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Sac River Hunting Regulations and Information

California Quail by Steve Emmons

Over 5,350 acres and 25 units of the Sacramento River NWR are open to hunting and fishing.

Each Unit has different rules and regulations.
See the Unit brochures (Visitor Activities page) for more information.


Permits at the Sacramento River NWR:

  • No recreation fees
  • No hunter check stations
  • No hunter quotas 


Regulations at Sacramento River NWR:

View the Hunting and Fishing Regulations (pdf) for the Sacramento River NWR. 
View the General Hunting Access Map (pdf) for the Sacramento River NWR.

  • All Units Are Different! - Each Unit has different rules and boundaries. Consult the individual unit brochures and be familiar with hunting boundaries. 
  • Hours - The units are day use only, open 2 hours before legal sunrise to 1-1/2 hours after legal sunset. Only gravel bar access is allowed at other hours.
  • Foot/Boat Access - Seven Units have foot access through parking areas. 
    • Four of these units can be accessed for hunting via the parking area (Capay, Sul Norte, Drumheller, and Drumheller North). Most units must be accessed by boat for hunting.
    • One Unit (Bogg's Bend) has foot access through a parking area on adjacent California Department of Fish and Wildlife property.
     
  • Hunting - Hunting is allowed only in designated areas for authorized species from August 15 to May 31.
  • Dogs - dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash except for authorized hunting activities under the immediate control of a licensed hunter.
  • Camping - Camping is allowed only on gravel bars for up to 7 days during a 30 day period. Camping is prohibited on other refuge lands.
  • Littering - Be a land steward and take out what you bring in. It is unlawful to litter!
  • Bicycles are permitted on Rio Vista, Pine Creek, Capay, Sul Norte, Packer, and Drumheller between May 15 through August 15 on designated trails.
  • Firearms - Rifles and pistols are prohibited. Shotguns and archery equipment allowed during hunting season, in hunting areas only. Firearms are not allowed in the parking areas of the Rio Vista and Pine Creek Units - hunting access is only by boat. Target shooting is not permitted. No crossbows.
  • Fires - Fires are prohibited except for portable gas stoves on gravel bars.
  • Horses - Horses are prohibited.
  • Bicycles - Bicycles are allowed in designated areas May 15 - Aug 15
  • Motorized Vehicles - Motorized vehicles are prohibited. Mobility impaired hunters should consult refuge manager for allowed conveyances.
  • Flooding - Units are prone to flooding.
  • Lead ammunition is no longer permitted. Learn more from the CDFW.


Be Safe!

Exercise caution at all times! Pond and river bottoms can make wading hazardous. Be familiar with the Sacramento River's banks and underwater hazards. Be aware of the locations of nearby hunters and visitors when shooting.

This is a natural and wild area, be alert! You may encounter ticks, mosquitoes, wasps, yellow-jackets, bees, poison oak, stinging nettle, poison hemlock, rattle snakes, feral pigs, and mountain lions.

Mountain lions have been sighted on Sacramento River NWR. Visit the mountain lion page for sightings. Immediately report all encounters or attacks by calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) 24-hour dispatch center (916) 445-0045 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Sacramento NWR Complex at (530) 934-2801. 

Page Photo Credits — Steve Emmons
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2015
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