Sunrise over a pond on a cloudy morning.

The refuge offers several sites for waterfowl hunting from October through February in accordance with the State of California regulations. 

Hunting is only allowed in Unit 2 of the Refuge. Pit and Disability accessible blinds are located within the Union Farm Fields and Hazard Ponds. Blinds are assigned by the California Department of Fish and Game and hunters must check into the Wister Hunt Station within the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Refuge on the morning of their hunt. Only ducks, white geese, coots, and moorhens (gallinules) may be hunted. The daily quota of hunters shall be filled by those holding reservations, which are issued by the California Department of Fish & Game. All hunters are required to check out at the Wister Hunt Station, report hunting results, and return their permits before leaving the area. 

The refuge provides an important public hunting opportunity in California's Imperial Valley and is a very popular spot for Southern California hunters.

Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that is recognized as a healthy and traditional outdoor pastime deeply rooted in American heritage. If practiced properly, hunting does not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances is necessary for sound wildlife management. Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

Daily bag and possession limits and hunting regulations can change from year to year.

call 760-359-0577 or 760-348-5278 or visit for details. 

Requirements for obtaining an entry permit to hunt at the refuge:

  1. California Hunting License
  2. Prepaid Hunting Pass* (not required for junior hunters)
    • (Type A One-Day, Two Day or Season Pass for Type A Areas), OR
    • (Type A or B Season Pass for Northeastern Zone Type B Areas)
  3. Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation
  4. California Duck Validation (not required for junior hunters)
  5. Federal Duck Stamp (required for all hunters age 16 or older)