Brief History of Hunting on White River NWR
There is a long history of hunting at White River NWR, which began in 1956 with the first archery deer hunt. Five years later in 1961 the refuge held its first gun deer hunt. The refuge was one of the first tracts of public land in the southeastern United States to implement either sex deer hunting, which was very controversial at that time.
1935-1955 Refuge closed to all hunting; Fishing allowed from March 1 to October 31.
1956 Received approval to conduct a bow and arrow hunt for deer. Approval was also received to take
squirrel, bobcat, rabbit, and raccoon with bow. Hunt was conducted from October 18 -31; 288
permits issued and 5 deer killed.
1957 Bow season October 16-31; 303 permits issued and 15 deer killed.
1958 First hunt plan prepared and submitted 6/5/1959; recommended archery hunt for deer and allowed incidental taking of squirrels, rabbits, and bobcats with bow.
1959 Prepared and submitted amendment to plan recommending gun squirrel hunt. First squirrel hunt; October 1-31; 4,200 permits issued. Deer archery season; October 8-31; 833 permits issued and
26 deer killed.
1960 Taking of squirrels, rabbit, and deer was approved by Central Office and notice was published in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Squirrel hunt October 1-7; Archery Deer Hunt October 10-29; 808 permits issued and 27 deer killed.