms
Duck River Unit
    Tie Yards
    All interior impoundments 
Entire Busseltown Unit

To view map of Seasonally Closed Sanctuary Areas.

For Refuge Hunting Information