Surveying Plant Species at Detroit River Refuge

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Special Use Permits

At this time, special use permits are required for unescorted entry to most units of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Special use permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses such as research, commercial still and video photography (includes professional wedding and family photography, e.g.), trapping, and other related activities. Permits are also available for hunters with disabilities.

Commercial use of the Refuge is not allowed without a Special Use Permit. Charging fees for tour services, operating concessions, and/or commercial videography or photography (including professional wedding and/or family photography) is not allowed without a Special Use Permit. To inquire or apply, contact the Refuge for more information at   

Hunting Permits

Humbug Marsh Unit (Mainland) Whitetailed Deer Hunts: A limited number of special hunting permits are available for archery only, antlerless deer hunts on this unit. Special permits will be chosen through a random lottery draw managed in cooperation with the Michigan DNR, Wildlife Division. Specific hunt dates range between October 1 and December 15. Hunters may apply for one deer reserved hunting permit from July 15 – August 15 at any license agent, DNR Customer Service Center, or online at It costs $5 to apply. Selected applicants will be assigned a refuge installed ground hunting blind. Look for more information about the Humbug Whitetail lottery draw at this link during the application period.

View Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Hunting Map and Regulations here.

Federal Recreational Land Passes

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes are a suite of annual and lifetime passes that provide U.S. citizens and visitors an affordable and convenient way to access Federal recreational lands. Up to 100% of the Pass program's proceeds are used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. More information about Federal Recreational Land Passes here.

 Federal Land Pass