Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


Change in Operations, April 2020

CMR has changed operations as of 4/20/20 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. See Alert on right side of this page for more information.

What's new at CMR

Hunting and Fishing Update

Hunting and fishing opportunities were expanded on nine national wildlife refuges across the country in 2021. Please review our current hunting and fishing brochure at the link below for information and regulations associated with these activities.

2021 CMR Hunting Regulations

CMR Stakeholder Engagement Project

August 27, 2021

This fall 2021, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) is beginning long-term stakeholder engagement and social science research to learn more about interests and perspectives related to wildlife, wildlife habitat, and the potential reintroduction of bison and bighorn sheep on the Refuge. CMR is partnering with the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy (CNREP) at the University of Montana to conduct this objective outreach and planning. We want to understand how management of wildlife and wildlife habitat, especially regarding potential bison and bighorn sheep reintroduction, might impact the lands and lives of all who claim a stake in the landscape. We want to incorporate stakeholders’ unique knowledge and experiences into wildlife and habitat management. Learn more at the link below.

Charles M. Russell NWR Tribal/Stakeholder Engagement Project

2021 CMR Hunting Regulations

The CMR hunting regulations for the 2021 hunting season can be downloaded from the link below.

2021 Charles M. Russell NWR Hunting Regulations

CMR in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect for CMR and UL Bend NWRs.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
Seasons of Wildlife on CMR


mule deer fawn

In June, July and August, Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge truly comes alive. Wildflowers bloom and birds sing from every direction. From rock wrens in the badlands to vesper sparrows in the sagebrush to lazuli buntings along the lush river corridor, the landscape is bursting with activity during the short breeding season. In the heat of the day while most wildlife remain hidden, short-horned lizards sun themselves on rocks but as evening falls, deer and elk emerge to feed with their offspring close by their sides. Swarms of insects feed many species of bats as they fly silently through the warm summer nights.

About the Complex

Charles M. Russell Complex

Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Charles M. Russell Complex.

Read more about the complex
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