Laws and Regulations

For the protection of wildlife and visitor safety, rules and regulations apply throughout the refuge.  Please abide by posted signs and contact the refuge before participation in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself.

Hunting and Fishing

Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

As practiced on refuges, hunting, trapping and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management. 

Hunting and fishing regulations are designed to provide safe recreational opportunities through wise use of renewable wildlife resources.  To protect sensitive species and habitats, hunting and fishing at Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is only permitted for approved species in specially designated areas. Hunting and fishing for these species is in accordance with applicable State of Idaho Regulations.

Find your hunt with interactive maps at a 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

Hunting and fishing regulations on the Refuge may differ from State regulations.  Be familiar with the Refuge Specific Brochure.


To reduce disturbance to wildlife, all pets must stay confined and are not permitted to roam at large.  Dog walking is permitted on the Auto Tour Road, but dogs must be kept on a 6-feet or shorter, non-retractable leash at all times. 

Exception: Waterfowl hunters are allowed to use dogs for retrieval of game.  Hunting dogs will be under hunter control at all times.

Prohibited Activities

Camping, horseback riding, fires, firewood gathering, flying of drones/unmanned aircraft, overnight parking, swimming, and on-ice activities are prohibited on the refuge.  Snowmobiles and unlicensed ATV’s are not allowed on Refuge lands or roads.  The collection of any plant or animal or parts thereof is prohibited except licensed hunting in accordance with state and federal law or under Special Use Permit.