The waterfowl hunt application period for Swan Lake is now open for the 2019 waterfowl hunting season.
To participate in the lottery each individual must have a RecAccess account in order to apply for a Waterfowl Hunt at Swan Lake NWR. The lottery draw website can be found HERE. All the information about the hunt can be found on the website on the “Hunt Info” page, which includes: Description of Draw Procedures, Draw Schedule, Regulations, and Hunting Unit Descriptions with past year’s harvest data.
On Saturday, October 12, 2019, from 9 AM to 5 PM the refuge will host a waterfowl hunting scout day. On that date, you will be able to access all of the hunting units and have questions answered at the Refuge Visitor Center by a refuge staff member (please note that the Visitor Center has been relocated into the Refuge Bunkhouse). Please mark your calendar so you can take advantage of this opportunity.
RecAccess will oversee the draws and the morning check-in. To cover these costs there will be a $2 lottery application fee and an $8.50 permit fee for each hunter that gets a permit through the lottery, online purchase, or morning check-in for vacant units. Since the fees go to cover the cost of the permitting system there will be no refunds for any reason including hunting unit closures due to weather or flooding.
For each draw period, there will be three draws conducted. The three draws will include a Youth Mentor Draw, an accessible blind draw, and an Open Draw. Applicants need only apply for one draw or the other. If you apply for the Youth Mentor Draw and are not selected your application will then automatically be included in the Open Draw.
A new handicap accessible blind has been installed on the north side of the Swan Lake Marsh Unit (Blind N3) and will be filled in the accessible draw. If it has vacant slots from the Accessible Draw those slots will be filled in the Open Draw.
To participate in the Youth Mentor Draw you must be age 18 or older to apply and certify that there will be at least one youth, age 15 or under, that will be in your hunting party. You will not be able to hunt on the day of the hunt if one of your party is not a youth age 15 or younger.
There will be eight Hunting Slots filled in the Youth Mentor Draw for each draw period. After the Youth Mentor Draw is completed all remaining Hunting Slots for that period will be filled through the Open Draw.
For each draw, successful applicants will have a deadline to purchase their permits for their awarded Hunting Slots. Any Hunting Slots leftover and not filled by the deadline will be available for purchase on the site on a first-come basis. Unfilled permits purchased online will be just as other permits. The purchaser can purchase one to four permits for the available Hunting Slot and bring up to three other hunters with them on the day of the hunt.
Hunters will be required to check-in at the Hunter Check Station between 4-6 AM each day. Available hunting slots may be purchased online up to the deadline as stated in the Draw Schedule. You must be checked in by 6 AM. There is no computer access at the hunter check station. The Hunter Check Station number is (660) 856-3343. Any Hunting Slots not checked-in by 6 AM on the day of the hunt will be filled by hunters present at the Check Station. Those units filled at the Check Station the morning of the hunt will be subject to the $8.50 permit fee. Checks will be the only payment method accepted at the Check-in Station.
Notable Changes This Year include the following:
Blind S1 has been removed and will not be hunted any longer. It has been replaced with the A1 Blind located in one of the new wetland units.
T1 & T3 will be wade and shoot units with no blinds. These blinds have been moved to N2 and N4.
W1 & W2 are not being hunted until levee repairs can be made to that wetland Unit. Those units will not be included in the draw this year. Due to the levee damage from flooding, we cannot get enough water in that Unit. If we get the levee repaired those hunting units will be filled in the unfilled unit’s process.
If you have any questions feel free to email the Refuge Manager at email@example.com or give him a call at 660-856-3323.