Visitor Activities

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  • Hunting


    Hunting is an important wildlife dependent public use that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage-- In fact hunting organizations such as the Boone and Crockett Club were instrumental in the establishment of Hart Mountain as a national wildlife refuge. Groups like the Oregon Hunters Association continue to actively support and participate in management of refuge habitats which benefit not only game animals, but many other wildlife as well. 

    Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.  High quality hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System. At Hart Mountain Refuge, hunters commonly wait several years for the chance to pursue wild game in wide-open expanses often in complete solitude. With a focus on quality and careful management, hunting does not pose a threat to wildlife populations. 

    In cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), we provide high quality hunting opportunities for pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep, California quail, waterfowl, and chukar partridge. Seasons vary depending on species; see ODFW state regulations for specific dates. Hunters are expected to know and follow all Refuge rules and regulations as well as State regulations which apply.

  • Fishing

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    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge offers trout fishing opportunities at Rock Creek, Guano Creek, and at Warner Pond (which is accessible with a floating dock, outhouse, and is open to non-motorized boats).  These opportunities are provided in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, so be sure to check State regulations for seasons, gear restrictions, and license requirements. Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge!  From birding to big game, from viewing speedy pronghorn or slow-moving porcupines, wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors.

    From every state and all parts of the globe, 15,000-20,000 people visit each year, especially for the chance to see concentrations of pronghorn and birds.  The Refuge's extensive road system and expansive backcountry offer visitors the chance to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles.

  • Photography

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    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography.  That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate.  You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started.  A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    In fact, chances are you will arrive in an mobile photography blind- your vehicle! Many wonderful and close-up photos of pronghorn, mule deer, burrowing owls, sage-grouse and other animals are captured by visitors right through an open car window. Remember, many of the animals you will see are expending valuable energy breeding and caring for their young so don't pursue or harass wildlife to get a better photograph.

  • Environmental Education

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    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  While limited, Hart Mountain Refuge does offer environmental education programs for a variety of audiences and each year youth and adult groups visit to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of a particular national wildlife refuge?  Contact us or check the calendar to find more on program availability.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Interpretation

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    Refuge interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world.  Printed and virtual information is available on many topics, including plants and animals, seasonal migrations, habitats, refuge management strategies, and history. More opportunities for discovery await at the Refuge Headquarters Visitor Center, centrally located on the Refuge and at our Refuge Complex Headquarters just off Highway 395 near Lakeview, Oregon.