Hunting

Crescent Lake Hunter

Hunting Regulations 

Nebraska Game and Parks has changed deer checks to tele-check for archery, muzzleloader and January rifle. We would still like information from the deer harvested during these seasons. We ask that hunters bring deer by Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)  Headquarters, if someone is there we can take species, sex and age information and collect lymph nodes for CWD testing when possible.


Migratory Birds:

Hunting of ducks, geese and American Coots is permitted on the portions of the Refuge lying east of the Closed Area and west of the proposed Wilderness Area in accordance with State and Federal regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • The Refuge is open to the general public from sunrise to sunset. However, hunters may enter the designated hunting area 2-hours before official sunrise and must be back to their vehicle in the process of leaving the Refuge 2-hours after official sunset. Official shooting hours are established in accordance with State regulations. 
  • Only dogs used to locate, point, and retrieve upland/small game and migratory birds are allowed on the Refuge unleashed while hunting. 
  • The Refuge is open to hunting from September 1 through January 31 in accordance with State regulations. 
  • No hunting of any kind is allowed from February 1 through August 31.
  • Decoys are allowed but must be removed at the end of each day.
  • Vehicles are restricted to roads that are open to the public. Hunters may not take vehicles off of approved roads to set up blinds, decoys or to retrieve game or for any other purposes other than emergencies. Parking is allowed within one vehicle length of the road. 
  • Publicly organized hunts are prohibited unless authorized by the Refuge Manager.
  • Only temporary blinds and stands are allowed and must be removed at the end of each day.
  • Floating blinds are allowed on Island Lake only. All boats (including floating devices of any kind) are prohibited on all other Refuge lakes.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting on the Refuge.

Upland Game/Small Game/Furbearer:

With the exception of the Closed Area, the entire Refuge is open to hunting cottontail rabbit, jack rabbit, furbearers, Coyote, Ring-necked Pheasant, and prairie grouse in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • The Refuge is open to the general public from sunrise to sunset. However, hunters may enter the designated hunting area 2-hours before official sunrise and must be back to their vehicle in the process of leaving the Refuge 2-hours after official sunset. Official shooting hours are established in accordance with State regulations.
  • Only dogs used to locate, point, and retrieve upland/small game and migratory birds are allowed on the Refuge unleashed while hunting.
  • The Refuge is open to hunting from September 1 through January 31 in accordance with State regulations. 
  • No hunting of any kind is allowed from February 1 through August 31.
  • Decoys are allowed but must be removed at the end of each day.
  • Vehicles are restricted to roads that are open to the public. Hunters may not take vehicles off of approved roads to set up blinds, decoys or to retrieve game or for any other purposes other than emergencies. Parking is allowed within one vehicle length of the road. 
  • Publicly organized hunts are prohibited unless authorized by the Refuge Manager.
  • Baiting is prohibited. Electronic calls are allowed for coyote and furbearer hunting.
  • Coyotes and all furbearers or their parts, if left in the field must be left out of view of the public. Otherwise they must be removed from the Refuge and properly disposed of. 
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting on the Refuge. 

Big Game Hunting:

With the exception of the Closed Area, the entire Refuge is open to hunting (firearms, muzzleloader and archery) White-tailed and Mule Deer in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • The Refuge is open to the general public from sunrise to sunset. However, hunters may enter the designated hunting area 2-hours before official sunrise and must be back to their vehicle in the process of leaving the Refuge 2-hours after official sunset. Official shooting hours are established in accordance with State regulations.
  • Vehicles are restricted to roads that are open to the public. Hunters may not take vehicles off of approved roads to set up blinds, decoys or to retrieve game or for any other purposes other than emergencies. Parking is allowed within one vehicle length of the road. 
  • Publicly organized hunts are prohibited unless authorized by the Refuge Manager.
  • Only temporary blinds and stands are allowed and must be removed at the end of each day.
  • Tree stands that cause damage to the tree by penetrating into the bark and tree climbing spikes or screw in steps that penetrate beyond the outer bark of a tree are prohibited. 
  • Decoys are allowed but must be removed at the end of each day.