Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Cache River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1986 to protect, conserve, enhance, and restore bottomland hardwood forest habitats for the benefit of wintering waterfowl, migratory birds, and other native species of wildlife. The refuge is located in the most important wintering area for mallard ducks in North America and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance. Hunters have helped conserve important wetland habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife in the Cache River Basin through the purchase of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (Duck Stamps), the revenues from which are used to purchase lands for the refuge.

The refuge is open for the hunting of deer, turkey, waterfowl, rabbit, squirrel, and other game. Hunting can be excellent, especially for waterfowl, which winter here in the hundreds of thousands. Waterfowl hunting is permitted throughout the state waterfowl season daily until noon. Many access points for hunting by boat and on foot go through private land, so please get permission from landowners before crossing their property. Deer hunting may be closed periodically due to high water levels.

Hunters must sign and carry the General Hunting Permit all times while on the refuge and in possession of hunting gear. It contains all refuge-specific hunting regulations inside. You may download one for free at the following link: General Hunting Permit/Public Use Regulations brochure

To apply for and purchase Quota Deer Hunt permits, visit the RecAccess website below:

Cache River RecAccess

Youth Hunt Opportunities

Special Waterfowl Youth Quota Hunts are conducted on the Refuge’s Youth Waterfowl Hunt Areas (Bayou DeView and Roundpound Units) during December and January. These hunts are only available by permit with applications being accepted from November 1-30 each year. To apply, mail in a completed index card detailing name, address and daytime telephone number to the Cache River NWR office postmarked no later than Nov 30th.

Youth (ages 15 and under) can apply for permits to occupy one of 5 designated blinds and allowed to hunt waterfowl on drawn weekend date(s) of the duck season. A successfully drawn hunter will also be allowed to invite 1 youth (age 15 or younger) as a guest to participate in the hunt. At least one adult, not less than 21 years old, must supervise youth hunters but will not be allowed to hunt.