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Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities
  • Hunting


    A managed white-tailed deer hunt is held twice annually in December and January on the refuge. No other hunting is permitted on the refuge. The deer hunts are a cooperative effort with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Missouri Department of Conservation. Applications and selections for the hunt permits are issued by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The refuge offers opportunities for hunters with mobility impairments, contact the refuge manager at 660-442-3187 for details. Hunters must possess a Managed Deer Hunt Permit. Deer hunt weapons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms for all hunters.

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  • Fishing


    Fishing is permitted in pools and ditches adjacent to the auto tour in accordance with Missouri State fishing regulations. Primary fish species are carp, bullhead, and gar. A 2-acre pond located at the entrance to the auto tour road is open for fishing and is stocked with bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. One accessible floating dock allows easy access for bank fishing. Snagging of non-game fish is permitted when water levels are high enough to open structures for water release. Contact the refuge manager for current conditions.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing

    Time in the Missouri River basin has been measured by the annual migration of waterfowl. Each spring and fall, northwest Missouri is visited by thousands of ducks and geese stopping to rest and fuel their bodies for the seasonal migration between northern breeding grounds and southern wintering areas.
    Squaw Creek Refuge is home to many animal species including more than 30 species of mammals and almost 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. It is a home and stopover for more than 300 species of birds using the Mississippi and Central Flyways to migrate.

  • Interpretation


    Interpretive programs and special events are offered for refuge visitors. Eagle Days are held annually the first full weekend in December. Eagle Days are a celebration of conservation efforts helping bring back the bald eagle population. National Wildlife Refuge Week is celebrated in October during the fall migration. It highlights the National Wildlife Refuge System’s wildlife resources. The Junior Naturalist program runs June through August and provides hands-on outdoor experiences. The Women in the Outdoors workshop is held in April. This workshop helps women 14 years and older learn new skills in outdoor recreation.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental Education

    Refuge staff members support environmental education programs through the use of facilities, resource equipment, educational materials, teacher workshops, and study sites.

    Staff members are available to assist educators with programs upon request. Educational materials and field activity supplies are available for use by scheduled school groups. An auditorium and education building are also available for classroom programs.

    Through the Junior Naturalist Program and the After School Literacy Program, refuge staff and volunteers work with children and educators to spark a sense of wonder and passion for the great outdoors.

  • Photography

    Wildlife Photography

    Photography is permitted from the observation platform, eagle overlook tower, hiking trails, and from the auto tour pull-offs and roadside shoulders.
    Refuge wetlands can attract 400,000 snow geese during spring (February and March) and fall (November and December) migrations. Sometimes up to a million birds, if conditions are ideal.

    The refuge’s location is excellent for bald eagle and snow geese photography. Average bald eagle numbers peak at 250-300 birds (November and December) in the fall migration. Peak numbers of spring shorebirds can be observed in April and May. Species observed include yellowlegs, plovers, dowitchers, and many more. Look for shorebirds in their mud flat habitats on the refuge.

  • Mushroom Hunting

    Black Morel Mushroom

    Dates Open: April 10 – May 10, 2016

    The fruiting bodies of morel mushrooms may be collected by hand for personal use or consumption from April 10 – May 10, 2016 in the forested hills of the Loess Bluffs, located on the east side of Highway 159 (see map link below). Please use the headquarters area for parking. Stay within the refuge boundary, which is designated by the national wildlife refuge boundary signs.

    The remaining areas of the refuge are closed for mushroom hunting. Mushroom hunting is not permitted along the auto tour route or within any bottomland area. Any disturbance in the closed areas can be detrimental for endangered, sensitive, or nesting wildlife species on the refuge.

    Mushroom Hunting Map 2016

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2016
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