Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and Fishing at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Montana. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Hunting Regulations Table Hunting is allowed in accordance with Federal and State regulations. The following Refuge-specifc regulations must be followed and are listed in the table below. Turkey hunting and fshing are allowed in accordance with State regulations, but do not have any Refuge-specifc regulations. Activity Season Dates Other Regulations Waterfowl Coots, ducks, geese State regulations Hunting must occur from within an established blind. The use of a portable apply ground blind within the immediate area around feld blind #13 is allowed. The waterfowl hunting area is closed to waterfowl hunting on Mondays and Thursdays. Each hunter must set the appropriate blind selector (metal fip tag) before and after hunting. Attempting to “reserve” a blind for use later in the day by depositing a vehicle or other equipment on the refuge is prohibited. A hunter must be physically present in the hunting area in order to use a blind. No more than four hunters or individuals may use a blind at one time. All hunters must have a visible means of retrieving waterfowl, such as a foat tube, waders, or a dog capable of retrieving. Falconry hunting is prohibited. Big Game Archery White-tailed deer State regulations Archery hunting in the waterfowl hunting area is allowed in September, except apply during the youth waterfowl hunt weekend. Archery hunting is allowed on Mondays and Thursdays in the waterfowl hunting area during waterfowl hunting season. Use of portable tree stands or ground blinds is allowed. A tag displaying the owner’s Automated Licensing System (ALS) number must be attached to each tree stand and/or ground blind you place on the refuge. Hunters must use or remove blinds every 72 hours. Use of nails, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree, or hunting from a tree into which metal has been driven to support a hunter is prohibited. Hunters may not enter or retrieve deer from closed areas of the refuge without the consent of an authorized offcial (Refuge Manager (406-777-5552) or Refuge Law Enforcement Offcer (406-214-6415). Organized drives prohibited. A “drive” is defned as an organized or planned effort to pursue, drive, chase, or otherwise frighten or cause game to move in the direction of any person(s) who is part of the organized or planned hunt and known to be waiting for the game. The Blue Goose is a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands and waters managed for the beneft of wildlife and people. Welcome Welcome to Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is located along the Bitterroot River in western Montana’s scenic and historic Bitterroot Valley, surrounded by the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountain Ranges. Established in 1963 to provide habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, the Refuge’s 2,800 acres are home to 235 species of birds, 37 species of mammals, and 17 species of reptiles and amphibians. General Information The Refuge is open from dawn to dusk. Refuge headquarters is open, when staffed, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, and is closed on Federal holidays. An accessible restroom is available at Refuge headquarters during staffed operating hours. An accessible outhouse is available in the Wildlife Viewing Area, Waterfowl Hunting Area, and in the overfow parking area, near the Refuge headquarters. Refuge Regulations The following is a list of prohibited activities that apply to all visitors to the Refuge. Additional regulations apply to hunting on the Refuge (see the Hunting Information Table in this brochure). Please report all violations to the Refuge Law Enforcement Offcer (406-214-6415) or 1-800-TIP-MONT. • The Refuge is open from dawn to dusk, except that hunters may enter the Refuge no more than 2 hours before legal hunting hours and must exit the Refuge no more than 2 hours after legal hunting hours. • Wildlife observation, scouting, or loitering in the hunt areas (Only hunters actively engaged in hunting may use the hunt areas). • Accessing the hunt areas from other than a designated hunter parking area (Hunters must enter and exit the hunt area from the designated hunter parking area). • Use of motorized and mechanized vehicles, to include bicycles, except on Wildfowl Lane and the designated parking areas. • Boat launching or take-out of any kind. • Littering, to include leaving spent shot shells. • Camping, overnight parking, and open fres. • Target shooting. • The use of electronic or photographic monitoring cameras, commonly known as game cameras. • Trail marking, to include the use of paint, tape, or refecting markers. Safety The Kenai Nature Trail extends northward from the Refuge headquarters for 1¼ miles to a turn-around point on the bench directly west of the South Rathbun hunter access point. The trail is open to visitors from dawn to dusk. Visitors must stay on the trail. Please exercise caution when hunting in this trail area. Accessibility Equal opportunity to participate in and beneft from programs and activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is available to all individuals regardless of physical or mental ability. For more information, please contact the Refuge or the U.S. Department of the Interior, Offce of Equal Opportunity, https://www. doi.gov/pmb/eeo/public-civil-rights. • Collecting or attempting to collect natural objects, to include antlers, feathers, plants, or mushrooms. • Pets must be on a leash and under control at all times; however, dogs used for waterfowl hunting may be on a leash or under the immediate control of the hunter at all times. • Possession or use of alcohol or controlled substances while hunting. • Possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 years. • Possession of drug paraphernalia, including any instrument that facilitates the consumption of a controlled substance. Firearms Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying frearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) frearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specifc refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32.) Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge 4567 Wildfowl Lane Stevensville, MT 59870 406-777-5552 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fws.gov/refuge/ lee_metcalf Emergency Contact: 911 After hours law enforcement contact: Ravalli County Sheriff’s Offce (406-363-3033) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov For State Transfer Relay Service TTY / Voice:711 For Refuge Information 1-800-344-WILD August 2020 To Florence (6 miles) 2 Kalispell 15 93 90 2 Great Falls Missoula Helena Butte Lee Metcalf NWR 90 Miles City Billings Bozeman 15 Pond 13 94 90 Pond 12 To Missoula (25 miles) Pond 11 203 93 Kenai Nature Trail Ri ve r Pond 10 ro o t Rathbun Lane ter Bit Lee Metcalf Pond 8 National Wildlife Refuge Refuge boundary 93 203 U.S. route Other route Wildfowl Lane (county road) Pond 5 To Hamilton (23 miles) 2 Trail 8 5 Golf Course (Private Property) Refuge road (non-public) 3 Railroad Water 7 Turkey hunt area 6 Closed to hunting Waterfowl hunt area 1 10 Archery White-tailed deer hunt area (Entire Refuge open to archery hunting except areas marked as closed) 9 Waterfowl hunting blinds 15 ( 3, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 15 are pit blinds ) 203 Pond 2 Refuge headquarters Accessible restroom Wildlife Viewing Area 13 Fishing allowed in wildlife viewing area only 11 12 Hunter access parking 14 N To Stevensville (1.5 miles) 0 To Stevensville (2.2 miles) .25 0 Miles .5 .5 Kilometers 1 1 Hunting and Fishing The Refuge is open to waterfowl (coots, ducks and geese), turkey, archery white-tailed deer hunting, and fshing. Hunters and anglers may only hunt and fsh in the designated areas shown on the map or listed in this brochure. access designated locations in the archery deer hunting area to hunt from ground blinds. To reserve a blind or access these areas, hunters must contact Refuge headquarters in advance (406-777-5552). Hunting and fshing are allowed in accordance with Federal and State regulations. Federal regulations governing public use on National Wildlife Refuges are set forth in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Refuge-specifc hunting and fshing regulations for Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge are found in Title 50 Part 32.45 of the Code of Federal Regulations and in the Hunting Regulations Table in this brochure. These Refuge-specifc regulations are necessary to protect wildlife and theirs habitats, as well as provide for a safe experience for hunters, anglers, and visitors. Waterfowl Hunting (Coot, duck, goose) The Refuge is open to hunting coots, ducks and geese in accordance with Federal and State regulations (see RefugeSpecifc Hunting Regulations Table). Coot, duck, and goose may be hunted only from the established blinds in the designated Waterfowl Hunting Area (see map). Hunter access to the Refuge is allowed 2 hours before legal sunrise until 2 hours after legal sunset. Waterfowl hunters with a documented mobility disability may reserve blind 2 or 7. Archery deer hunters with a documented mobility disability may Hunters and anglers must possess their hunting or fshing license(s) and photo identifcation in their immediate possession at all times while on the refuge. Upon request of a law enforcement offcer, a hunter or angler must provide the required hunting or fshing license. Big Game Hunting (Archery White-tailed Deer) The Refuge is open to archery white-tailed deer hunting except in those areas marked as closed, in accordance with Federal and State regulations (see the brochure map and the Refuge-specifc Hunting Regulations Table). Upland Game Hunting (Turkey) The Refuge is open to hunting turkey in accordance with Federal and State regulations. Turkey may be hunted only from Refuge lands west of the main channel of the Bitterroot River (see map). Access to Refuge lands west of the Bitterroot River is from the Bass Creek or Poker Joe Fishing Access Site or the Ruffatto Block Management Area. Fishing The Refuge is open to fshing in accordance with Federal and State regulations. Fishing is allowed along Burnt Fork Creek and the Bitterroot River in the Refuge’s Wildlife Viewing Area (see map).