Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area
Within the boundaries of the Cordell Hull Reservoir reservation administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, approximately 24,893 acres are licensed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as a wildlife management area to enhance the habitat and manage the wildlife resources. The area is open for big and small game hunting and trapping during regular state seasons.
A moderate number of white-tail deer inhabit the broken grounds in the wildlife management area and are popular game. Wild turkey were restocked in recent years and the area now has a healthy population. Cordell Hull Lake is located east of the main Mississippi River waterfowl flyway but does receive some migratory birds in addition to a resident Canada geese population; hunters can enter an annual duck blind drawing for permission to erect a blind. Small game are found in moderate numbers. Trappers can seek furbearing animals during the regular state trapping seasons. Dog training is permitted from September 1 to March 15.
The former Roaring River Campground (north of Tennessee Highway 135 and north of the Roaring River, south and east of Tennessee Highway 85 and west of Roaring River Iron Bridge Road) has been redesignated as a wheelchair-bound hunting zone. Turkey hunts are scheduled in the spring, and white-tail deer hunts in November, wheelchair-bound hunters only.
Hunting is prohibited in developed recreation areas, commercial marinas, group camps, and wildlife refuge areas. Licenses, hunting season, bag limits, and hunting equipment are controlled by Tennessee state laws and administered by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Waterfowl hunters must purchase a Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp. Anyone wishing to hunt at the Cordell Hull Lake Wildlife Management Area must also purchase the appropriate Wildlife Management Area permit. Target shooting and sighting in of firearms is prohibited.
Cordell Hull Refuge
A 600-acre section of the Cordell Hull Reservoir reservation near Gainesboro and between the Tennessee Highway 85A and Tennessee Highway 56 bridges is separately designated as the “Cordell Hull Refuge.” The area is closed to the public from November 15 to February 15 to protect overwintering migratory bird populations. Fishing and boating in the main river channel is permitted during the closed season. Otherwise, the area is open to regular big game and small game hunting (except bobwhite quail) during statewide seasons (except the closed refuge season). Special wheelchair-bound deer seasons are held in the fall. Dog training is permitted from September 1 to March 15 except during the refuge closed season.
For more information, refer to the TWRA’s annual hunting and trapping guide or the TWRA website.