A large White-tailed deer buck in a field

Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge contains one of the largest blocks (21,000 acres) of bottomland forest in the lower Mississippi River alluvial floodplain. Where there are trees, there are many wildlife species, so this refuge offers some of the best opportunities in the Southeast for hunters. Turkey, deer and squirrel populations vary due to weather and flood conditions, and in recent years numbers have declined. However, populations are strong enough for good hunting. Duck hunting opportunities also can be excellent on the refuge. Parts of the refuge are accessible by boat, and there are also remote walk-in areas. Throughout the refuge ATV trails allow hunters to access remote areas.

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 within current 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 only at certain times of the year.

Please refer to current Refuge regulations and map for additional information. A Current Public Use Permit is required for access if you are participating in consumptive use such as but not limited to, hunting and angling. Click here to purchase or obtain your permit. For help with log-in or creating your account for purchasing or obtaining an annual public use permit please watch the video instructions.