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Visitor Activities

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” 

― Margaret Atwood

  • Hunting

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    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

    As practiced on the Hatchie NWR, hunting and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management.  

    Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

    To find out more about hunting opportunities, seasons and regulations on the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, see our Hatchie NWR's Public Use Regulations brochure.

    Learn more about our Deer Quota Hunt!

  • Fishing

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    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, Hatchie NWR offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities.  Fishing programs promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on all lands and waters in the Refuge System.  Each year, Hatchie NWR hosts it's annual youth fishing rodeo in June, on Free Fishing Day, where youth fish for free, and are able to spend quality time with their family. 

    Fishing is allowed on Oneal lake and oxbow lakes.    

    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to the Hatchie NWR!

    From an assortment of waterfowl species to the majestic bald eagle, there is much to see during the winter months.  Thousands of ducks and geese have been observed at the refuge.  Deer and turkey can be easily viewed down Powell Road.    

    Hatchie NWR's observation deck, piers, and boat launches encourage visitors to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles.  For more information about wildlife observation opportunities at Hatchie NWR, contact the Refuge Headquarters.

  • Interpretation

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    Refuge System interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world.  From self-guided walks to ranger-led programs, many National Wildlife Refuges help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitat behind the landscapes.

    In addition to staff and volunteers presenting programs to audiences, refuges use a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate natural history stories to visitors.  Printed and virtual information is often available on many topics, including plants and animals, seasonal migrations, habitats, refuge management strategies, and endangered species.

    Hatchie NWR offer several interpretive kiosks on Oneal Lake.  

  • Environmental Education

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    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  Hatchie NWR offers environmental education programs for a variety of audiences.  Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities.  Many youth and adult groups visit every year to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of Hatchie NWR?  Contact the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge to check on program availability.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Photography

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    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography.  That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate.  You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started.  A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list.  Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas/towers, and tour routes.  Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System.  Hatchie NWR welcomes beginner and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive!  

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: May 08, 2017
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