• Hunting

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    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 Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Groups like the Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Nevada Muleys, and the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife continue to actively support and participate in management of refuge habitats which benefit not only game animals, but many other species of 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 Sheldon 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 Nevada Department of Wildlife, we provide high quality hunting opportunities for pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep, California quail, chukar, and Greater sage-grouse. Waterfowl hunting opportunities are limited as the refuge provides sparse waterfowl habitat, most of which are closed to waterfowl hunting. Hunting seasons begin in August and continue through January each year (see the calendar for specific season dates). All other wildlife is protected. Hunters are expected to be familiar with those portion of the Refuge closed to hunting and know and follow all Refuge and State rules and regulations which apply.

  • Fishing

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    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge offers fishing opportunities for several warm water fish at the Dufurrena Ponds (with a floating dock at Dufurrena Pond 20), and for Lahontan cutthroat trout at Catnip Reservoir. These waters are open to non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors.  Fishing opportunities are provided in cooperation with the Nevada Department and Wildlife, so be sure to check both Refuge and State regulations for seasons, gear restrictions, and license requirements, and additional rules. 

    Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge!  From birding to big game, from viewing speedy pronghorn or soaring raptors, 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 backcounty offer visitors the chance to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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 for more information.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • 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 their 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.