National Wildlife Refuge System

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Waterfowl hunting
Waterfowl hunting.
Credit: USFWS

Help for Hunters

Where is the closest National Wildlife Refuge that offers turkey hunting for people with disabilities?

You don’t need to guess or start phoning names on a long list. A new National Wildlife Refuge System interactive Web site, Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges, ( provides hunters with an easy search mechanism to find a refuge by special interest, such as game species (i.e. deer, waterfowl, big game), zip code, youth or special needs (i.e. universally accessible), or using any combination of topics. You can also search by a refuge name or state name.

More than 2 million hunters visit National Wildlife Refuges each year. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 300 refuges. Of these, 43, including Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland and Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona offer accessible turkey hunting; 97 refuges offer youth hunts.

While definitions of hunting categories vary by refuge and state, migratory bird hunting generally includes ducks and geese. Small game hunting includes animals, such as rabbit, squirrel and raccoon. Big game hunting may cover animals like elk, moose and bear.

Refuge hunts are carefully managed to give hunters a quality experience according to four guiding principles: manage wildlife populations consistent with approved management plans; promote visitor understanding and appreciation for America’s natural wildlife resources; provide quality recreational and educational experiences; and minimize conflicts with visitors participating in other wildlife–dependent recreational activities.

The instructive Web site offers additional information and includes tips to hunters, facts on archery hunting, special stories about hunting in Alaska and becoming a more effective waterfowl hunter. In addition, information on state hunting licenses is provided. For those who wish to bring the guide with them; it is available as a downloadable publication organized by state.

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