Rules and Regulations

Round Lake Gazebo


To report a wildlife violation call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (844-397-8477)

Welcome to your national wildlife refuge.  Discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, walk, bicycle, cross-country ski, and snowshoe.   Enjoy spending time outdoors alone or with friends and family.  Please consult the Refuge Manager at 218-687-2229 if you have questions.  We may post additional site-specific regulations.

To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations.


General Restrictions:

Access to the refuge is open from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset (see exceptions under refuge-specific regulations below).


We prohibit:

Target shooting.

Training pets and allowing pets off leash (see exceptions under Hunting below).

All types of motorized vehicles on all refuge land (to include on frozen bodies of water) except on designated parking areas and public roads.

Motorized watercraft

Camping, open fires, and overnight parking

Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property.  All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day.  This includes all common items like vehicles, boats, decoys, trail cameras, blinds, geo-caching items, photography equipment, portable stands, climbing sticks, and trash.

Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource or government property.

Introducing, liberating, or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on refuge lands or waters.

Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood, or other debris.

Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring, or removing vegetation.

Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the Refuge.  This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.

Commercial enterprise without a special use permit.

Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited.

Recreational trapping.

Horseback riding.



During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter.

Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange/pink consistent with state regulations.

We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds.  We also prohibit the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter.  Portable hunting stands must be set up and removed each day.

We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting.

We prohibit distribution of feed or bait, or hunting over bait.  This includes salts and minerals.


Rydell NWR-specific Regulations:

Hunters cannot enter onto the Refuge earlier than 2 hours before sunrise.  Hunters must leave the Refuge no later than 2 hours after sunset.

Hunters using shotguns, including turkey hunters, are required to use and possess only non-toxic shot.

Hunting is not allowed during the Spring Light Goose Conservation Order.

Hunters cannot shoot at a deer from, across, or within 30 feet of the edge of a road open to public transportation.

Non-motorized boats can be used to hunt migratory birds.

Hunting is allowed in designated portions of the Refuge.  Consult the Rydell NWR Hunting and Fishing brochure to determine when and where hunting for big game, upland game, and migratory birds is allowed.

Only hunters who possess a Minnesota DNR prairie chicken permit can hunt prairie chickens or sharp-tailed grouse on the Refuge, and only during the dates of the MN prairie chicken season.

Huntable species include: prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse (with State permit), wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, gray (Hungarian) partridge, ruffed grouse, rabbit (cottontail and jack), snowshoe hare, and squirrel (fox and gray), ducks, geese, coots, mourning doves, woodcock, and white-tailed deer.

Ducks, geese, and coots can only be hunted during the two-day Minnesota Youth Waterfowl Season.

Aside from during the special youth mentored and accessible deer hunts, hunting on Rydell NWR can only be done with shotgun or archery equipment.

During the two-day youth mentored deer hunt and the three-day accessible deer hunt, no other hunting is allowed on the Refuge.

Artificial Lights:

You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to spot, locate, or take any wild animal on the Refuge.


Rydell Hunting Brochure 


Additional information:

Special-use permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses upon approval of the refuge manager.  Contact the refuge office for application information at 218-687-2229.