Shutdown Means No Access, No Hunting On Federal Lands

As the ramifications of the government shutdown continue to emerge, it’s now clear that waterfowl hunters also will feel the effects if they hunt federal lands.

The shutdown affects not only national wildlife refuges and field offices, but waterfowl production areas, which are a popular hunting destination for many waterfowl enthusiasts. A news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region indicates “public access to Service properties will be prohibited and fish and wildlife management activities and public programs will be cancelled. This includes all public recreation, including hunting activities on national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas.”

Keep in mind the shutdown doesn’t affect state-managed lands.

In northwest Minnesota, the shutdown will mean the cancellation of the annual Options accessible deer hunt at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge near Erskine, Minn., if an agreement to end the shutdown isn’t reached. The hunt is scheduled for Oct. 11-13 at Rydell. And that’s just one example of the impact the shutdown will have.

For more information on the shutdown’s impact on federal lands, check out the Department of Interior’s website at