Here’s a refreshing bit of news: at a time when many are clamoring for increased restrictions on hunting, the US Fish & Wildlife Service is proposing to actually increase hunting opportunities on a number of national wildlife refuges.

From this story in the Miami Herald:
Officials will ease hunting restrictions at 10 wildlife refuges across the country if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approves changes it proposed this week. The public has until Aug. 4 to comment on the proposal. The changes, which would affect wildlife refuges in eight states, would take effect by the fall. At the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Texas – one of the sites that would see an ease in regulations – certain animal populations have grown so quickly they threaten other species and habitat, refuge manager Stuart Marcus said. “We are definitely not controlling all the hogs and deer,” he said.
“…As part of the changes, officials would open Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to deer and turkey hunting for the first time. At Mississippi’s Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge, restrictions would be lifted on migratory bird hunting of duck and geese and upland game hunting of squirrel, rabbit and raccoon. Hunters there also would be able to shoot deer and hogs for the first time. At Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, the proposal would lift restrictions on hunting deer and hogs. For now, the refuge in northeastern North Carolina allows only an annual waterfowl hunt from designated hunting blinds. Among the other proposed change announced this week: Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado and Ouray National Wildlife Refuge in Utah would offer elk hunting. Ouray also would offer upland game hunting of turkey. Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana would open to migratory bird hunting of waterfowl and coot. And Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, which is located in Minnesota and Iowa, would increase acreage for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting._

Kudos to the USF&WS. Is there a national wildlife refuge near you that you’d like to see opened up to more hunting opportunity?