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Rules and Regulations

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge.  Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity.  Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself.  There are plenty of activities on Kootenai NWR for you to enjoy.  Be safe and have fun!

The Refuge is open during daylight hours only, except for hunters to set up blinds and decoys. 

Hunting and Fishing 

Sport fishing and hunting of certain species are permitted in designated areas during the state season. Waterfowl hunting is permitted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Big game and upland game hunting is permitted seven days a week. A separate information brochure is available showing open areas and regulations.

Contact the Refuge Manager for more information on sport fishing and hunting opportunities. 

Weapons 

Weapons are permitted in designated hunting areas during hunting seasons. At other times, weapons may be transported through the refuge in vehicles if they are unloaded and cased, or dismantled.  Weapons are not allowed in any federal buildings or facilities. 

Pets 

On January 1st, 2006, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge began enforcement of a year round dog leash law. According to 50 CFR 26.21(b) - “No unconfined domestic animals, including but not limited to dogs,..., shall be permitted to enter upon any national wildlife refuge or to roam at large upon such an area”.  Leashed dog walking and jogging are allowed on the Auto Tour Route only. In accordance with the completion of the Refuge's Comprehensive Conservation Plan, implementation the new rule takes effect immediately. This rule will help reduce disturbance to wildlife. 

 Exception: Waterfowl retrieving dogs, while not required, are highly encouraged in order to reduce the number of lost birds during the hunt. Retriever dogs must be under the control the the owner at all times.

 Prohibited activities 

Sorry, but all activities not listed above are prohibited. Examples include removal of animals or plants without special permits, camping, overnight parking, fires, swimming, wading, horseback riding, fruit picking, ice skating, boating and firewood gathering. 

 

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2013
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