It's an excellent time to be a hunter or fisherman!
The Trump administration expanded and opened over 850 fishing and hunting locations over 2.3M acres of public land.
The historic expansion opens recreational access to 9 fish hatcheries and 138 wildlife refuges, making it the most momentous expansion in the U.S. history of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hunting On Public Land In Texas
The Lone Star state offers admittance to 1 million acres of publicly accessible land, open for hunting. As part of the expansion, hunters who frequent or favor the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas now have the opportunity to hunt existing big game on newly accessible acres at the refuge.
Throughout the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, hunting units establish boundaries and hunting rules for 15 areas in the public land property.
Hunters can hunt feral hogs, white-tail deer, and turkey during an annual hunt for the big game. The overreaching purpose of big hunts is to maintain the wildlife population with the habitat while creating recreational opportunities for hunters.
All designated hunting units are subject to broad regulations, and other rules and regulations apply to each specific unit within the public land. During the Big Game Hunt, hunters can't hunt other species during the event.
To participate in the Annual Big Game Hunts at Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refugee, hunters must hold a valid license, and register for the event. Further training or orientation might also be mandatory before heading out into the reserve.
Hunting Areas In Other Parts Of The United States
The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge isn't the only refuge to benefit from this expansion of public lands.
Other impacts of this order in San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in California are season dates for existing pheasant and migratory bird hunting. In Minnesota, new acreage extends lands for big game and upland game hunting at Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, sports fishers have access to new acres in the nature reserve.
Changes To Hatcheries
This expansion also affected hatcheries throughout the United States. Lands on the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery will formally open in Massachusetts for upland games, migratory birds, and big game hunting. Also, in Massachusetts, the Berkshire National Fish Hatchery will open for sport fishing.
In Washington State, Little Whitlands at Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery opens more public lands for big games, upland games, and migratory bird hunting.
This ruling continues last year's effort toward making revisions to refuge fishing and hunting regulations, so they align closely with the location of the refuge.
When the regulations of the refuge deviate from state regulations for conservation compatibility, safety, or other reasons, these new guidelines remain in accordance as much as possible statewide.
This act resulted from the effort of the Interior working closely with the states throughout the rulemaking process.