On Nov. 8 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would increase hunting activities at nine national wildlife refuges and open up one refuge to sport fishing. Some of the changes include expanding the number of species and the amount of territory that is open to hunting at the Horicon NWR in Wisconsin and at the Savannah NWR in Georgia and South Carolina. Other refuges where hunting regulations have been expanded include: Des Lacs NWR in North Dakota, Upper Souris NWR in North Dakota, Patoka River NWR in Indiana, Minnesota Valley NWR in Minnesota, Sequoyah NWR in Oklahoma, Baskett Slough NWR and Siletz Bay NWR in Oregon, and Fox River NWR in Wisconsin.
USFWS annually reviews hunting and fishing programs at refuges to determine if any regulations need to be changed. This most recent expansion proposal was floated in August 2017 in order to elicit public comment on the matter.
This expansion has been part of a continuing trend of expanding multiple uses of national wildlife refuges in recent years. During the 2016 review, USFWS opened up or expanded hunting opportunities on 13 refuges. The 2015 review yielded an expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on 21 refuges.
Read the DOI Press Release for more information.