Although I have not been able to obtain an official notification regarding hunting and access on Federal Waterfowl Production Areas, there have been indications that no hunting or access is allowed on any federal wildlife lands during the government shutdown.
With the waterfowl season in full swing, archery deer season open and the Minnesota pheasant opener coming Saturday, Oct. 12, thousands of hunters across Minnesota could be impacted by the shutdown.
The greatest impact will come from no activity allowed on lands managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which includes the thousands of acres of Federal Waterfowl Production Areas in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
These lands provide a very large portion of pheasant hunting access and activity across Minnesota and the midwest, and will put many hunters in the position of having no place to hunt until the shutdown is over.
Federal Wildlife Refuges, like Big Stone in far western Minnesota are also included.
Wildlife officials did note the shutdown would hamper their ability to manage and enforce laws on federal public lands and therefore access would not be allowed.
The shutdown occurred when Congress failed to agree and pass bills to fund the federal government in the new fiscal year, which began October 1.