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Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities Page Photo
  • Hunting

    Hunting Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    Sherburne provides hunting opportunities for small game, migratory birds, and white-tailed deer in accordance with all applicable federal and Minnesota State laws, and subject to special refuge regulations. The refuge is not open to the State special goose hunt, deer muzzleloader, predator, bear, crow, raccoon or general turkey hunting. Only those species listed in the refuge hunting brochure may be taken. The refuge is divided into three hunting areas, each with its own regulations. There are also three small areas closed to all hunting. The refuge has a limited spring turkey hunt available for disabled and youth hunting, by special permit only. Please contact refuge headquarters for details. 

    Refuge Hunting Regulations and Map (PDF)
     Minnesota Hunting 

    Youth Turkey Hunt Information 

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Observation at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    The Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive, Blue Hill and Mahnomen Hiking Trails all offer spectacular views and great opportunities to see Sherburne's myriad of wildlife species. Observation decks with spotting scopes give visitors the chance to scan for wildlife across the landscape. Songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl abound and an early morning hike can provide the the visitor with an enchanting symphony of sounds. Even a glimpse at red or grey fox, beaver, or river otter are possible to the quiet observer. In October, thousands of sandhill cranes converge on the refuge marshes and a visit at dawn or dusk will provide the rare treat of large flocks of birds flying in or out of the refuge.

  • Interpretation

    Interpretation at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    Spring is always a great time to visit Sherburne, when the songbirds fill the air with their symphony of song and nesting bald eagles can be viewed. Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in mid May each year, when refuge tours, children's activities, information booths, and a perennial plant sale are held. An annual Wildlife festival is held each fall, offering live bird programs, educational activities, information booths, a horse-drawn wagon ride across the oak savanna, and food. 

    2017 Event Schedule

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental Education at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    Sherburne Refuge takes a community approach to education and uses a model called the "Expedition Model". Like Lewis and Clark, we need to plan carefully, select skilled people from the community to join our team, and expect a long-term commitment from our partners to reach our goal of connecting kids to nature. 

    Here's how the Expedition Model works:
    - Train and support teachers to lead the way
    - Refuge staff and volunteers serves as "guides on the side" 
    - The community helps support through advocacy and bus funding. The Friends of Sherburne NWR, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner of the refuge, provide major funding to defray transportation expenses for the schools in their own communities.
    - Gather support and commitment from decision-makers at all levels.
    Our guiding tool is the "Compass"; it is how we navigate nature education. 
    The Compass has five main components:
    1. Nature Journaling (writing, illustrations, numbers)
    2. Phenology (study of seasonal variations)
    3. Place-Based (real-world, hands-on, experiential learning)
    4. Model Naturalist (historic naturalists provide examples for how we can learn)
    Please read our Expedition Model pamphlet to learn more. 
    Contact the Visitor Services Manager at the refuge headquarters for information and trip planning assistance. 
  • Photography

    Wildlife Photography at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    here are many great photographic opportunities during a visit to Sherburne, especially along the Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive. Prairie wildflowers bloom from late spring through fall, waterfowl and other wetland birds are abundant, and bald eagles nest nearby. Even songbirds will often sit long enough for a quick shot when using your vehicle as a blind. With a stop at the beginning of the Drive, sighting notes are left by Roving Interpreters or other visitors provide you with current information on species being seen and where to look.

    Another opportunity for photographers at Sherburne would be to join our Sherburne Refuge Photography Club. The Photography Club will be meeting once a month for meetings, and will also schedule field trips, educational programs and other opportunities as they arise.  Check out their flyerbrochure, or Facebook page for more information! 

  • Fishing

    Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

    All fishing, including ice fishing, is available only on the St. Francis River at specified access points identified in our Public Use Regulations pamphlet. Minnesota State regulations apply. 

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 05, 2017
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