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Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge FAQ

Injured Animal Info

Quick Links:

How do I get to the Refuge?  Google Navigation

From East Dallas: Go North on Highway 75 to US 82 west in Sherman. From US 82, exit onto Highway 289 north. Follow 289 for 4.5 miles and look for the Hagerman Refuge directional sign at Refuge Road. Turn left and the Refuge will be 4 miles ahead.

From Central Dallas: Take Hwy 289 north, cross over US 82 and travel for 4.5 miles. Look for the Hagerman NWR directional sign near Refuge Road. Turn Left and the Refuge will be 4 miles ahead.

From Oklahoma: Take Hwy 75 south to Exit# 69, Highway 120 in Denison, go west on 120 to FM1417, travel south to Refuge Road and turn right. The refuge will be 6 miles ahead. Coming from I-35 to the west, head east on US 82 then north on 289.

When is the Refuge open?

Visitor Center Hours:

Monday Through Saturday: 9am to 4pm

Sunday: 1pm to 5pm

Open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years

Refuge Office Hours:

Monday Through Friday: 7:30am to 4pm

Closed for federal holidays

Refuge lands are open every day of the year, from sunrise until sunset.

Hunting: Units open to hunting will be closed off to the general public and signs will be posted at each gated area showing “HUNT IN PROGRESS-DO NOT ENTER”.

May I Purchase an America The Beautiful Park Pass at the Refuge?

Yes.  Park Passes are sold by refuge staff. Ring the door-bell at the window inside the Visitor Center for staff assistance,  Monday through Friday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Annual Pass - $80

Senior Lifetime Pass (age 62) - $80

Senior Annual Pass (age 62) - $20

Military Pass – Free with Military ID

Access Pass – Free for people with a permanent disability (must bring documentation) 

NOTE: Nature Nook Volunteers cannot sell Park Passes.

More information about America the Beautiful Park Pass

What are the Refuge Rules and Regulations?

  • Refuge lands are open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. Occasionally, some roads may be closed due to flooding if Lake Texoma is above the normal elevation.
  • Please do not litter. It is unsightly for visitors and unsafe for birds and wildlife.
  • Visitors are here to enjoy the quietness of nature. Please do not play your radio or other electronic device loudly.
  • Dogs are welcome if they are on a leash at all times and under control of their owners.  Dogs are not allowed in refuge waters. Picking up after your pet is expected. 

  • Always take discarded monofilament (fishing line) with you. It is deadly for birds who become entangled in the line, then the line becomes entrapped in trees.
  • Public camping or overnight parking is not allowed. The RV sites you may notice by the Visitor Center are only for official Workampers who work at the refuge in exchange for on-site camping.
  • It is illegal to remove anything from the refuge including plants, flowers, feathers, downed wood, driftwood, rocks, etc. without a Special Use Permit which may be available for some purposes. For more information call the refuge office at 903-786-2826.
  • Foraging: the collection of fruits, nuts, berries or mushrooms for personal consumption is allowed for up to one gallon per person per day.
  • Unless hunting a legal game species with a permit from the refuge, it is illegal to kill anything including snakes.
  • Campfires, fireworks, and swimming are not allowed.
  • Driving is only allowed on open, gravel roads. Please do not drive off-road. ATV’s, UTV’s, and horses are not allowed on the refuge.
  • The use of drones for any purpose is prohibited on all national wildlife refuges.
  • Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is here for everyone to enjoy. Please be safe and do your part to help ensure others will have an enjoyable and safe visit as well!

Are Fishing and Boating Permitted at the Refuge?

Yes, with the following limitations:

  • Fishing from the shorelines of Lake Texoma is allowed year-round throughout the refuge except from Plover, Tern, and Egret Roads, which are set aside for wildlife observation and photography.
  • Fishing from the bank along creeks is permitted year-round.
  • Fishing in stock ponds is allowed from March 15th to September 30th every year.  Pond fishing is limited to protect wintering waterfowl.
  • A Lake Texoma license or a Texas fishing license is required for all fishing. (Purchase Here on the TPWD website).
  • Common Fish species: Black bass, sand bass, small mouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and striped bass.  Hagerman NWR Fish Species List
  • Where to Fish for What: Fish Map by Species 

  • Please follow TPWD bagging limits and other regulations for Lake Texoma and Grayson County: Hagerman Fishing and Boating and Grayson County Regulations.
  • Lake Level Information for Lake Texoma

Popular fishing spots include:

  • The Harris Creek Bridge
  • Big Mineral Creek Bridge
  • The point at the Goode Day Use Area 
  • Sandy Point
  • The low water crossing just north of the visitor center on Refuge Road 
  • Any of the oil pad access roads that jut out into the lake.    

