Visitor Activities

Lake Mason wildflowers
  • Hunting

    Hunting on the satellite refuges is subject to Federal and State regulations and a Montana hunting license is required. Halfbreed Lake NWR and the north half of the Lake Mason Unit of Lake Mason NWR are closed to hunting.

    Big Game Hunting

    Mule deer and antelope are found throughout the Complex and numbers will vary from year to year. White-tailed deer and elk have been seen on some refuges but sightings are rare.

    Waterfowl and Upland Bird Hunting

    Waterfowl, sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and grey partridge can occur on the Refuges. Bird numbers fluctuate considerably from year-to-year, depending on winter survival, spring nesting conditions and water levels.


  • Fishing

    Most satellite refuge wetlands are either within closed basins, are too intermittent in nature, or are too far away from perennial lakes, rivers, or streams to support fisheries. The exception is Yellow Water Reservoir on the Yellow Water Unit of War Horse NWR where Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks annually stocks fingerling rainbow trout when water depths are adequate. The aquatic invertebrate production in this reservoir is exceptional and stocked fingerlings will grow at a rate of two pounds per year. This reservoir occasionally experiences winter kills due to inadequate winter water levels. When this occurs, rainbows are not stocked again until adequate water levels return. A boat launching site for small craft is available.

  • Wildlife Viewing and Photography

    Many species of mammals and birds have been observed on the satellite refuges. Bird watching provides opportunities to see many northern prairie grassland species such as western meadowlarks, mountain plovers, chestnut-collared longspurs, and prairie falcons. Black-tailed prairie dogs are present on several refuges. Large ungulates such as mule deer and pronghorn are common, while native predators like coyote, red fox and badgers are secretive and not commonly seen.

    Hiking is allowed anywhere on the satellite refuges except Halfbreed Lake NWR and the north half of the Lake Mason Unit of Lake Mason NWR. These units are closed to all public access to reduce disturbance to migrating waterfowl.


  • Interpretation

    A variety of brochures and informational materials are available at the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Lewistown, MT and at the Fort Peck, Jordan and Sand Creek Field Stations.