Hunt Expansion

Hunting on a Refuge

Hunting and fishing on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands is a tradition that dates back to the early 1900s.  Today, more than 399 refuges and 7 national fish hatcheries are open to the public for hunting and 331 refuges and 18 hatcheries are open to sportfishing. Here in the midwest, national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas are a huge part of this tradition. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds and abilities to experience fishing and hunting in amazing places.


The Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge updated the refuge’s hunting program to simplify regulations and create new hunting opportunities. The refuge expanded deer hunting by removing method of take limitations on 14,840 acres and is now open to deer hunting per state of Illinois regulations. The refuge also removed the controlled waterfowl unit and is open per state regulations for waterfowl hunting on some units. For additional information, see links to the final documents and the response to comments received. Let us know if you need the documents in an alternative format.

Hunt Plan Amendment

Categorical Exclusion and Environmental Action Statement

Endangered Species Act Intra-Service Section 7 Determination

Response to Comments

Minor Amendment to Comprehensive Conservation Plan Memo