Hunting

Hunting

Click here for more information on how to obtain a Quota Hunt Permit for Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.

  • General Hunting Regulations

    A Refuge permit is required for all hunting activities. Permits are non-transferable and must be signed by the hunter and carried at all times while on the Refuge in possession of hunting gear. A permit is located on the front of the Cache River NWR Public Use Regulations Brochure. The link to the Central Arkansas Refuges Hunt Schedule contains complete hunting season dates along with detailed rules and regulation information and should be read cover-to-cover before hunting the Refuge. An additional $12.50 Cache River NWR Quota Deer Gun Permit is required for the Modern Gun Deer Hunt in November, and can be purchased on the Refuge’s website on a first-come, first-served basis from July until all 2,500 are sold.

  • Special Opportunities

    Youth Hunt

    Special Waterfowl Youth Quota Hunts are conducted on the Refuges Waterfowl Youth Hunt Areas (Bayou DeView and Roundpound Units) during December and January. These hunts are only available by permit with applications being accepted from November 1-30 each year. To apply, mail in a completed index card detailing name, address and daytime telephone number to the Cache River NWR office postmarked no later than Nov 30th.  Youth hunts for deer (November Modern Gun) and turkey (spring) are also available on the Refuge (please see Public Use Regulations Brochure for more information). The training of hunting dogs is allowed on the Refuge from September 1 through April 1. There are numerous Refuge specific regulations that apply to these activities so please review the current Public Use Regulations brochure before you come to hunt.

  • Waterfowl

    Waterfowl hunting

    The Cache River NWR is known by duck hunters across the US for its waterfowl hunting, particularly for mallards. Greenheads shining in the sunlight as they flutter down between the oak trees in the flooded bottoms of the White River, Cache River, Bayou DeView and their tributaries during November, December and January is a cherished sight. There are numerous access points and boat ramps on the Refuge and surrounding Arkansas Game and Fish Commission WMAs where waterfowl hunters can walk-in or boat to some good waterfowl hunting.

    CAUTION! While walking or boating through flooded areas please remember that there are numerous submerged obstacles and deep holes that could cause a person to stumble or flip a boat and potentially fall into extremely cold waters which could lead to life-threatening dangers such as hyperthermia and drowning. Be aware, be careful, and be prepared! Please wear the appropriate flotation gear- it could save your life!

  • Deer

    Deer Hunting

    Total deer harvested during archery, muzzleloader, youth and quota gun hunts on Cache River NWR, (based on deer checked through the AGFC) have ranged from slightly less than 100 (gun season closed due to river flood) to almost 600 animals per hunting season. White-tailed deer are common throughout the Refuge and are found in bottomland hardwood forests, moist-soil impoundments, reforested areas, farm fields, and cypress swamps. Bucks and does can both be harvested and are generally harvested in similar numbers. Bucks 3.5 years old or older on Cache River NWR tend to have wide, tall and thick antlers; Several bucks over the years have won awards at the Arkansas Big Buck Classic. A special Quota Deer Permit is required to hunt deer with a modern gun on the Refuge (Quota Gun Deer Hunt Permit Application). After harvesting a deer on the Refuge, Zone 95 must be immediately recorded on the harvester’s hunting license and deer checked according to AGFC regulations. Note, the Refuge is also within Flood Prone Regions B,C, and D and the Refuge will close to all deer hunting when the White and or Cache Rivers gauges reach a certain level (please see Refuge annual hunting brochure for specific info) and will not reopen until it falls to or below the specified level. The number and sex of deer previously harvested/checked on the Refuge by season can be found at AGFC Deer Harvest.

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  • Small Game

    Small game

    With thousands of acres of mature bottomland hardwood forests on the Refuge, squirrel hunting, with or without dogs is a popular activity. The George and Biscoe Tracts, located on the southwest end of the Refuge, maintain the largest contiguous tracts of bottomland hardwood forests on the Refuge and are great places to hunt squirrels. Rabbits, quail and woodcock are abundant in fields, edges of moist-soil impoundments, thickets, and in the numerous forest regeneration sites on the Refuge. Dogs can be used to hunt these animals. Dove and snipe distributions are spotty but can be found periodically in agriculture and warm season grass fields, young reforested sites, and unflooded moist-soil impoundments. State season dates and regulations apply for these two species except hunting must end at noon on the Refuge during the regular waterfowl season.

  • Furbearers

    Raccoon Hunting

    Furbearers are found in various types of Refuge habitats. Beaver, muskrat, nutria, and coyote in addition to armadillo can be harvested incidentally while hunting for other species in season. Trapping of furbearers is also permitted by REFUGE SPECIAL USE PERMIT (see annual public use regulations brochure for specific information).

  • Wild Turkey

    Wild Turkey

    While numbers are somewhat limited due to spotty habitat conditions and spring flooding that can drown out their nests, Eastern Wild Turkeys can be found primarily in larger tracts of bottomland hardwood forest on the Refuge. Turkey hunting is only open during the spring, and an AGFC special permit is required for areas north of Interstate 40, while state seasons dates applies on Refuge lands south of Interstate 40.

    Remember that this is your Refuge and please do your best to respect the resource by keeping it litter free, not cutting trees and rutting up roads. Please obey all regulations listed in the Refuge annual public use brochure in addition to those on Refuge signs.