Refuge staff have monitored the water conditions for the Turnbull NWR waterfowl hunt area throughout the summer and early fall. We are in the third year of an ongoing drought with little to no measurable precipitation since early spring of 2023. On September 18th, we toured the hunt area and found very little water and few waterfowl in the hunt area. As of this post, the only hunt blind area that will marginally support waterfowl hunting is Blind 4. Blind 4 has approximately 50 feet of mudflat between the blind vegetation and open water. The shallow open water would likely not support standard floating decoys with a keel and weight system. As a result, the hunting opportunity and overall experience for hunting ducks at Turnbull NWR should be considered marginal. We will not be closing the Junior Waterfowl hunt at Turnbull NWR; if there are any questions regarding the Youth Waterfowl hunt, don't hesitate to contact the Refuge Manager at 509-599-4723.
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is open between 6 am and 6 pm from November - April and between 6 am and 9 pm from May - October. Entrance the refuge is free. Visitors will find information on the refuge’s history, wildlife, and management at the interpretive kiosks at the refuge’s entrance, public restrooms, headquarters, and trailheads. The visitor contact station offers additional information and hands-on activities as well as books and other gift ideas at the Friends of Turnbull nature store. Over 10 miles of hiking trails, including 3 accessible trails, are available in the public use area. Blackhorse Lake offers an accessible boardwalk that allows all visitors easy lake viewing. All visitors are required to stay on designated trails and roads March 1 through August 15.
Location and Contact Information
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is located within a globally unique geological area known as the Channeled Scablands, created by massive scouring from ice age floods approximately 15,000 years ago. An extensive complex of deep permanent sloughs, semi-permanent potholes, and seasonal wetlands formed in the depressions left in the scoured landscape, while soils only centimeters thick on upland sites support ponderosa pine forests interspersed with grassland (steppe) communities on exposed basalt cliffs. Aspen is scattered throughout the area. The juxtaposition of all these contrasting habitats in such close proximity is unique to the Channeled Scablands and creates conditions of exceptional wildlife and plant diversity.
What We Do
Every redhead ducks. All activities allowed on the refuge must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect migratory waterfowl, with a more recent focus on
The mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge has numerous programs to effectively manage wildlife and habitat native to this ecosystem and to provide visitor services compatible to our refuge's mission and goals. Wildlife Management-related programs include fire management, forest restoration, water and wetland management, private lands conservation,control, inventory and monitoring, and wildlife population management. To assist us in meeting our management goals and objectives we provide environmental education and volunteering opportunities.
Turnbull supports a large variety of wildlife. Over 200 different kinds of birds have been recorded on the refuge. Of prime importance, the refuge conserves habitat for 25 species of nesting and migrating waterfowl including ducks geese and swans. Neotropical migratory songbirds, shorebirds and other water birds are found in abundance inareas and wetlands. Mammals include moose, Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed and mule deer, coyote, badger, river otter, porcupine, muskrat, beaver, bobcat and cougar. Numerous small mammals ranging from shrews to Columbian ground squirrels abound in different refuge habitats as well as a dozen reptile and amphibian species. The Channeled Scablands is a great haven for the 11 species of bats that have been documented at the refuge.
Be sure to check out all of the past stories and news from the refuge!
Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community by doing what you love. National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of urban communities to make a lasting difference. Find out how you can help make American lands healthier and communities stronger while doing something personally satisfying.
Projects and Research
Turnbull’s focus includes restoring and maintaining the native ecosystem processes of the Channeled Scablands. Habitat on the refuge is managed to sustain the diversity of flora and fauna native to this unique ecosystem. To achieve habitat diversity, the refuge reintroduces fire to fire-dependent plant communities, restores wetlands, deployscontrol, and plants native vegetation. Research is conducted on various habitats and wildlife to direct future management. Elk is also carefully managed through a limited-entry annual hunt to ensure a healthy regeneration of forests.