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

Open to hunting for the first time in fall of 2009, Hamden Slough NWR is a chance to start a new hunting tradition. Where eastern forest meets western prairie, the refuge is in the process of restoring 6,000 acres of wetland prairie habitat. As a result, the numbers of waterfowl have increased dramatically in recent years. Refuge tracts within the Audubon and Riceville townships are open for the state's fall youth waterfowl hunt, giving youth hunters an exclusive opportunity. Motorized boats are not allowed. Designated areas of the refuge are also open to the state muzzleloader season for white-tailed deer. Hunters may use portable stands, but must remove them at the end of each day's hunt.