Press Release
Fall 2023 waterfowl hunting opportunities at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge temporarily reduced in support of infrastructure upgrades
Media Contacts

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believe that quality hunting opportunities are a priority on America’s lands and waters and that public access is an important mission for the National Wildlife Refuge System. We are announcing that the fall 2023 managed waterfowl hunt at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge will be reduced in acreage to allow for planned construction of infrastructure upgrades that will result in increased hunting opportunities in the future.

For the fall 2023 hunt, all units will be open to waterfowl hunting per state regulations with the exception of Units S2, S4 and T1 on the southern portion of the refuge. In addition, we will no longer backfill units due to daily no-shows, and the check-in/check-out process will be done through the online hunt draw service. Learn more about the RecAccess system. We had previously announced that there would be no waterfowl hunting on the refuge this season, however that decision has been modified and will be evaluated annually throughout the life of the construction project.

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 for the purposes of providing habitat, a sanctuary and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge is currently 10,795 acres and focuses on wetland habitat management. The refuge is also managed for other migratory birds, including waterfowl, geese, shorebirds and neo-tropical migrating species of birds. Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge is designated as an Important Bird Area for Missouri.

For more information about this decision, please call or email Project Leader Jason Wilson, at or by phone at 660-672-2801.

Learn more about Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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