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Stories from the Home Page

Wind can make deer hunting a challenge because it blows scents around. Credit: USFWS
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Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas Offers Quality Deer Hunts

December 6, 2017

Just ask seminary professor Kyle Walker, who called his recent experience “the hunt of a lifetime.” After scouting the refuge, taking a bow hunter education course and passing an archery shooting proficiency test, he was ready. And he “took the best buck I have ever harvested on public lands.” 

Story »»

Wind can make deer hunting a challenge because it blows scents around. Credit: USFWS
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Bald Cyprus swamp. Credit: A.P. Hill
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Rare Wildlife Abound amid Combat Training in Eastern Virginia

December 5, 2017

Between the sprawl of the Northern Virginia beltway and the Richmond capital lies a window to the rich natural heritage of Virginia’s Coastal Plain: 76,000 acres of old-growth forests, swamps, bogs, wetlands and pine savannas. Protected from development and managed by an endangered species staff, lands at Fort A.P. Hill are a haven for protected, at-risk and diverse species. 

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Bald Cyprus swamp. Credit: A.P. Hill
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A trailcam image shows a coyote giving chase to a pronghorn at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: USFWS
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Wildlife Selfies

November 30, 2017

Wildlife selfies are proliferating on national wildlife refuges, triggered by animals when they approach remote-action trail cameras. The resulting shots not only entertain; they also inform refuge science and help drive management actions.

Photo Essay »»

A trailcam image shows a coyote giving chase to a pronghorn at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: USFWS
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A crew of U.S. Geological Survey biologists search for diving birds in the Chesapeake Bay. Credit: Jonathan Fiely/USGS
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Study Helps Offshore Energy Development Minimize Wildlife Impacts

November 18, 2017

Braving rain, snow and ice, researchers caught and tagged three diving bird species that use the federal waters in the mid-Atlantic during winter and migration. The result of this effort was a study, released by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, that will help wildlife managers and energy companies make decisions about where to construct offshore wind facilities to minimize impacts to marine birds.

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A crew of U.S. Geological Survey biologists search for diving birds in the Chesapeake Bay. Credit: Jonathan Fiely/USGS
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Turkey in full display at Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Let's Talk Turkey

November 17, 2017

Thought the only turkey sound is gobble, gobble? In fact, turkeys make all kinds of sounds: fly-down or fly-up cackle; kee kee run; excited yelp and more. Wild turkeys are not hard to find – if you look in the right place. National wildlife refuges are great places to view wild turkeys or find the perfect hunt. Refuge trails generally are open sunrise to sunset, many even on Thanksgiving Day when refuge visitor centers will be closed.

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Turkey in full display at Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Northern bobwhite. Credit: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program (Creative Commons)
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Enticing the ‘Prince of Game Birds,’ and its Court, Back to a Maryland Farm

November 14, 2017

It was the early 1980s when Bob Spiering noticed that the whistling call of the bobwhite had gone silent on the family farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has worked with federal agencies for years, restoring the land and bringing back not just the quail but a host of native wildlife.

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Northern bobwhite. Credit: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program (Creative Commons)
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Navy veteran Tom Dietsch is a Migratory Bird Biologist for the Pacific Southwest Region. See more veterans in the Fish and Wildlife Service. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Dietschh
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Betting on Vets Helps Achieve the Service’s Mission

November 8, 2017

The Service’s Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office has worked closely with the local Veterans Affairs’ Regional Office over the years to welcome returning veterans with career development opportunities. In addition to assisting with the transition from military to civilian life, the Service benefits from the diversity of the veterans’ skills.

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Freedom Hunters: Outdoor Experiences Serving Those Who Have Served »»

Photo Gallery: Veterans in the Service »»

Navy veteran Tom Dietsch is a Migratory Bird Biologist for the Pacific Southwest Region. See more veterans in the Fish and Wildlife Service. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Dietschh
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A young hunter prepares for her first waterfowl hunting experience at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge as part of the Annual Youth Waterfowlers Program. Credit: USFWS
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Expands Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 10 National Wildlife Refuges

November 7, 2017

In a continuing effort to increase access to hunting and fishing on public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final rule to open or expand opportunities across 132,000 acres on 10 national wildlife refuges. This will bring the number of refuges where the public may hunt up to 373 and up to 311 where fishing is permitted.

