Yuchi Refuge

Site Directions: From Crossville, take 127/68 toward Spring City.  Turn at Hwy 68 toward Sweetwater.   Go three miles and turn right onto Hwy 302. Go 4.5 miles and turn left on Breedington Ferry Rd at Bogels Chapel.   At the split in the road, Bogles Chapel Rd goes to the right and heads towards the observation tower and the river. 

From Dayton, take Hwy 30E toward Decatur.  Turn left on Hwy 302. Go 4.1 miles and turn right on Breedington Ferry Road at Bogles Chapel.   Follow Breedington Ferry Road to intersection and turn right at intersection.   Checking station is two to three miles on left at Old Bogles Chapel Church.

Lat: 35.5783°N Long: -84.84273°W

Hours: daylight hours

Seasonality: year round. Wetland Zone is closed from 15 November through last day of February.

Fees: none


Rhea County • 2,364 Acres
Brian Letner (423) 365-9571 • SG, WF, BG

Non-toxic shot only in Wetland Zone. Wetland Zone closed to all forms of public use, including all forms of trespass, from Nov. 15 - the last day of Feb.

No boat access. No ATV, ORV, or horseback riding permitted.

During big game quota hunts, one non-hunting juvenile under the age of 16 may accompany an adult hunter (18 years or older) who has a valid WMA quota permit. During deer gun hunts, non-hunting juveniles must also comply with blaze orange regulations specified for legal hunters.

Small Game and Trapping are same as statewide seasons, except as noted. 

Closed to quail hunting.

Small game seasons closed in Wetland Zone from Nov. 15 - last day of Feb. Small game hunting closes at sunset the day before and during scheduled big game hunts.

Wood Duck, Teal - Same as Sept. Wood Duck/Teal season. No duck hunters permitted on the refuge from two hours after shooting hours have ended until 4 a.m. the following day. Walk-in access only. No boat access from the river

Dove - Sept. 1 until the end of the first segment.

Raccoon, Opossum - Nov. 17 until the last day of Feb. Hunting permitted on Tuesday and Wednesday only, sunset to sunrise. Bag limit on raccoons, one per person per night. No limit on opossums. All dogs must be removed from the area prior to sunrise on Thursday.

Rabbit - Nov. 15–last day of February. Bag limit on rabbits is three per day.

Deer - Antlered deer must have a minimum of four points on one antler or a fifteen-inch minimum outside antler spread on all hunts.

Deer (Gun - Young Sportsman) - Three hunts: Sept. 23–24, 2023, Oct. 7–8, 2023, and Oct. 21–22, 2023. Hunter quota 75 each hunt. Three deer, only one antlered (bonus deer). Antler point restrictions do not apply to these hunts.

Deer (Gun): Two hunts: Oct. 28–29, 2023, and  Nov. 11–12, 2023. Hunter quota 75. Three deer, no more than one antlered (Bonus deer). First deer harvested must be antlerless.

Deer (Gun) (Upland Zone) - One hunt: Dec. 9–10, 2023. Hunter quota 50. Three deer, no more than one antlered (bonus deer). First deer harvested must be antlerless.

Deer, Turkey (Wheelchair-bound Only) - Three wheelchair-bound hunters allowed per quota deer hunt and two hunters per turkey quota hunt. Hunters must contact Region 3 office to reserve hunt date.

Turkey - Four hunts: March 29–31, 2024, April 19–21, 2024, April 26–28, 2024 and  May 10–12, 2024. Hunter quota 10. One bearded turkey. Counts toward statewide bag limit. Hunting ends at noon. Walk-in only.

Turkey (Young Sportsman) - One hunt: March 23–24, 2024. Hunter quota 15. One bearded turkey. Counts toward statewide bag limit. Hunting ends at noon. Walk-in only.

Dog training - Nov. 15 to last day of Feb. in upland zone. Closed to dog training in wetland zone. Daylight hours only. No fox or coyote chasing. No dog training one day before and during scheduled big game hunts.

Retriever Dog Field Trials - Pre-approved by Area Manager at least 30 days in advance of trial dates.

Site Description: Smith Bend/Yuchi Refuge is a unique 2,500-acre tract on the Tennessee River, with three miles of riverfront, 1,000 acres of wetland and 1,500 acres of upland forest.

Paved roads pass through the refuge. Extensive grasslands provide ample habitat for shrubland and grassland birds.

Observation tower that overlooks the floodplain, river, and bluffs.

Wildlife to Watch: The Bend is home to almost every species of wildlife native to the region.

It is especially important for Sandhill Cranes and waterfowl.

Though this site does not offer the same breathtaking overlooks and natural features that the Cumberland Plateau is known for, it is home to some of the very best opportunities to see a wide array of birds and butterflies.

This site is also home to several unique habitats not found elsewhere in the region, such as cedar glades and prairie grasslands.

This site is a must for bird, wildflower and butterfly enthusiasts.

White Ibis were present in late summer 2011, while Northern Harriers are common in winter.

Stopping to bird watch at grasslands like this one in winter will yield a variety of sparrows and maybe some quail.

Northern Bobwhite may be seen on the roads. Swamp, Song, and White-throated Sparrows are common in winter.

Yuchi Refuge

Rhea County • 2,364 Acres
Brian Letner (423) 365-9571

TWRA Region 3 Office

464 Industrial Blvd
Crossville, Tn 38555

Phone: 931-484-9571
Toll-Free:  833-402-4698
Fax:  931-456-1025

E-mail the office
Get driving directions

Hunting Regulations Link
Interactive Map of  Yuchi Refuge
Driving Directions
Buy a license link

Yuchi Refuge, An East Tennessee Honey Hole? – TN WildCast 375