Hunting at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted on the Refuge in designated hunting areas starting with the opening of State waterfowl season and closing November 30th.  The Refuge complies with State hunting regulations, and enforces several Refuge specific hunting regulations, including:

  • Non-toxic shot only.  Hunters may not use or possess toxic (lead) shot while in the field on the Refuge.
  • Big game hunting is prohibited.
  • Motorized boats are prohibited.
  • Hunters may not enter closed areas to retrieve birds.
  • Parking is permitted in designated parking areas only.
  • Hunters may harvest ducks, geese, coots, swans (permit required), ring-necked pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, and gray partridge.  ALL other species are protected on the Refuge.

Check in at the Refuge office for updated maps or regulation changes.  The hunting brochure is also located at the kiosk on the Entrance Road.

Hunting on Waterfowl Production Areas

Benton Lake Wetland Management District (WMD) was established in 1975 in a setting of open space, wetlands, and scattered mountain ranges. The District covers 25,000 square miles, includes 12 counties and is the largest Wetland Management District in the country. 

The mission of this Wetland Management District is to protect wetlands and surrounding grasslands for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife.

Hunting Information on the WMD

All Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) in the District, except Sands WPA and H2-O WPA, are open to migratory game bird hunting, upland game bird hunting, big game hunting, and trapping in accordance with Montana State law. To protect these areas from damage, only foot travel on the WPAs is allowed and no camping, overnight parking, or fires are permitted. Non-Toxic Shot Only.

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