The south portion of the Moose River Pool, located within the Moose Willow Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Hill City in northern Aitkin County, has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary and is now closed to hunting or trespass from Sept. 1 – March 31 annually.
The north portion of the Moose River Pool remains open to hunting and trapping.
“The wildlife sanctuary was designated to create a waterfowl refuge,” said David Kanz, the Aitkin area assistant wildlife manager. “Wildlife sanctuaries play an important role in improving waterfowl numbers by providing areas for feeding, nesting or rest.”
The wildlife sanctuary at the Moose Willow WMA is not noted in the current hunting regulations handbook, but should be included in the next printing. Signage is in place to alert users of the sanctuary boundaries. Visitors to that area should look for the red wildlife sanctuary signs and avoid trespassing.
A map showing the location of the wildlife sanctuary is posted at the access and available electronically on the DNR’s recreation compass application, or by contacting the Brainerd or Aitkin area wildlife offices.
The Moose Willow WMA is 16,946 acres and offers a number of hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. This WMA lies within the Hill River State Forest. Camping is allowed at signed locations only.
For more information about the Moose Willow WMA is available online at www.mndnr.gov/wmas.