Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

War Horse National Wildlife Refuge

Petroleum County, Montana

 

War Horse National Wildlife Refuge consists of three separate tracts:  War Horse Unit, Wild Horse Unit, and Yellow Water Unit.

War Horse NWR-War Horse Lake Unit

Location: Located approximately 7 miles northeast of Teigen, Montana.

 

General Information:  This natural depression contains water only infrequently, but is very productive for waterfowl and shorebirds when it does.  Prior to acquisition by the USFWS, the lake was utilized as an irrigation storage reservoir for local farmers, but the project was later discontinued.  Currently, water is supplied to the basin through natural runoff.  The uplands surrounding the reservoir consist of sage brush/grasslands, with an association of ponderosa pines to the south.  These pines are part of the acid-shale pine forest unique to central Montana.

 

Public Use:  The refuge is open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.  In addition to compliance with all applicable state hunting regulations, non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds. 

 

Facilities:  No recreation facilities are available.

 

Access:  Head east from Grass Range on Highway 200 for 11 miles to the old town of Teigen.  Turn north on the Blakeslee Road.  Go 6.5 miles north until you see the lake, passing the NWR sign (at 5.5 miles).  At the cement bridge, turn east on the dirt trail to the lake.

 

Driving map for War Horse NWR - War Horse Lake Unit

 

War Horse NWR - Wild Horse Lake Unit

Location:  Located approximately 11 miles northeast of Teigen, Montana.

 

General Information: Similar to the War Horse Unit, this natural depression infrequently contains water, but is very valuable for waterfowl and shorebirds when it does.  It is used mainly for migration purposes.  Additionally, the sagebrush uplands surrounding the lake are critical for wintering sage grouse and pronghorn antelope which can be found in the area throughout the year.  Visitors will also encounter prairie dogs, mule deer, and rattlesnakes.

 

Public Use:  The refuge is open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.  In addition to compliance with all applicable state hunting regulations, non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds. 

 

Facilities:  No recreation facilities are available.

 

Access:  Head east from Grass Range on Highway 200 for 11 miles to the old town of Teigen.  Turn north on the Blakeslee Road.  Go 10 miles north until you come to a four way intersection.  Turn east and drive 1.5 miles to the lake.

 

Driving map for War Horse NWR - Wild Horse Lake Unit

 

War Horse NWR – Yellow Water Reservoir Unit

Location: Located approximately 8 miles southwest of Winnett, Montana.

 

General Information:  This area includes a portion of the state-owned Yellow Water Reservoir which is managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for irrigation supply to neighboring ranches.  As such, water levels fluctuate radically and prevent establishment of emergent vegetation along the shoreline.  The shallow flats on the west end of the lake are quite productive with submergent vegetation and are attractive to waterfowl and shorebirds.  The combination of mud flats, shallow water areas, and deep water areas provides habitat for a diversity of water dependent species.  Surrounding uplands provide critical nesting and wintering habitats for sage grouse.  Pronghorn antelope, mule deer and rattlesnakes are also commonly observed, and there is a large black-tailed prairie dog town located southwest of the reservoir.  The reservoir contains rainbow trout which are stocked occasionally by the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

 

Public Use:  The refuge is open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.  In addition to compliance with all applicable state hunting regulations, non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds. 

 

Facilities:  A boat launching site for small craft is available.

 

Access:  From the junction of Highways 200 and 244 near the town of Winnett, drive south on Highway 244 for 7.4 miles to the Yellow Water Road.  Turn west on the gravel road and continue 5.5 miles taking a left at the ‘Y’ to the reservoir.

 

Driving map for War Horse NWR - Yellow Water Reservoir Unit

 

 

 

Last updated: September 15, 2011