U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) are set to welcome dove hunters to the refuge, as the season opens on September 1, 2016. However, Lower Pahranagat Lake is closed to hunting while refuge personnel conduct waterfowl banding in that area. The lower lake unit will reopen in October.

“We believe the temporary closure of the lower lake will have very little impact on dove hunters,” said Pahranagat NWR Manager Rob Vinson. “The dove population is generally small at the lower lake, because the area lacks the food source the birds prefer.”

The areas open for hunting include the Middle Marsh, Whin Marsh, and the sedge and alkali meadow in the Dove Dike area. Vinson added that hunters will likely have the most success in the hunting area between the Middle Marsh levee and Dove Dike.

Hunters are required to have a current license in order to hunt on the wildlife refuge. Hunting licenses are administered by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. For information regarding license requirements and hunting seasons, visit www.ndow.org on the Internet.

Other regulations on national wildlife refuges:

Hunters are required to use non-toxic shot when hunting on national wildlife refuges or state wildlife management areas. Additionally, shotguns must be plugged to limit the overall shell capacity to three when hunting on these areas or when hunting all migratory game birds.

Hunters may enter the wildlife refuges one hour before sunrise and may remain until one hour after sunset. However, hunting times are as allowed by state regulations.

Firearms must be unloaded and dismantled or in a case while traveling through the refuges.

Dogs may be used to retrieve birds, but must be under voice-command of the hunter at all times. When not hunting, dogs should be leashed.

All vehicles must be street legal and can only be driven on roads marked for public use. Roads may be closed temporarily during the hunting season due to flooding or restoration activities. It is illegal to drive around closed gates, as doing so is unsafe and can damage wildlife habitat.

Hunters are urged to pay attention to their surroundings and look for other people in the area. Staff, researchers, and visitors are on the wildlife refuges every day.

The Pahranagat NWR was established on August 16, 1963, to provide habitat for migratory birds, especially waterfowl. The wildlife refuge is located approximately 90 miles north of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 in Lincoln County, Nevada. Situated along the Pacific Flyway, Pahranagat’s 5,380 acres contain lakes and marshes — rare sights in this part of Nevada.