You might think quality hunting in a natural setting requires traveling long distances far from major population centers. Not so. Several national wildlife refuges close to big cities offer wonderful hunting opportunities.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 12 miles from downtown Minneapolis and a stone’s throw from the airport, offers archery and firearm hunting of deer, waterfowl and other birds on select land during Minnesota state seasons. Hunting includes opportunities for youth and people with disabilities.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, 60 miles north of downtown Salt Lake City, has duck, goose, coot and tundra swan hunting during Utah state seasons.
Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles from downtown New Orleans, features archery hunting of deer, and firearm hunting of squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl and other species during Louisiana state seasons.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, 75 miles north of Dallas, provides opportunities during Texas state seasons to hunt white-tailed deer (archery only), feral hogs and wild turkey through a lottery permit system. Small game (squirrel/rabbit) and dove hunting also are available.
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, 25 miles north of Portland, Oregon, offers waterfowl hunting on select days during Washington state seasons.
Patuxent Research Refuge, midway between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, has a wide range of adult and youth hunting opportunities during Maryland state seasons.