87-1-305. Fish and game refuges. (1) The commission may establish and close to hunting, trapping, or fishing any game, bird, or fish refuge on public lands and, with the consent of the owner, on private lands. It may close streams, lakes, or parts of them to hunting, trapping, or fishing.
(2) The commission may establish game refuges in which game and fur-bearing animals, game or nongame birds may breed and replenish. These refuges shall be established by order of the commission upon petition and proper showing that the action is, in judgment of the commission, necessary and in the best interest of the wildlife within the area to be included in the refuge. The purpose of this provision is to establish small refuges rather than large preserves or rather than close large areas to hunting or trapping.
(3) The commission may designate and protect certain areas as resting, feeding, and breeding grounds for migratory birds, in which hunting and molestation are forbidden. The purpose of this provision is not to interfere unduly with the hunting of waterfowl but to provide havens in which they can rest, feed, and breed without molestation.
(4) After a petition has been duly filed with the secretary of the commission requesting that an area be set aside as a game refuge, the secretary shall immediately publish a notice in a paper of general circulation in the county in which the area is located. The notice shall state that a hearing on the matter will be held at a designated place in the county not less than 15 days after first publication, at which time and place all interested parties may appear and be heard.