Man wearing camouflaged clothes holding large tom turkey

The largest river swamp in the country, the Atchafalaya Basin includes a rich variety of habitat that holds a tremendous variety of wildlife, including many game species. Atchafalaya NWR is encompassed within nearly one-half million acres of hardwood swamps, lakes and bayous. Located 30 miles from Baton Rouge, the refuge is part of a popular public hunting area known as the Sherburne Complex, which also includes Louisiana's Sherburne Wildlife Management Area and U. S. Corps of Engineers lands.

The Sherburne Wildlife Management Unit is open for hunting white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, woodcock, turkey, and waterfowl subject to Louisiana state licensing and regulations. A self-clearing permit is required to hunt on the refuge; you can get one at kiosks along the entrance roads or by downloading the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries WMA Check-In/Check-Out app to your smartphone- available at  Apple or Google Play).

Hunts offered include deer (open season and lottery; archery, muzzleloader, and gun); turkey (open season and lottery); fox and grey squirrel; rabbit; raccoon; waterfowl, snipe, rail, and gallinules; woodcock and mourning dove. Opportunities for disabled (e.g., wheelchair bound) hunters are available that include marked all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails and deer and waterfowl hunting areas that include wheelchair accessible blinds. Youth hunts are offered for deer (lottery), waterfowl (lottery), and squirrel each year.

Wildlife Management Area Permit

All persons older than 16 or younger than 60 using Louisiana state wildlife management areas, (which includes the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge within the Sherburne Unit) must have a Wild Louisiana Stamp or hunting, or fishing license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or other local supplier of licenses.

Archery and Shooting Range

A shooting range complex located at the Sherburne Headquarters has rifle, handgun, skeet/trap and archery ranges. The rifle range has targets at 25, 50, and 100 yards, and the handgun range has targets at 10, 25, and 50 yards. The rifle and handgun ranges are open to the public seven days a week from official sunrise to official sunset. There are two skeet ranges. The skeet range’s hours of operation are set by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. For more information call the Range Complex at 337-566-2251. For safety, access is restricted in areas behind the shooting ranges.