Hunting News

UPDATE—Additional State Closures

UPDATE—Additional State Closures

By Buckmasters Online

For current information on your state DNR response to the COVID-19 pandemic, check your state DNR website, DNR social media channels, DNR Information Center and email updates. Click here for a link to your state website.

DELAWARE

As part of the precautions against the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control closed all Delaware State Park campgrounds and playgrounds as of March 24.

All campground reservations scheduled through May 15 have been canceled, and full refunds will be issued for reservations scheduled during that time. Refunds and reservation cancellations will be processed by the Delaware State Parks reservation vendor. Additional questions can be answered by calling (877)987-2757.

All state park campsites, cabins, cottages, yurts and playgrounds close March 24. Buildings such as park offices and nature centers remain closed, and programs and tours are canceled. Beach access from within Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks is prohibited at this time. Parking and fishing at the Indian River Inlet within Delaware Seashore State Park is permitted at this time. All conditions are subject to change.

Current information on COVID-19 in Delaware can be found here.

INDIANA

The Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Closed: All property offices. State park inns and restaurants. Welcome centers, playgrounds, cabins, camper cabins, fire towers, and other facilities. Nature Centers, Historic Buildings and Visitor Centers, Forest Education Centers, rifle ranges, and enclosed picnic areas. State Park Inn pools and the aquatic center at Abe Martin Lodge.

Also closed: All group camps, recreation buildings, youth tent and rally tent areas through April 30. Any groups with reservations have been contacted and fees will be refunded. All indoor and outdoor public programs and special events are postponed through April 30.

Open: All DNR properties including state parks, state forests, fish and wildlife areas, nature preserves and state recreation areas. Entrance fees at properties have been temporarily suspended.

Also open: Unstaffed archery ranges. Indiana DNR-managed trails and campgrounds at Brookville, J.E. Roush, Salamonie, Mississinewa, Cecil M. Harden (Racoon SRA), Cagles Mill (Lieber SRA), Patoka and Monroe lakes (campgrounds, wildlife areas, and boat ramps). However, public facilities managed directly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at or below the dams at these lakes (tailwater areas, observation mounds, etc.) are closed.

Campgrounds remain open, but advance reservations are required. Fees will be waived for cancellations or transfers of reservations and issuing refunds as requested for campsites held through April 30, 2020. The time frame may be extended as the COVID-19 status evolves.

To make or change State Park Inns reservations call (877) 563-4371 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. All current information and COVID-19 updates, can be found here.

MAINE

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife closed offices and facilities to the public March 23 in relation to the response to the COVID-19 virus. Services and updated information on the Department’s response is available online.

Residents can contact the Department directly for assistance through email, the Facebook page or by calling (207)287-8000, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Information about cancellations and closures related to the OVID-19 State of Emergency can be found here.

MICHIGAN

In response to the governor’s executive order, the Department of Natural Resources has closed state park campgrounds, overnight lodging facilities and shelters, effective through April 13. State parks and recreation areas remain open. No cancellation/modification fee will be charged.

Reservation holders will receive email notifications once cancellations are processed. Refunds will be applied to the original payment method. For questions about reservation cancellations, call (800)447-2757.

Since March 13, the DNR has announced a series of facility and event closures, cancellations and modifications. Information around the outbreak changes quickly. Updated information is available here.

MISSISSIPPI

The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made a number of changes to operations since March 17 which remain in effect until March 31.

State Lakes will remain open for those that wish to go fishing; however, State Fishing Lake offices and bathhouses will be closed. State Parks’ bathhouses and primitive camping areas will be closed; however, RV camping will remain open.

MDWFP Shooting Facilities, Turcotte, McHenry, and McIvor will remain open; tournaments and events are canceled. MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas will remain open.

During this time, all personnel not assigned to state and regional offices will continue to provide services statewide and remain fully operational. Questions regarding licensing or boat registration can be answered by calling (601)432-2055.

To check updated information on the MDWFP response, click here.

MISSOURI

All regional offices, Department headquarters in Jefferson City, and all other public contact offices have been closed to visitors now through April 15. Although MDC public offices are closed to general visitation, offices will still be staffed.

Visitors with official business must notify the office to gain access. Contact information can be found here.

Effective March 27 through April 30, State Parks will temporarily close all campgrounds and lodging. This includes campgrounds, park-run lodging and concessionaire-run lodging. State Parks remain open to the public, including day-use areas, boat ramps and trails.

All fees associated with camping and park-run lodging reservations, including reservation, cancellation and modification fees, beginning the night of March 27 through the night of April 30 will be refunded.

Park staff will inform guests in the campgrounds of the change and will work with them to adjust their reservations and on any needed refunds. Campers who have yet to arrive will be called. Those who have an existing reservation can call (877)422-6766 open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

MDC previously closed staffed shooting ranges, nature centers, visitor centers and educational centers. It also cancelled its public events and programs, including hunter education classes, nature center programs and events, shooting range programs and events, and landowner workshops.

Conservation areas, nature center trails, and boat accesses remain open to the public. Hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons continue as scheduled. MDC managed hunts and mentored spring turkey hunts continue as planned.

MONTANA

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has closed front desk services at its offices around the state in response to the COVID-19 virus. Visitor centers and public meeting spaces at many FWP facilities were also closed.

Licenses purchased online will be mailed. The call center remains active.

FWP will continue to sell licenses online and help customers with questions regarding their license purchase through a call center and through email. The deadline to apply for deer and elk licenses is April 1. Hunters should apply now and not wait until the last minute. Hunters applying for special licenses or permits need to do so online and need to have a valid email address.

License buyers can still purchase their licenses online or from any license provider. Those who need assistance with their license purchase can call the FWP licensing center at (406)444-2950.

FWP office closures to the public remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota Game and Fish Department offices have closed public access due to coronavirus health concerns. This includes the main headquarters and district/lab offices in Bismarck, and district offices in Devils Lake, Dickinson, Jamestown, Harvey, Riverdale and Williston. Game and Fish offices remain closed to public access until April 6.

Outdoor recreational facilities, including boat ramps accessible on the Missouri River, the department’s 229 wildlife management areas, and the pond and nature walk on the outdoor wildlife learning site adjacent to the main office in Bismarck, remain open.

While most Game and Fish staff will work remotely during business hours Monday through Friday, the main telephone line at department offices will be staffed. In addition, district game wardens will conduct daily patrols as regularly scheduled.

For hunters and anglers familiar with Game and Fish, it’s most likely business as usual as all hunting and fishing license purchases, boat registrations and lottery applications are conducted online.

For questions, comments or concerns, contact your local Game and Fish office, or email ndgf@nd.gov. Updated COVID-19 information is available here.

OHIO

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Ottawa County is closed until further notice. The Department of Natural Resources closure is in response to the ongoing public health situation with COVID-19. The closure, which took effect at sundown on March 23, includes the boardwalk, parking lots, roads, and walking trails.

Questions regarding Magee Marsh Wildlife Area’s closure can be directed to the Wildlife District Two Office at (419)424-5000. For current information about the COVID-10 response, click here.

TEXAS

Texas State Parks has limited park programming and has closed public access to park headquarters, visitor centers and park stores. The changes remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

As part of the operational changes, parks have suspended all cash transactions where feasible. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the self-pay stations, the online reservation system and credit card transactions. Other reduced services include the suspension of equipment rentals and interpretive programs.

Park visitors should check the Texas State Parks Alert Map regularly for the latest information about the status of parks.

TPWD law enforcement and boat registration offices, including the license and boat registration counter at TPWD’s Austin headquarters, are also closed to public visitation.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd