• Hunter with white Labrador hunting dog / USFWS

    Refuge's 2019-2020 Hunt Season

    Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge's 2019-2020 fall - winter Hunting Season is open September, 2019 through February 15, 2020. Details below.

    Refuge's 2019-2020 Hunting Season Fact Sheet, Bag Limits, and Hunt Area Map

  • Hunters on Refuge / USFWS

    This Year's Youth Hunt

    Bitter Lake Refuge hosts their annual Upland Game Workshop-Youth Pheasant and Quail Hunt - Saturday, December 14th. See Application below

    2019 Youth Pheasant and Quail Hunt Application

  • Blue dasher dragonfly/John Magera

    Amazing dragonflies

    The blue dasher dragonfly is just one of the 100 species of dragonflies that can be found on the refuge.

  • Killdeer plover / © Bernadette Madison, USFWS

    eBird Observation Entries

    Find out what birds are being seen at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, including the most recent sightings.

    eBird Daily Observations

  • Duck floating on the water

    For the birds...

    The refuge serves an important role to thousands of migratory birds; including waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.


Current 2019-2020 Hunting Season

Youth hunting pheasant / USFWS

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's current 2019-2020 hunting season is open beginning September, 2019 through February 15, 2020. The Refuge's hunting seasons offer opportunities for a variety of game birds, water fowl, and mammal species including deer, feral hog and rabbit. Bag limits apply for each species, as shown in the link below. All hunting information for this season is linked below.

Refuge's 2018-2019 Hunting Regulations, Bag Limit Chart, and Hunt Map

Annual Youth Pheasant and Quail Hunt

December 14, 2019 Pheasant close-up of head / USFWS

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its annual Upland Game Workshop and Pheasant-Quail Hunt on Saturday, December 14, 2019. This one day event is for youth hunters, 17 years old and younger. Linked below is the fillable Application Form. Application deadline is November 20, 2019; for a November 27, 2019 draw selection notification. For more information, call the Refuge at 575-625-4009 or 575-625-4011.

2019 Youth Game Workshop and Pheasant-Quail Hunt Details

Refuge' Visitor Center Hours

Visitor Center rear view / © Bernadette Madison, USFWS

Come in today and enjoy Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's beautiful Joseph R. Skeen Visitor Center. This refuge is home to amazing diversity of wildlife! Our informative Visitor Center has various exhibits and feature films to introduce you to these wildlife species. The Visitor Center hours will remain open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please call (575) 625-4011 to verify if the Visitor Center is open on your visit. Due to a shortage of volunteers and limited refuge staff, the Visitor Center will be open sporadically on Saturday throughout the summer. If you are interested in Volunteering in our comfortable, air conditioned Visitor Center, or on the refuge grounds; we would appreciate your help! If you enjoy meeting and talking with people, please consider volunteering at Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge.

Visitor Center Interior View!

Volunteering for 33 Years!

BL volunteer J Montgomery 150 x 119

Dr. James "Jim" Montgomery Jr. is our longtime, invaluable refuge volunteer. Since 1985, Jim has logged over 25,000 hours as a volunteer surveying wildlife at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, here in New Mexico. Volunteers are vital to managing our public lands. Jim is a terrific example of Interior’s volunteers. See the link below for the full story on our amazing volunteer! THANK YOU JIM FOR ALL YOUR DEDICATION TO THE REFUGE!

U.S. Department of the Interior Blog - 25,000 hours and still counting

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS