2018 Fall Hunting Update

General Rules and Regulations

Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted on the Refuge in designated hunting areas starting with the opening of state waterfowl season and closing November 30th. The Refuge complies with State hunting regulations, and enforces several Refuge specific hunting regulations, including:

  • Non-toxic shot only. Hunters may not use or possess toxic (lead) shot while in the field on the Refuge.
  • Big game hunting is prohibited.
  • Motorized boats are prohibited.
  • Hunters may not enter closed areas to retrieve birds.
  • Parking is permitted in designated parking areas only.
  • Hunters may harvest ducks, geese, coots, swans (permit required), ring-necked pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, and gray partridge. ALL other species are protected on the Refuge.

Check in at the Refuge office for updated maps or regulation changes. The hunting brochure is also located at the kiosk on the Entrance Road.



 Benton Lake NWR Hunting Update 2018

The Refuge hunt area will be open for the special youth only waterfowl and pheasant hunt on September 22 and 23; general season waterfowl, Sharp-tailed grouse, and gray partridge (Huns) on September 29th; and pheasant on October 6th. Units 4C, 5 and 6 will be open for hunting in 2018. Water conditions in Units 4C and 5 have been good throughout the spring and summer, but are beginning to drop. Supplemental pumping began on August 28th and water will be directed to Units 4C and 5. Unit 6 is currently dry and may not receive any pumped water. The Lower Marsh road will close to vehicle traffic on September 21. Hunters will be allowed to use the road for foot access only to Unit 4C. The Refuge is open for hunters two hours before legal sunrise and closes two hours after legal sunset. All hunters and gear must be off the Refuge during closed hours. Hunters are reminded that all vehicles must be parked in designated parking areas and access to Refuge hunting areas from other than authorized Refuge parking areas is prohibited. The Refuge closes to all hunting on November 30.
Hunting regulations and maps are available in the Refuge office from 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and at the Refuge entrance road kiosk. We encourage waterfowl hunters, in particular, to contact the Refuge for any updates as we get closer to the season opener.
For more information, please contact Bob Johnson, Deputy Refuge Manager at 406-727-7400 x226.