Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge was established on August 5, 1947. The refuge is made up of 44,000 acres of land with a great diversity of flora and fauna. The major habitats on the refuge include oak hickory upland forest, bottomland hardwood forest, cropland, grazing units, brushland, prairie, wetlands and lakes. The refuge also includes a 4,050 acre congressionally designated wilderness area.
Accepting Public Comments on Proposed Hunt Program Changes

The refuge is seeking public review and comment on a proposed hunting plan amendment that would expand waterfowl hunting per state regulations to an additional 1,761 acres on the refuge. The public is invited to review the draft documents for our proposed changes, including the draft hunt plan amendment and the categorical exclusion. The draft documents are available through the Federal Register docket number: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2022-0055.   

The comment period will stay open for 60-days from June 9 through August 8, 2022.  Please submit your comments directly through the Federal Register or via email to with 'Crab Orchard NWR' in the subject line.  

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. A visit to a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and discover a new place. Whether you enjoy hiking, canoeing, hunting, camping, picnicking, wildlife photography or birdwatching a visit to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is a great way to explore nature.

Location and Contact Information

      What We Do


      Some commercial, recreational and research activities are allowed on national wildlife refuges only with a special use permit issued by the local office, and are subject to specific conditions and fees. This permit requirement is meant to ensure that all activities at the federal site are...

      Some 30 national wildlife refuges  charge visitors a nominal entrance fee (generally $3-$5 daily)  to cover road and facility maintenance.  If you are a regular visitor or would like to visit other public lands, you could save by buying an America the Beautiful Federal...

      The Every Kid Outdoors program allows 4th-graders to see America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free.

      Annual 4th Grade Pass

      Cost: Free, non-transferable, valid for the duration of the 4th-grade schoolyear though the following summer (September-August...

      Our Species

      Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to spot a variety of wildlife. Visitors are likely to see bald eagles, including the six pairs that nest on the refuge. Watch for flocks of wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and a wide variety of songbirds including eastern bluebirds, indigo buntings, white-eyed vireos and summer tanagers.

      Our Library

      Currently, this is under construction. Our most recent hunt brochure and Draft Grazing EA is in here.