Facility Rules and Policies

The below rules and regulations govern visiting and hunting on District WPAs: Tew, Spidel, Hailstone, War Horse, James L. Hansen, and Clark's Fork.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing on the Wetland Management District WPAs is subject to Federal and State regulations. A Montana hunting license is required. Please consult the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Hunting Regulations for seasons, licenses, permits, and bag limits. 

*Satellite National Wildlife Refuges residing within the District have different and unique regulations to them. Please navigate to their website before visiting those Refuges. 

Access

• Access into WPAs is by foot only.

• Any boat use must be non-motorized and hand-carried to the water.

• Please park in designated parking areas or along access roads.

Hours

• Hunting hours follow State regulations. 

Authorized Public Uses 

• WPAs are open to hunting, trapping, wildlife observation and wildlife photography. Clark's Fork WPA is also open to fishing.

Hunting Regulations

• Hunting for waterfowl, upland game birds, and big game in compliance with all applicable State hunting regulations is permitted on the WPAs.

• Steel or other non-toxic shot must be used to harvest waterfowl and upland game birds. Possession of lead shot in the field is prohibited.

• Non-motorized boats are allowed on the wetlands for hunting, but they must be hand-carried to the water. 

• Portable blinds and other personal property, such as decoys, must be removed each day.

• Decoys may not be placed or set earlier than three hours before legal shooting time on the day of the hunt and must be removed no later than three hours after legal shooting time. 

Prohibited Activities

• Shooting prairie dogs.

• Hunting, trapping, or killing any wildlife species, predatory or otherwise, not requiring either State regulations for taking, a license, and/or classified by the State under MCA 87-6-101 as "non-game species". Such species include, but are not limited to: coyotes, rabbits, hares, snakes, red fox, badgers, skunks, weasels, porcupines, etc.

• The use of trail or game cameras. 

• Offroad mechanized travel. 

• Drone use.

• Camping, to include vehicle or tent, and fires.

• Bird dog training using game birds - wild and/or captive-reared.

• Geocaching.

• Collecting or removal of any wildlife, parts thereof, nests, natural and cultural items.

• Fireworks and/or their possession.

• Target shooting - archery or firearm.

Firearms

Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32). 

Firearms may only be fired in conjunction with a legal hunt for which the hunter is licensed.

We ask that you please help make a difference and help protect District lands and your wildlife resources when visiting. Please report wildlife violations and suspicious activity any time you see them to an officer. Every set of eyes and tips are helpful to officers. To report a violation, please email NWR_TIPs@fws.gov 24 hours a day or call:

NWR Violation Reporting Hotline: 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477)
State hunting and fishing violations: 1-800-TIP-MONT (847-6668) 

In non-emergency events or for general law enforcement questions, contact the CMR Headquarters (406)-538-8706 and ask to be directed to the officer who works in the area where you have questions. Please be advised that our officers are usually in the field, so leaving messages in their direct voicemail is often the best way to get in touch with one.