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Hunting and fishing options expanded at national wildlife refuges this year

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Hunting and fishing opportunities will be expanded at 34 national wildlife refuges this year. The Fish & Wildlife Service is announcing in the Federal Register of Monday, March 17 that it is opening up six previously-closed refuges for hunting and fishing, adding new hunts at six others and increasing hunting activities at 20 more. More fishing will be allowed at two other refuges.

FWS is also announcing new regulations for specific refutes for hunting and fishing. The changes take place effective Monday.

Migratory game bird hunting opportunities, for instance, will be increased at 22 refuges. But FWS estimates the opportunities will only “constitute an extremely minor component of the national harvests.” It sees killing 12,616 more ducks and 2,463 more geese.

FWS only made a few refuge-specific and technical changes from the rules it proposed last fall. While it responded to comments made on the proposed rules, it declined a request for a public hearing.

For details, including a complete list of the affected refuges and new rules, see http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-17/html/2014-05214.htm.

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