Facility Rules and Policies

Welcome to your national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
. Discover new places to hunt, take pictures, watch wildlife, walk, cross-country ski, and snowshoe. Enjoy spending time outdoors alone or with friends and family. Please consult the refuge manager at 218-687-2229 if you have questions. We may post additional site-specific regulations. To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations.

General Restrictions

Access to the refuge is open from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset (see exceptions under refuge-specific regulations below).

We prohibit

  • Target shooting
  • Training pets and allowing pets off leash (see exceptions under hunting below)
  • All types of motorized vehicles on all refuge land (including on frozen bodies of water) except on designated parking areas and public roads
  • Motorized watercraft
  • Camping, open fires and overnight parking
  • Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property. All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like vehicles, boats, decoys, trail cameras, blinds, geo-caching items, photography equipment, portable stands, climbing sticks and trash. 
  • Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource or government property
  • Introducing, liberating, or placing plants or animals or their parts taken elsewhere on refuge lands or waters
  • Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood or other debris
  • Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring or removing vegetation
  • Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the refuge. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes. 
  • Commercial enterprise without a special use permit
  • Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited
  • Recreational fishing and trapping
  • Horseback riding
  • During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter
  • Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange or pink consistent with state regulations
  • We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds. We also prohibit the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter. Portable hunting stands must be set up and removed each day.
  • We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting
  • We prohibit distribution of feed or bait or hunting over bait. This includes salts and minerals.
Refuge-specific Regulations
  • Hunters cannot enter onto the refuge earlier than 2 hours before legal shooting time. Hunters must leave the refuge no later than 2 hours after legal shooting time.
  • Hunters using shotguns, including turkey hunters, are required to use and possess only non-toxic shot
  • Hunting is not allowed during the Spring Light Goose Conservation Order
  • Hunters cannot shoot at a deer from, across or within 30 feet of the edge of a road open to public transportation
  • Non-motorized boats can be used to hunt migratory birds
  • Hunting is allowed in designated portions of the refuge. Consult the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge hunt map to determine where hunting for big game, upland game and migratory birds is allowed
  • Only hunters who possess a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources prairie chicken permit can hunt prairie chickens or sharp-tailed grouse on the refuge and only during the dates of the Minnesota prairie chicken season
  • Huntable species include Deer, ducks, geese, coots, snipe, mourning doves,  woodcock, prairie chicken and sharp-tailed grouse (with state permit), wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant, gray (Hungarian) partridge, ruffed grouse, rabbit (cottontail and jack), snowshoe hare and squirrel (fox and gray) 
 Artificial Lights

You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to spot, locate, or take any wild animal on the refuge.

Additional information

Special-use permits may be issued for compatible secondary uses upon approval of the refuge manager. Contact the refuge office for application information at 218-687-2229.