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New Archery-Only Hunting Area Opens This Fall at Swan River National Wildlife Refuge

Hunting - Region 1

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Kalispell, MT — Archery hunters have new hunting opportunities in the Swan Valley.

The Swan River National Wildlife Refuge, located off Montana Highway 83 at the south end of Swan Lake, has a new archery-only weapons restriction area.

At the refuge, bowhunters can only harvest deer and elk and must follow the hunting regulations outlined for Hunting District 130. Portions of the refuge remain open to waterfowl hunting. Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of primary refuge roads, trails, parking areas or observation platforms. Additional information about refuge-specific regulations is available at FWP Region 1 headquarters in Kalispell, 490 N. Meridian Rd.

Archery season begins Sept. 1, 2018; however, bowhunters can also pursue deer and elk at the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge through the general hunting season, which runs Oct. 20-Nov. 25 this year.

“This archery-only area provides a great new opportunity for bowhunters in Region 1. This land was previously closed to all big-game hunting. This change not only increases hunting opportunity, it also provides a unique archery-only option that was not available in northwest Montana until now,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Region 1 Wildlife Manager.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in February approved archery-only hunting for all big game species, including black bear, mountain lion and wolf. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through their public process, received input opposed to predator hunting. Based on that feedback, the FWS decided to go forward with hunting for deer and elk only rather than delay opportunity for all big game hunting at the refuge.

Swan River National Wildlife Refuge, spanning 1,961 acres, was established in 1973.