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Hunting Questions, General Informaton, and Safety

California Quail by Steve EmmonsOver 5,350 acres and 25 units of the Sacramento River NWR are open to hunting and fishing. Each Unit can have different rules and regulations. See below and read the Unit's detailed map (find them on the Visitor Activities page) for more information.

General Information 

There are no recreation fees, no hunter check stations, and no hunter quotas on the Sacramento River NWR. Please respect all signs, area closures, and access regulations. Each Unit has different rules and boundaries. Read the map and be familiar with the hunting boundaries (find the brochures on the Visitor Activites page). Most areas are open for a variety of activities including photography and wildlife viewing. A good dog will retrieve your game and lessen disturbance to birds in the area. All gravel bars and specified refuge lands are open to hunting and fishing during the appropriate season. Visit the hunting and fishing regulations page for more information.

  • 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.
  • Seven Units have foot access through parking areas with hiking areas. Only four of those units can be accessed for hunting via the parking area (Capay, Sul Norte, Drumheller, and Drumheller North). Most units have to 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 is allowed only in designated areas for authorized species from August 15 to May 31.
  • Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash except for authorized hunting activities under the immediate control of a licensed hunter.
  • Camping is allowed only on gravel bars for up to 7 days during a 30 day period. Camping is prohibited on other refuge lands.
  • 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.
  • Rifles and pistols are prohibited. Shotguns and archery equipment allowed during hunting season, in hunting areas only.
  • Fires are prohibited except for portable gas stoves on gravel bars.
  • Horses are prohibited.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited. Mobility impaired hunters should consult refuge manager for allowed conveyances.
  • Units are prone to flooding.

Be Safe!

Excercise 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, wild boar and mountain lions.

Mountain lions have been sighted on Sacramento River NWR. 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. Visit the CDFW webpage for more information on mountain lions.

When visiting the Refuge, it is highly recommended that you: 

  • Do not hike alone. Go in groups, with adults supervising children.
  • Keep children close to you. Animals seem especially drawn to children; keep children within sight at all times.
  • Do not approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase.
  • Do not crouch down or bed over. A human standing does not resemble a mountain lion's natural prey.
  • Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open a jacket if wearing one. Pick up small children. Wave arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.
  • Fight back if attacked. Mountain lions usually try to bite the head or neck; try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.
Page Photo Credits — Steve Emmons
Last Updated: Mar 06, 2014
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