Hunting on national wildlife refuges is a tradition that dates back to the early 1900s. Today, more than 370 refuges are open to the public for hunting across the country. Here in the Midwest, national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas are a huge part of this tradition.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service welcomes sportswomen and men of all backgrounds and abilities to experience challenging hunting.

With this in mind, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, located near Zimmerman, updated its hunting program this past year, which had last been updated in 2011. Public comment was encouraged and considered in this decision-making process. The most recent changes to the hunting program went into place on Sept. 1, and include the following additions:

•Opening to fall turkey season in Areas A and B.

•Opening to muzzleloader deer season in Area A.

•Opening of crow, dove, gallinule and moorhen in Area B.

•Expansion of areas open to special hunts for spring turkey hunting (youth hunt and hunters with disabilities).

For more information about these hunts, visit a refuge kiosk or the refuge website at to take a closer look at the hunting brochure. To have a digital copy sent to you, email The brochure outlines rules and regulations for hunting at the refuge and has a detailed map. Once you’ve reviewed that information, staff welcome you to call 763-389-3323 or drop in to Refuge Headquarters during open hours (W-F, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) with any questions.

The refuge observes a wildlife sanctuary period from March 1 through Aug. 31. On Sept. 1, the refuge’s service roads opened to hiking and biking, and off-trail hiking is allowed anywhere on the refuge, except the closed area. Note that almost all the service road gates are still locked at the county roads and are not open to public vehicles. The one exception is Brande Road, with the gate beyond Blue Mound Cemetery opening to allow vehicle access from Sept. 1 through winter closure.

Across the country, national wildlife refuges work closely with state agencies, tribes and private partners to expand access to hunting and fishing where it is compatible with refuge purposes. Hunting and fishing provide opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors, create memories and pass on family traditions.

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, visit www.fws/gov.

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