While pond fishing is open (March 15th through September 30th) you can try the one on the right side of Refuge Road as you head towards the visitor center. It has been stocked with catfish in the past and has some small perches.   

Is Boating Permitted at the Refuge?

  • Non-motorized boats are allowed on the refuge from March 15 until October 1 annually.
  • Year-round non-motorized boats are allowed in Big Mineral Creek from the point it connects with Lake Texoma Upstream as far as possible. Also year-round this area is a NO WAKE ZONE. See Hagerman Boating Regulations. 

Is Hunting permitted at the Refuge?

Hagerman NWR hosts seasonal hunts of deer, turkey, feral hog, rabbit, squirrel, and dove.  For more information, visit Hunt/Boat/Fish

Is camping permitted at the refuge? Are RV pads available?

  • No. RV pads are for work campers only. Eisenhower State Park offers campsites with a reservation.
  • Organized Boy and Girl Scout camping is allowed in certain areas with a Special Use Permit from the refuge.  Contact Spencer Beard at spencer_beard@fws.gov

What is there to do on the refuge?

  • We have a visitor center with educational displays, a 4-mile Wildlife Drive that passes beside Lake Texoma, with 6 different habitats on the refuge (agricultural fields, forest, grassland, wetlands, riparian, open water). We also have 5 different hiking trails.
  • Bring your bicycle (or e-bike) and ride or walk on any road or trail, gated or ungated unless otherwise posted.
  • Drive vehicle on any road unless gated.
  • Seasonal boating and pond fishing from March 15 – end of September.
  • Bank fishing on lakes and creeks is legal year-round, with a Texas or Lake Texoma fishing license.  More fishing information.
  • Seasonal hunts for deer (archery only), wild turkey, feral hog, and small game.

What is the Best Time of the Year to See Birds?

It depends on the types of birds you want to see. 

  • October: Migrating American Pelicans
  • November through February: Ducks and geese. Ross and Snow Geese spend the winter at the refuge, and depart depending on winter wheat availability, usually in February.
  • Winter: many different species of sparrows, Northern Flickers and other woodpeckers, Northern Harriers.
  • Spring and Fall: Best for shorebirds and wading birds. Meadowlarks and Dickcissels nest.
  • Summer: Colorful Painted & Indigo Buntings, Summer tanagers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos.
  • Year-round: Great Blue Herons, Mallards, and Wood Ducks, Woodpeckers and more.
More Bird Information

Where is the Auto tour?

The audio files for the Auto Tour are online, but CD's are available in the visitor center. 

Map and Audio Files

What is a Tram Tour?

Come join us for a ride on the Wildlife Explorer! Our new and beautiful tram is available for hour-and-a-half tours of Hagerman every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm weather permitting. Our tours are as varied as our drivers. Each tram driver has her/his approach to the tour, and you may learn about wildlife, birds, history of the refuge, habitat, photography, you name it! To paraphrase, “a Wildlife Explorer tour at Hagerman is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” But you know it’s going to be good! Come see us! 

Tram Tour Reservations

What is the Weekly Bird Census?

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter.

This bird census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

Occasionally there is room for a serious birder to join them.  Contact us for information about how to participate. More About the Birds of Hagerman.

Birding with Jack Current Census Results

      Are Dogs Permitted at the Refuge?

      Dogs are welcome if they are leashed at all times and under control of their owners.  Dogs are not permitted in the buildings or in refuge waters. Picking up after your pet is expected.

      Is Foraging for Wild Edibles Permitted at the Refuge?

      Foragers may enjoy gathering fruits, nuts, berries, or mushrooms at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge for personal use. There is a one gallon (combined) limit per person/per day for what may be collected as you forage. Reminder: Some edible forage items are poisonous - if you are unsure, do not eat it! 

