Hunting at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge provides over 23,000 acres of habitat to support a rich diversity of wildlife. Sandhill cranes, Canada and snow geese, and other migratory birds use the refuge as a rest stop during spring and fall migrations. Northern pintail, blue-winged teal, gadwall, mallard, and other ducks nest and raise their young on refuge wetlands. Large expanses of prairies and uplands provide food and shelter to ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, white-tailed deer and other resident wildlife species.
Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) scattered across the three county area provide a wide variety of hunting opportunity. Dove hunting which begins annually on September 1, is the first fall hunting opportunity afforded sportsmen. While each of the 77 WPAs in the Wetland Management District have unique characteristics, excellent dove hunting opportunities can be found on most of the units. Sharp-tailed grouse hunting is excellent on most units due to the native and tamegrass cover. All units have excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities, with some of the WPAs including larger, deeper wetlands more favorable for diving ducks, and others with shallow, smaller wetlands more favorable for dabbling ducks. Many of the WPAs have ‘passes’ where hunters sit in wait of passing ducks. These areas also provide hunting opportunities for jump shooters and for the more traditional decoy and boat/dog type waterfowl hunting. Several units are large enough to attract and hold sandhill cranes, which provide another excellent hunting opportunity. The larger units also offer some excellent goose hunting opportunities, primarily for local giant Canada geese and the smaller migrant races of Canada geese, with the occasional white-front and snow goose mixed in. The larger wetlands and lakes associated with some WPAs attract concentrations of geese to an area and they are hunted in adjacent private grainfields. Most, if not all, WPAs provide excellent hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer. Predator hunting for coyote and fox during the winter months is another exciting opportunity provided by these lands.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides access for hunters at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge where hunting is compatible with other refuge programs, activities, and purposes in accordance with State and Federal regulations. Deer and upland gamebirds may be hunted on the refuge. Hunting of migratory birds on the refuge is prohibited. Please become familiar with all refuge hunting regulations and boundaries; it is our desire to prevent violations rather than to prosecute violators. Have a safe and enjoyable hunt.
General Hunting Regulations:
* All hunters note: HUNTING OF ALL MIGRATORY BIRDS ON LONG LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REUGE IS PROHIBITED! Approximately 3,000 acres on the west end of the refuge adjacent to the refuge headquarters is closed to hunting. (Consult a refuge hunting map and or brochure to identify boundaries of the closed area. The area is marked with yellow and black signs in addition to the refuge boundary signs.) Archery deer hunting is permitted during specified portions of the archery deer season, consult the refuge hunting brochure for information regarding those periods open to archery deer hunting on this portion of the Refuge. Hunting Map and Regulations
Regulations: All hunting is in accordance with regulations and bag limits established by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Hunters must possess appropriate state licenses. Consult state regulations for further information.
Refuge Specific Hunting Regulations:
Upland Gamebirds - The Refuge season begins annually the day following the close of the North Dakota State Firearm Deer Hunting season (usually a Monday) and runs through the end of the North Dakota State Upland Gamebird seasons: Legal species include ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, and Hungarian partridge. Refuge hunters are required to use and possess only approved nontoxic shotshells on the Refuge. Hunters should become familiar with the location and boundaries of the 3,000 acre closed area which is in effect for upland gamebird hunting.
Youth Deer Hunting - Youth deer hunting is allowed on portions of the Refuge during the annual North Dakota Youth Deer Hunting season. Hunters are asked to notify the Refuge prior to going afield. Hunters should become familiar with the location and boundaries of the 3,000 acre closed area which is in effect for firearm deer hunting.
Firearm Deer Hunting - The Refuge season runs annually concurrently with the state firearm deer season. Hunters must possess a license and unfilled tag for the appropriate hunting zone established by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department to hunt portions of the Refuge open to firearm deer hunting. Hunters should become familiar with the location and boundaries of the 3,000 acre closed area which is in effect for firearm deer hunting.
Muzzleloader Deer Hunting - The Refuge season runs annually concurrently with the state muzzleloader deer season. Hunters must possess a license and unfilled tag issued by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department to hunt portions of the Refuge open to muzzleloader deer closed area which is in effect for muzzleloader deer hunting.
Archery Deer Hunting - The Refuge season runs annually concurrently with the state archery deer season. Hunters must possess a license and unfilled tag issued by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department. Archery hunters should become familiar with the location and boundaries of the 3,000 acre closed area which is in effect for archery deer hunting during the portion of the season that runs concurrently with the firearm deer season. During the remainder of the North Dakota State Archery season, archery deer hunters are permitted to hunt in the 3,000 acre “Closed Area”.
Access: Vehicle travel is restricted to established refuge roads and trails designated as open on the map.
Firearms: Only legal shotguns, rifles, muzzeloaders and hand-held bows are permitted. It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm in any vehicle on refuge roads and trails. Steel Shot Only on Refuge and Wetland Production Area’s!
Hours: Consult State regulations for season-specific hunting hours. Entering the refuge before approved hunting hours is prohibited.
Retrieving: A retrieving zone has been established for the unarmed hunters pass-shooting along the boundary northeast of refuge headquarters. Injured and downed birds may be retrieved if they fall within the retrieving zone.Boundary Sign:
Authorized activities only. Enter the refuge via designated access routes only.
Area Beyond This Sign Closed:
Area closed to all entry, including retrieval of waterfowl shot outside of refuge boundaries. Signs do not apply to rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting or upland gamebird hunting in areas open to these activities during specified refuge seasons.
Closed to Hunting
(Except Archery Deer Hunting):
Area beyond this sign has been designated closed to all hunting with the exception of archery deer hunting during specified refuge seasons.
Notice Government Property:
Marks residential and business areas of the refuge. No public entry. Closed to hunting.
Area between this sign and :Area Beyond This Sign Closed” sign has been designated as an area for unarmed retrieval of dead or injured waterfowl.
Waterfowl Production Area:
Some areas adjacent or in close proximity to the refuge are Waterfowl Production Areas and are open to hunting in accordance with State and Federal regulations.