News Release »»

A young hunter prepares for her first waterfowl hunting experience at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge as part of the Annual Youth Waterfowlers Program. Credit: USFWS
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Spencer Smith (left) takes his oath as Director. Credit: USFWS
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Former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Smith dies at 94

November 6, 2017

Spencer Smith, who rose from field biologist to Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died October 30 at the age of 94. Director Smith served as Director from 1970 to 1973. 

Five Directors Share their Stories »»

Oral History Interview with Spencer Smith »»

Spencer Smith (left) takes his oath as Director. Credit: USFWS
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Meagan Racey has chosen to live closer to the land. Here, she holds a chick that would soon provide her with eggs. Credit: Courtesy of Meagan Racey
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From the Desk of a Novice Sportswoman

November 6, 2017

Tag along on this Fish and Wildlife Service staffer's first white-tailed deer hunt. 

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Learn More About Hunting »»

Meagan Racey has chosen to live closer to the land. Here, she holds a chick that would soon provide her with eggs. Credit: Courtesy of Meagan Racey
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Young hunters learn how to call ducks. Credit: Bill and Jenni Biegala/USFWS Credit: Bill and Jenni Biegala/USFWS
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Mentoring Hunting Traditions

November 4, 2017

America's sportswomen and -men have been strong advocates for conservation on national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries and other protected lands and waters across the country. In the Midwest, and all over the country, the Fish and Wildlife Service works to empower new hunters with the skills and confidence to continue the tradition of ethical hunting.

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Learn More About Hunting »»

Young hunters learn how to call ducks. Credit: Bill and Jenni Biegala/USFWS Credit: Bill and Jenni Biegala/USFWS
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Wild turkeys at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Credit: Bill Powell/USFWS Volunteer
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Wild Facts About That Thanksgiving Bird

November 2, 2017

Thought the only turkey sound is gobble, gobble? In fact, turkeys make all kinds of sounds: fly-down or fly-up cackle; kee kee run; excited yelp and more. Wild turkeys are not hard to find – if you look in the right place. National wildlife refuges are great places to view wild turkeys or find the perfect hunt. Refuge trails generally are open sunrise to sunset, many even on Thanksgiving Day when refuge visitor centers will be closed.

Story »»

Refuge Hunting Guide »»

Wild turkeys at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Credit: Bill Powell/USFWS Volunteer
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One of the captured Key deer. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Defendants Sentenced for Illegal Take of Endangered Key Deer

November 2, 2017

One Florida man was sentenced to prison for a year and another to 180 days of home confinement after they illegally captured three endangered Key deer and stuffed them in their car. The two men had previously pleaded guilty to violations of the Endangered Species Act.

News Release »»

One of the captured Key deer. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Sydney with her two turkeys. Credit: Photo by Brian Woolridge
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Turkey Hunt Helps Girl Move Beyond Grief

October 30, 2017

A soccer injury and the death of her grandmother hit a young girl hard. An essay on what hunting means to her and what she'll do to promote hunting in the future led her to a once-in-a-lifetime turkey hunt that helped her move past her mourning. 

Story »»

Learn More about Hunting »»

Sydney with her two turkeys. Credit: Photo by Brian Woolridge
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Hunting: A Tradition at Refuges

October 30, 2017

Quality hunting on national wildlife refuges dates to the early 1900s. Today, more than 330 refuges are open to the public for hunting – seasonally and in accordance with state and federal regulations. Outdoorsmen and -women hunt at refuges for various reasons. Some hunt to pass along the conservation ethic to the next generation or to supplement their family table. Others are looking for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime hunt or an opportunity to hunt close to home. Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges includes a zoom-able, interactive map that leads directly to detailed information about hunting opportunities at individual refuges and much more.

Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges »»

Valuing the Hunting Tradition across the Midwest »»

Premiere Hunting Opportunities Abound on National Wildlife Refuges »»