Looking for an opportunity to speak up in support of hunting? Here’s a good opportunity to do so – and you just might land a new place to hunt in the process.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on several proposed hunting expansions in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Yes, some wildlife refuges are open to hunting. In fact, hunting is an important part of the wildlife management plan on many refuges. The areas are generally substantial in size and prime wildlife habitat.

The Service has proposed opening the Detroit River National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan to waterfowl and big-game hunters. And this is a significant area for waterfowl hunting, not some ho-hum area.

The proposal would also open Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge in Missouri to expanded areas of migratory bird hunting, upland bird hunting and big game hunting along with an expansion of the hunting area in Indiana’s Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge.

But not all the proposals are good for hunters. The proposal also calls for the closure of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refugein Hawaii and the closure of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina to migratory bird hunting.

Want a new place to hunt? Want to avoid losing one? Then speak now.
Comments on the proposal are being accepted through August 10. Comment here!

But sportsmen should also weigh in about refuges that aren’t on the list to be opened or closed. Nearly all of us have a national wildlife refuge near us. Is there a refuge you’re familiar with that could accommodate some amount of managed hunting? Share your ideas here, and also in the formal Interior Department comments.