Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge, Montana

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is an outlying satellite of the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge Complex. At the center of the 2,750-acre refuge is 300-acre Hailstone Lake. The property is a mix of refuge easement (760 acres), designated Waterfowl Production Area (1,828 acres) and 160 acres of Service-owned property. As this is some of the finest wetlands and waterfowl habitat in central Montana, more than 200 species of birds have been documented here. Hailstone NWR is located in northern Stillwater County and is part of the Big Lake Complex.

The Big Lake Complex is a large drainage area with Hailstone at the northern end and state-owned (and managed) Big Lake at the southern end. Over the years, the short-grass prairie around Hailstone was plowed and planted with wheat. From the mid-1930's until 1980 the refuge was managed as a no-hunting area. Then the Waterfowl Production Area was acquired by Fish & Wildlife: cultivation there ceased and waterfowl hunting in the appropriate seasons was allowed.

Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge area mapHalfbreed Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge area map logo
Photo of ducks on the water courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!
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