Wildlife Viewing | Montana’s Missouri River Country

Wildlife Viewing

Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge

The second largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states (about 1.1 million acres), the CMR is one of America’s great wilderness regions, as well as a wildlife refuge. It embraces about 229 of the nearly 300 Missouri River Breaks’ miles, surrounds Fort Peck Lake with its 1,600 miles of shoreline and is about 125 miles long. This wild country is remote, rough and spectacular. The canyons, some a thousand feet deep, buttes, hills, coulees and river bottoms, harbor elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, deer and prairie dog towns. More than 200 species of birds and 40 species of mammals have been identified on the refuge. There are many access points spread out over a vast landscape. For maps and information, call the CMR National Wildlife Refuges at (406) 538-8706.

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Just south of Plentywood, this body of water is a prairie gem and a summer home to more than 100,000 migratory waterfowl. It’s a place of high wildlife activity. A 14-mile-long driving route provides ample access to the refuge. Call (406) 789-2305 or click here for more information.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Best known for its nesting colonies of white pelicans, this series of wetlands and lakes eight miles east of Malta, is the habitat for more than 230 different species of birds and waterfowl. There are many access points to the heart of the refuge and a 90­ minute auto­route enables you to see much of this haven. Call (406­) 654­-2863 for further information.

UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge

Big game, as well as all the lesser critters, roam here. Isolated and beautiful, this refuge is located deep in the Missouri River Breaks about 50 miles south of Malta and 40 miles southeast of Zortman. Visitors need to negotiate rough roads to reach the UL Bend and these passages are often impassable in wet weather. The UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge is contiguous to the UL Bend Wilderness and the CMR. Call the CMR number for information, (406) 538-8706.

Leo Coleman Wildlife Park

This is a 230 acre enclosed pasture near Fort Peck. The pasture has an all weather gravel road surrounding it with several viewing turnouts, making this a great scenic drive for viewing wildlife.

Wildlife to Watch: Various bird species, 11 Bison, family of red fox, white-tail deer, mule deer.

Recreate Responsibly

Whether you’re hunting, fishing, birding or wildlife watching in general, remember to respect the creatures that call this region home and recreate responsibly.


Getting to Know Missouri River Country Communities: Wolf Point

Read more

The Only Hot Spring in Montana's Missouri River Country (Top in Montana)

Read more

Top 5 Things to Do in Montana's Missouri River Country This Holiday Season

Read more

Unique Weekend Getaways in Missouri River Country

Read more