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Hunting

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Hunting is allowed for pheasant, quail, partridge, mourning doves, ducks, coots, and deer on the Lake Lowell Unit. On the Snake River Islands Unit, hunting is also allowed for other upland game and geese. Contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game for current hunting regulations.

  • Waterfowl hunting

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    Waterfowl and coot hunters may enter the refuge one hour before official shooting hours (half hour before legal sunrise) and remain on the refuge until one hour after official shooting hours (legal sunset).

    Lake Lowell Unit

    Ducks and coots may be hunted in both the South Side and East Side Recreation Areas of the Lake Lowell Unit. The Lake Lowell Unit is closed to goose hunting. Duck and coot hunting is limited to 200 yards from the shoreline within hunting areas. Hunting in the East Side Recreation Area is limited to walk-in only; no float tubes or boats are allowed. In the South Side Recreation Area, duck and coot hunters may use float tubes, non-motorized boats, and boats with electric motors only. The use or possession of a gas-powered motor is prohibited.

    When hunting ducks and coots, only federally approved non-toxic shot may be used or possessed. Duck and coot hunters are limited to the use or possession of 25 shells per day per hunter.

    The success of duck and coot hunters at Lake Lowell depends on a variety of factors. The best advice is to call ahead to check on current conditions. In southwest Idaho, duck numbers usually peak in mid-December, just before freeze-up. Peak numbers depend on overall duck numbers in the Pacific Flyway. Duck numbers also fluctuate with the lake level, which varies from year to year depending on irrigation storage demands. Ideal hunting conditions occur when water floods some of the lakeside vegetation, but does not flood the trees. In recent years, the water has been so low that several hundred yards of bare mud flat was present between vegetation and the water's edge.

    Snake River Islands Unit

    The Snake River Island Unit is open to hunting waterfowl and coots from September 1 to January 31 in accordance with state regulations. Where the Snake River is the boundary between Idaho and Oregon, hunters from either state may hunt the islands according to the regulations of the state for which they are licensed.

  • Upland Game and Dove hunting

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    Upland game hunters may enter the refuge one hour before official shooting hours (half hour before legal sunrise) and remain on the refuge until one hour after official shooting hours (half hour after legal sunset).

    Lake Lowell Unit

    The upland game that you can hunt at the Lake Lowell Unit are ring-necked pheasant, California quail, bobwhite quail and Hungarian partridge. Only federally approved non-toxic shot may be used or possessed when hunting.  

    California quail are abundant in both the East Side and the South Side Recreation Areas. They are usually found in thick cover on the edge of the lake or near openings. A bird dog is a must and bring plenty of ammunition.

    Ring-necked pheasants are common on the refuge during the hunting season, but birds are not stocked. They are most abundant in the thick cover in the South Side Recreation Area. A good bird dog is a must!

    Bobwhite quail and Hungarian partridge are found on the refuge in low numbers. The occasional hunter will encounter these species.

    In general, the number of upland game birds using the refuge during the hunting season has been declining as in other areas of southwest Idaho. 

    Snake River Islands Unit

    The Snake River Islands Unit is open to upland game hunting from September 1 to January 31 in accordance with state regulations.

  • Deer hunting

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    Lake Lowell Unit

    Deer may be hunted on the South Side of the Lake Lowell Unit within the controlled hunts set by Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Special regulations apply and a Refuge permit is required.

    Snake River Islands Unit

    Deer may be hunted on the Snake River Islands Unit. Where the Snake River is the boundary between Idaho and Oregon, hunters from either state may hunt the islands according to the regulations of the state for which they are licensed. Lead buckshot is prohibited for hunting deer on the Snake River Islands Unit.

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2016
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