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  • Father and son hunting / USFWS

    Our 2015-2016 Hunting Season

    Beginning September 1, 2015, Hunting Season begins! Various dates through February 15, 2016 offer opportunities for specific birds/mammals.

    More Information on our Visitor Activities page

  • Mule deer buck

    Deer of the desert

    The desert mule deer is prominent throughout New Mexico and commonly seen on the refuge. It can be identified by the black tip on its tail.

  • Duck floating on the water

    For the birds...

    The refuge serves an important role to thousands of migratory birds; including waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.

  • Blue dasher dragonfly/John Magera

    Amazing dragonflies

    The blue dasher dragonfly is just one of the 100 species of dragonflies that can be found on the refuge.

  • Bobcat/USFWS

    Wild cats on the refuge

    Look for this wild refuge resident -- the bobcat. They have "bobbed" tails and their ears resemble that of the lynx.

Sandhill Cranes Fly-In!

Special Holiday Family Event

Cranes in flightNovember 28, 2015

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge presents its annual "Cranes and Cocoa" Holiday Family Event on Saturday, November 28 at 3:00 pm in the refuge' Visitor Center. Beginning at 3:00 pm is a presentation by Dr. James Montgomery on "Sandhill Cranes of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge." Then at 4:00 pm, view one of nature's spectacular moments as thousands of sandhill cranes fly-in! The Event is Free of charge, but Reservations are required. Please call the refuge at (575) 625-4011 to make reservations for you and your family today!

Event Poster

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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  • Annual Youth Hunt & Workshop

    Pheasant close-up of head / USFWSDecember 05, 2015

    Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its annual Youth Pheasant Hunt and Upland Game Workshop on Saturday, December 5, 2015. The day's event will begin at 6:00 am for a total of 16 youth hunters who applied. See the informational Poster and fillable Application Form linked below.

    2015 Youth Hunt Poster and Application
  • Current Refuge Hunting Season for 2015-2016

    Father and son hunting with their Brittany spaniel / USFWS

    Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's current 2015-2016 hunting season begins September 1, 2015 through February 15, 2016 for a variety of game birds, water fowl, and mammal species including deer, feral hog and rabbit. Bag limits apply for each species, as shown in the link below. For more information visit our website's Visitor Activities page under the Visit tab above.

    Refuge's 2015-2016 Hunting Bag Limit Chart
  • Kids Activities - Story Hour

    Coyote in winter on wildlife refuge / © John Carr, USFWS

    Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge presents a special children’s story telling hour each 3rd Saturday of the month!December 19th's story will be on "Wildlife in Winter." Meet at our refuge Visitor Center at 1:00 pm located at 4200 East Pine Lodge Road to enjoy this special story presentation, followed by several fun activities for the kids. The afternoon's activities are Free of charge! For more information, please contact the refuge at (575) 625-4011. Linked below is the monthly schedule of the themed stories.

    Story Hour Schedule for 2015
Page Photo Credits — Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's wetlands / USFWS, Father and young son hunting / UWFWS, Duck floating on the water/USFWS, Male blue dasher dragonfly/USFWS, Bobcat/USFWS, Sandhill cranes in flight / USFWS, Pheasant / USFWS, Father and son hunting with their Brittany spaniel / USFWS, Coyote in winter on wildlife refuge / © John Carr, USFWS, Dragonfly species / USFWS, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2015
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