Visitor Activities

blazing star and goldenrod
  • Hunting

    waterfowl hunter

    Hunting opportunities are abundant within the Morris Wetland Management District. The area includes wetlands and grasslands that support waterfowl, pheasant, turkey, deer and other game species. Morris Wetland Management District hunting seasons generally follow state regulations.

    State hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations apply. Only non-toxic shot is allowed when shotgun hunting, except for deer hunting. During the deer gun season (the first two weeks of November), all visitors should wear brightly colored clothing and take precautions to remain visible to hunters. Please see the rules and regulations page for more information. Return often, and bring a friend, to enjoy the outdoor wonders district lands offer to everyone.

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  • Fishing

    fishing dock

    All waterfowl production area wetlands are open to non-commercial fishing in accordance with state regulations, but most are too shallow to support fish populations. Through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, we constructed a fishing pier on Artichoke Lake Waterfowl Production Area, 7 miles northwest of Appleton, MN. Consult the staff for information on other areas where game fish populations exist.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    children with binoculars

    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, you should consider a visit to the district. Our 245 waterfowl production areas include a variety of native habitat types, including prairie, oak savanna, calcareous fens, and wetlands, which were historically found throughout west-central Minnesota. Each area provides habitat for a rich assortment of plants and animals. With so much diversity, the district provides many opportunities throughout the year to watch wildlife on land and water. A bird species list can be downloaded below.

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  • Interpretation

    observation platform

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System provides opportunities across the country for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. On the Morris Wetland Management District, we have a visitor center with interpretive exhibits, self-guided hikes (see Plan Your Visit) and staff-led programs to help visitors learn more about prairie wildlife and the habitats they live in. Morris Wetland Management District participates in and hosts multiple events each year. Programs are typically free, geared for youth and adults, and provide a range of opportunities that maximize first-hand experiences with the prairie pothole region.

  • Environmental Education

    class exploring a wetland

    One of our most important roles in the National Wildlife Refuge System is to serve as an outdoor classroom for the American people. The district’s education program focuses on increasing understanding of the ecological significance of this area and developing a life-long appreciation of the prairie pothole region’s biological diversity. Educational programs are often conducted in collaboration with partner agencies and our Friends group. The district staff delivers off-site presentations, participates in several annual environmental education programs, supports citizen science projects, and hosts community-based celebrations.

  • Photography

    visitor photographing plants

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on National Wildlife Refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That’s not surprising – the explosion of digital camera and cell phone usage, combined with ever-improving picture-taking abilities, is 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 camera will do just fine for most visitors.

    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and refuge system lands naturally are at the top of the list. At the district, visitors will find 52,007 acres to explore, including three viewing platforms, two hiking trails, an auto tour route, and a photography blind located within a short walking distance of the headquarters. The photo blind is available during daylight hours on a first-come basis. Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the refuge system. We encourage beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures.