Hunting at Malheur Refuge

Two pheasant hunters show off the pheasants

Ninety-eight cents out of every dollar generated by the sale of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Understandably, the Federal Duck Stamp has been called one of the most successful conservation programs ever initiated and is a highly effective way to conserve America’s natural resources.


Hunting for the 2020-2021 Season

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Brochure (6 MB PDF)
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Upland Bird Hunting Seasons (PDF)
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons (PDF)


North Malheur Lake Unit Bird Hunting

22,500 – 26,200 acres open to doves, waterfowl, snipe, pigeons, pheasant, quail, and partridge during authorized state waterfowl and pheasant seasons, including the state-designated statewide youth waterfowl and upland game hunt seasons.

  • When Malheur Lake water level is low (<10,000 acres) the hunt unit will be closed to waterfowl hunting.
  • Drive-in access may be difficult during the hunt season.
  • Nonmotorized or boats with electric motors are authorized during the hunting season.
  • Temporary blinds may be erected but must be removed on a daily basis.

South Malheur Lake Unit Bird Hunting

4,600 acres open to doves, waterfowl, snipe, and pigeons beginning on the fourth Saturday of October to end of authorized state waterfowl season.

  • Caspian Tern Island is closed to hunting.
  • When Malheur Lake water level is low (<10,000 acres) the hunt unit will be closed to waterfowl hunting.
  • Hunt unit can only be accessed from the North Malheur Lake hunt unit. Access is not available near the Refuge headquarters.
  • Drive-in access may be difficult during the hunt season.
  • Nonmotorized or boats with electric motors are authorized during the hunting season.
  • Temporary blinds may be erected but must be removed on a daily basis.

Buena Vista Hunt Unit

36,000 acres east of Highway 205 between Sodhouse Lane (County Road 405) and Diamond Lane (County Road 409) open to doves, waterfowl, snipe, pigeons, pheasant, quail, and partridge beginning on the fourth Saturday of October to end of authorized state waterfowl and pheasant seasons.

  • Boats are not permitted.
  • Temporary decoys may be erected but must be removed on a daily basis.

Boundary Hunt Unit

2,626 acres west of Highway 205 and the Krumbo Creek hunt area open to pheasant, quail, and partridge, deer, pronghorn, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbit, and Nuttall’s cottontail during authorized state seasons.


Special Regulations

Please follow all state regulations, including bag limits. The regulations below augment or are in addition to state regulations.

  • Only federally approved nontoxic shot may be used or be in possession while hunting on the Refuge.
  • Vehicles are allowed only on maintained public roadways. Parking is allowed only within one vehicle length of the roadway. Hunters may not block dike and field accesses.
  • Overnight parking, camping, and campfires are not permitted on the Refuge.
  • Access will be walk-in only.
  • Hunting dogs are strongly encouraged to increase hunter success and retrieval rate. Dogs must be kept under close control.
  • Hunting closures will be in effect near Refuge Headquarters, Buena Vista Station, and the Malheur Field Station. Shooting from or across public roads or right-of-ways is prohibited.
  • Youth 17 and under must wear hunter orange.
  • Boundaries may not be clear, contact private landowners for permission to cross or hunt private lands adjacent to the Refuge.

For more information, including maps and access location, please call 541-493-2612 or send an email to malheur@fws.gov.