      Foraging rules:  

      • Digging of plants or their roots is prohibited  
      • Harming of any wildlife species (i.e., snakes) during foraging is prohibited 
      • Cutting or damage to trees or other vegetation not being legally harvested is prohibited  
      • Products harvested are for personal use only and may not be sold   

      A Word of Caution 

      Gathering wild edibles can be a very satisfying and tasty endeavor!  Just remember, be sure of what you are collecting for food. There are several varieties of mushrooms and berries that are toxic and can make you very ill or even possibly result in death. If you are unfamiliar with a plant always reference a trusted resource. Books are a great resource and very helpful when making an identification. Reference more than one book before you eat a new berry or mushroom and pay attention to the entire plant. Look in a field guide for other fruits, nuts, berries or mushrooms that may look similar to your target species to be certain what you gather is safe to consume. If you are not 100% sure do not eat it.  

      Be safe and enjoy your wild harvest! 

      Is Firewood Collection Permitted at the Refuge?

      Contact the refuge manager for permission: 

      Kathy Whaley

      Refuge Manager


      Are Airboats or Jet Skis Permitted at the Refuge?

      No. They disturb the wildlife on the refuge.

      Are Horses/ATV’s/Off Road Vehicles Permitted at the Refuge?

      No. The Corps of Engineers does allow them on some of their Lake Texoma lands. For more information please call (903) 465-4990.

        When the Refuge Floods, Who Decides When the Roads Will Re-open?

        The refuge is located on part of Lake Texoma. One of the primary purposes of the lake is flood control and refuge lands are within the area where the USACE can store water as needed to prevent severe flooding downstream. When areas below Denison Dam are saturated, water cannot be released fast enough to keep up with inflow from the water shed. This causes the lake water level to rise.

        Refuge personnel have no control over the water level and must take action to protect refuge roads and facilities as much as possible. The roads will be repaired and opened as soon as the water recedes, and they have time to dry out (1-2 days).

        How the water levels of Lake Texoma level affect the Refuge: Flood Graphic

        Will the Refuge Accept an Injured/Orphaned Wild Animal or Bird?

        • Absolutely Not. The refuge does not have the facilities or training to care for injured/orphaned animals. 
        • For help with this situation, please visit the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitators County List or call the DFW Wildlife Hotline at 972-234-9453.  The Hotline is answered by volunteers daily from 7:00am-10:00pm, 365 days a year. Their goal is to provide accurate information and guidance to anyone calling in with injured or orphaned wildlife or birds, and their area of coverage includes Grayson and all surrounding counties. The trained volunteer listens to the situation and provides advice about what to do (i.e., return it to the nest, put it back where found, provide a number to the closest licensed wildlife rehab person, etc.).
        • It is a felony offense to release any animal, wild or domestic, on any national wildlife refuge.

        A Baby Bird Fell Out of its Nest. How Can I Help?

        Attempting to place bird back into its nest is the best solution. It is normal for birds to fall when trying to fly for the first time. If you can not reach the nest, make a substitute nest (out of a basket), place nesting material in it, and hoist it up near the original nest. Leave it alone. The parents will return to care for the young.

        I Think Avian Flu Killed a Bird Near Me.  Might I be in Danger of Transmission?

        Transmission is low but not impossible. If a bird has contracted Avian Flu it would have diarrhea, mucus, difficulty breathing and purple and swollen body parts. Avoid location of ill birds.

        Helpful Resources

        Texas Parks and Wildlife List of Rehabilitators by county.

        Injured Wildlife (Game/Deer/Bird): Call TPWD information line at 1-800-792-1112

        Injured Wildlife: DFW Wildlife Hotline (972-234-9453)

        Injured Birds Rehab: Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation 972-225-4000

        Injured Raptors ONLY (Hawks, Falcons, Owls, Osprey, Kites, etc.): Blackland Prairie Raptor Center 469-964-9696

        Diseased bird: Texas Animal Health Commission 1-800-550-8242

        Texas Animal Health Commission: 1-800-550-8242

        Search for any word--do not use quotes for phrases

        Events and activities hosted by the Friends of Hagerman are funded by donations and powered solely by volunteers.  There are no fees for admission to the refuge or parking; the refuge is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, drive on any road unless gated.

        6465 Refuge Road

        Sherman, TX 75092


        Kroger: Stop by the customer service desk at Kroger and link your Kroger Card to the Friends of Hagerman: the Friends will get rewards for every dollar you spend, at no cost to you.

        Please add friendsofhagerman@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure delivery of registration confirmations, account information and the Featherless Flyer

        Special thanks to Nancy Miller for the amazing photo of the Visitor Center 

        See you at the refuge!

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