Malheur NWR Draft Compatibility Determinations for Migratory Bird Hunting, Big Game and Upland Game Hunting

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The Draft Compatibility Determinations for hunting at Malheur NWR are available for public review and comment from 05/04/21 to 07/06/21.


The Service proposes to amend its 2013 Hunt Plan to expand mule deer hunting, which is currently allowed only on the Refuge’s Boundary Unit, to include the Buena Vista Unit. Only short-range weapons would be permitted. Malheur NWR would issue up to four permits annually through a lottery application system.  Applicants must possess a controlled hunt mule deer tag for the Steens Mountain big game management unit (69) issued by the State of Oregon to be eligible.

We also propose to align hunting for migratory birds and upland game birds with State hunting seasons on the South Malheur Lake and Buena Vista hunt units. Currently, bird hunting on these units begins on the 4th Saturday in October. The proposed alignment with the State seasons would allow hunters an additional two weeks of hunting for waterfowl, snipe, and upland game birds, and an additional 54 days of dove hunting. We would also allow non-native Eurasian collared-dove to be taken during the State dove season.

Your Voice Matters!

We are seeking comments on the Draft Compatibility Determinations during a 60-day public comment period that coincides with the comment period on the 2021-22 Draft Sport Hunting and Fishing Rule. Comments can be submitted via email to: HuntFishRuleComments@fws.gov (please put “Malheur NWR Hunts” in the subject line) or via U.S. Mail to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Attn: Malheur NWR Hunts, 36391 Sodhouse Lane, Princeton, Oregon 97221.

All comments received from individuals become part of the official public record. All requests for such comments are handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and the CEQ’s NEPA regulations in 40 CFR 1506.6(f). The Service’s practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents can request that we withhold their home address from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments.

Categorical Exclusion (600KB PDF)
Describes the minor amendment to the Refuge’s 2013 Hunt Plan.

Draft Compatibility Determination for Migratory Bird Hunting (290KB PDF)
The Draft CD describes proposed changes to the Refuge’s migratory bird hunting program.

Draft Compatibility Determination for Upland Game and Big Game Hunting (381KB PDF)
This CD describes proposed changes to the Refuge’s upland/big game hunting program.