Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of many refuges in the United States that offer hunting opportunities to the visiting public. The primary objective of a national wildlife refuge is to provide habitat for the conservation and protection of all species of wildlife. Public hunting opportunities are a way to provide recreational opportunities and permit the use of a valuable resource. Public hunting on the Okefenokee NWR is permitted in three areas: the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area, the Pocket, and the Cowhouse Unit during certain seasons each year. All hunters must possess all applicable Georgia hunting licenses in accordance with state regulations. Hunters may view the refuge-specific hunt brochure (available online at www.fws.gov/refuge/okefenokee) for additional hunt regulations and information.
Suwannee Canal Recreation Area
Deer and Feral Hog Lottery Quota Hunt, located near Folkston. Dates of this hunt are Friday October 26 and Saturday October 27 (5:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). A total of 40 permits will be awarded for the hunt, 10 of which will be reserved for mobility-impaired hunters (i.e. confined to a wheelchair) and/or youth hunters (ages 16 and under). Each mobility-impaired/youth hunter drawn for Chesser Island can have one escort to assist with their hunt. The escorts of these individuals are authorized to hunt under the same permit. Hunters are required to use shotgun with slugs or muzzleloaders only. Deer taken do not count against the state limit and a special refuge tag will be provided upon check-out for each deer taken.
Pocket Unit Hunt
Deer and Feral Hog Archery Only, located near Fargo. Dates of this hunt are September 8 – October 12, 2018 in accordance with State regulations. All hunters must sign in and out each day of the hunt. All stands must be removed daily. Contact Stephen C. Foster State Park at (912) 637-5274 for early exit to hunt area if you are staying in the park overnight.
Cowhouse Unit Hunt
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNA) is managing deer, feral hog, small game, and turkey hunts on Cowhouse Island in conjunction with their Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunts. Hunters on this portion of the refuge are limited to foot and bicycle traffic only. No dogs allowed except for hunting quail. Sign-in and check-in at Dixon Memorial WMA. Regulations and information may be obtained by calling (229) 426-5267 or at http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com and http://www.fws.gov/refuge/okefenokee. Hunt dates are as follows:
Deer and Feral Hog
Archery (Either Sex)
September 8 – October 2, October 7-10, October 14-19, Sign-in.
Primitive Weapons (Either sex)
October 3-6, Check-in. October 11-13, Sign-in.
Firearms (Buck only)
October 20-21, October 27-30, Sign-in.
Firearms (Either Sex)
November 8-10, Check-in. November 21-25, Sign-in.
Small Game (Quail, Rabbit, & Squirrel Only)
Firearms (See State Regulations)
August 15- October 2; October 22-26, October 31-November 7, November 11-16, November 18-20, November 26-December 7, December 9- February 28. Pointing dogs allowed for quail hunting only. No furbearer season. Feral hogs may be taken during small game dates after October 31. Sign-in at Dixon Memorial WMA and at refuge Cowhouse kiosk if on refuge property.
March 23- May 15, 2019
In accordance with Dixon Memorial WMA regulations. Sign-in at Dixon Memorial WMA and at refuge Cowhouse kiosk if on refuge property.
More information is available in the hunt brochure found on the refuge website at www.fws.gov/refuge/okefenokee, or at the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center, located off Hwy. 121/23 near Folkston, GA by calling (912) 496-7836 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday or daily after September 1.