Facility Rules and Policies

General Regulations
  • Daylight use only 
  • Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, photography, mushroom hunting and fruit picking are welcomed 
  • Pets allowed on a leash  
  • Remember to pack out all garbage 

The following are prohibited: 

  • Drones 
  • Camping 
  • Off-road vehicles including snow mobiles 
  • Recreational trapping and fur harvesting 
  • Fires 
  • Feeding the wildlife - for their safety and yours 
Hunting Regulations

Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge Hunt Brochure

Harbor Island Hunting and Fishing Documents

  • Environmental Action Statement (Page 1)
  • Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision to Open for Upland Game, Big Game, and Migratory Game Bird Hunting and Sport Fishing (Page 2)
  • Environmental Assessment for 2021-2022 Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge Upland Game, Migratory Game Bird, and Big Game Hunting and Sport Fishing Plan (Page 10)
  • Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge Hung and Sport Fish Plan (Page 81)
  • Finding of Appropriateness of a Refuge Use - Hunting (Page 102)
  • Compatibility Determination - Hunting (Page 105)
  • Finding of Appropriateness of a Refuge Use - Fishing (Page 112)
  • Compatibility Determination - Sport Fishing (non-commercial) (Page 115)
  • Intra-Service Section 7 Section 7
    Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

    Learn more about Section 7
    Biological Evaluation Form (Page 121)
  • Letters of Support (Page 128)


Please be aware of your surroundings. The islands are popular with local boaters and you may encounter hikers and day use visitors. Due to the islands’ proximity to Canada the best number to call for emergencies is 906-495-3312.


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.)


ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles are prohibited.


The refuge allows boats pull up along the shoreline.

Accessibility Information

Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from programs and activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is available to all individuals regardless of physical or mental ability. For more information please contact the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Equal Opportunity, https://www.doi.gov/pmb/eeo/public-civil-rights.

Hunting and Fishing Regulations

Hunting and fishing regulations are designed to provide safe recreational opportunities through wise use of renewable wildlife resources. Hunting and fishing are permitted in accordance with Federal regulations governing public use on National Wildlife Refuges as set forth in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Hunting and fishing will be in accordance with applicable State of Michigan regulations subject to the conditions stated below. Brochures may be obtained by mail, at the refuge headquarters, or from the refuge website.


Hunters may only access the refuge one hour before legal sunrise until one hour after legal sunset.

Tree Stands and Blinds

You must remove boats, blinds, blind materials, stands, decoys, and other hunting equipment for migratory game bird hunting from the refuge at the end of each day.

Deer hunters may place one portable stand or blind on the refuge for use while deer hunting, but only during the open deer season. The stand must be clearly labeled with the hunter’s Michigan license/sportsmen’s ID number. The blind must be removed by the end of the season.

Hunting with Dogs

We allow the use of dogs while hunting game birds in accordance with Michigan state regulations, provided the dog is under the immediate control of the hunter at all times.

Hunting other species with dogs is prohibited.

Non-toxic Ammunition

For hunting, you may possess only approved non-toxic shot shells while in the field, including shot shells used for hunting wild turkey. We encourage hunters to use non-toxic ammunition for all hunting including big game hunting to help protect wildlife.

Non-toxic Tackle

We encourage anglers to use non-toxic tackle to help protect wildlife. Ingesting lead can be deadly to wildlife.

To Report Violations

Turn In a Poacher (TIP) Line:1-844-FWS-TIPS (1-844-397-8477).

Prohibited Activities

  • By law, recreational activities on national wildlife refuges are prohibited unless expressly permitted.
  • Use or possession of alcoholic beverages.
  • Camping and Fires
  • Horses
  • Searching for or removal of any natural items such as antlers, skulls, plants, historic and archaeological features, is prohibited by Federal law.
  • Use of electronic or photographic trail monitoring devices.
  • Marking or flagging any tree or other refuge feature with reflectors, paint, or other substance.
  • We prohibit the taking of any mussels (clams), crayfish, leech, frog, toad, salamander, snake, lizard, turtle and other non-fish species by any method on the refuge.