Hunting Opportunities at Cordell Hull Lake

In 1988, approximately 24,893 acres of the project were licensed to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as a wildlife management area Eli and Randy Randolph don blaze orange, a crossbow, and backpack of gear as they hike to their staked-out hunting location in Carthage, Tenn., Dec. 1, 2018. to enhance the habitat and manage the wildlife resources.

Many different types of wildlife can be spotted around the lake.  The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency also manages for all types of game species, including:

White-Tailed Deer:  A moderate population of white-tailed deer can be found in the Cordell Hull Lake area.

Wild Turkey:  Wild turkeys were stocked on Cordell Hull Lake by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.  Stocking has reestablished the wild turkey as an important game bird.  Now both Jackson and Smith counties are opened to turkey hunting.  A large wild turkey population on Cordell Hull Lake has been the result of the restocking efforts.

Waterfowl:  The Cumberland River population of waterfowl is located within the Mississippi Flyway, one of four major flyways in the United States.  Cordell Hull Lake is located approximately 215 miles form this north-south major migratory route.  As a result, moderate populations of wintering waterfowl stop at the lake during their fall migration.  This population, along with resident Canada geese, provides hunting opportunities.

Bobwhite Quail:  Bobwhite quail are primarily found on farmlands and grassy roadsides.  Preferred quail habitat is an interspersion of woodland, brush, grass, and cultivated lands.  These types of habitat exist at Cordell Hull Lake and provide an excellent habitat for bobwhite quail.  Quail eat a large variety of wild and domestic seeds, fruits, green leaves, and insects.  Normally quail have an abundance of food in late spring and fall.  The quail population at Cordell Hull Lake is very low.  The local Quail Unlimited chapters have donated thousands of hours to help bring back the quail population to where it once was at Cordell Hull Lake.

Squirrels:  The mature forest on Cordell Hull Lake provides a woodland mixed with old, often hollow trees and young productive ones.  As a result, abundant populations of squirrels normally exist at Cordell Hull.  The preferred habitat of the squirrel is one that provides nut and fruit bearing trees and shrubs.  A lack of mast may result in a limited squirrel population.

Rabbits:  A moderate rabbit population exists at the lake.  Rabbits are sighted frequently eating on some of their favorite foods consisting of grasses, clover, and weeds.  In the fall and winter rabbits eat fruits, waste grain, bark of bushes and briars.

Furbearers:  Furbearers such as red and gray fox, raccoon, mink, bobcat, and muskrat exist at Cordell Hull Lake.  State regulations govern the taking of these animals on public lands.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency LogoHunting is prohibited in developed recreation areas, commercial marinas, group camps, and wildlife refuges.  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 WMA permit.  For more information on permits, rules and regulations get a copy of the Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide, or contact:


Cumberland Plateau - Region III
464 Industrial Blvd.
Crossville, TN 38555
1-800-262-6704 (toll free)
423-587-7057 (fax)

Or visit them on-line at

Reminder: It is prohibited to possess a loaded firearm, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons unless:

 1) In the possession of a Federal, State, or Local Law Enforcement Officer

 2) Being used for hunting or fishing as permitted under State and Federal Law

3) Being used at an authorized shooting range.

The only authorized shooting range at Cordell Hull Lake is for archery only.  It is located at Indian Creek Recreation Area.  Therefore, target shooting and sighting in of firearms is prohibited at Cordell Hull Lake.