Rules and Regulations

Kirwin NWR Kiosk New Regulations Website Small

Regulations for Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge changed in 2008, current brochures are available at all Kiosk's and the Office Visitor Center.

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge.  Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity.  Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself.  There are plenty of activities at Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge for you to enjoy.  Be safe and have fun!  

The following rules and regulations are necessary for the protection of visitors, and wildlife and their habitats. Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge is subject to Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. The Refuge is patrolled by Federal Law Enforcement Officers, State Game Wardens, and County Deputies. All violations of Refuge regulations are subject to a fine, arrest, or both.  



  • Kirwin NWR is open to sport fishing in accordance with Kansas State Fishing Regulations, unless signs or buoys indicate otherwise. 
  • Boating between October 1 and April 1 is prohibited during low water levels (below 1722 ft. elevation, conservation pool), except for south of Scout Cove. Boats may be launched at Scout Cove during this period. 
  • A no wake zone is in effect within 300 feet of all shorelines and islands, as well as on the Bow Creek arm. 
  • The Solomon River arm is closed to all motorized boats. Motorless boats and float tubes are allowed on the Solomon River from August 1 through September 30. 
  • Boats must be equipped and operated in accordance with Kansas Boat and Water Safety Laws and appropriate Federal regulations. 
  • Disposing of fish cleanings on the Refuge or in the reservoir is littering. A fish cleaning station is located on the square in the city of Kirwin. 
  • All hunters must possess a valid Kansas hunting license and all the necessary stamps and/or permits as required by Federal and State laws. 
  • Archery deer hunters are required to obtain and carry a Refuge Access Permit on the Refuge. Permits are available at the visitor center.  


  • All hunters must possess a valid Kansas hunting license and all the necessary stamps and/or permits as required by Federal and State laws.  
  • Archery deer hunters are required to obtain and carry a Refuge Access Permit on the Refuge. Permits are available at the visitor center.    
  • Not all hunting areas are open for all species, so be sure that you hunt in the proper area. Areas open for hunting are outlined on the map. If you are unsure, contact the Refuge visitor center staff for assistance. 
  • Hunting regulations generally follow statewide regulations including seasons and bag limits established by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Regulations specific to the Refuge are as follows:  

 Species, Shot, Firearms, and Shell Limits     

  • The only species that can be hunted on designated areas of the Refuge are: waterfowl, doves, pheasants, quail, turkey, prairie chickens, snipe, coots, cottontail rabbits, fox squirrels, and deer (archery only). Hunting of cottontail rabbits and fox squirrels is allowed only during pheasant season. Hunting of other wildlife, such as sandhill cranes, is prohibited.   
  • Rifles and handguns are prohibited. 
  • Discharge of a firearm for any reason other than the legal taking of game animals is prohibited.  
  • Federally approved non-toxic shot must be used for shotgun hunting, including turkeys.  
  • ALL hunters in the area from Quillback Cove to Prairie Dog Town are restricted to possession of a daily maximum of six (6) shotgun shells.  

Portable Tree Stands and Hunting Blinds    

  • Portable tree stands and hunting blinds are permitted. They may be installed no more than seven (7) days prior to the season and must  
  • be removed no later than two (2) days after the season. The use of nails, wire, screws, or bolts to attacha stand to a tree or hunting from  
  • a tree into which a metal object has been driven is prohibited on the Refuge. The construction or use of any permanent stand or blind is prohibited.  
  • All portable tree stands and blinds erected on Kirwin Refuge must have the name, address, and phone number of the owner permanently affixed to the tree stand or blind. Portable tree stands and blinds without owner information will be considered abandoned property and will be immediately removed.  
  • Natural vegetation may be used to construct a temporary blind. However, the digging or use of holes or pits is prohibited.  
  • Baiting and trail cameras are prohibited.  
  • Retrieving game from a NO HUNTING ZONE or from an area that is not open to the hunting of that species is prohibited. Regulate your hunting to ensure that game does not fall into an area where it cannot be retrieved.  

 Alcohol and Other Controlled Substances    

  • Possession, distribution, and/or consumption of a controlled substance, including, but not limited to, marijuana on Kirwin NWR is prohibited by Federal law. Kirwin NWR prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia, including any instrument that facilitates the consumption of a controlled substance.  
  • Kirwin NWR also prohibits the possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21 on the Refuge. Providing alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21 is also prohibited on the Refuge.  
  • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited. Hunters may not possess alcoholic beverages in their motor vehicles while hunting on Kirwin NWR.  

 Motor Vehicles   

  • Federal and State traffic laws apply to all motor vehicles. Federal and State speeding and drunk driving laws are enforced. The  speed limit on the Refuge is 25 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. Drunk driving on Kirwin NWR is a violation of Federal law which may result in fine, arrest, or both.   
  • We prohibit the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATV's), off-highway vehicles (OHV's), non-highway vehicles (NHV's), and snowmobiles on the Refuge.  
  • Driving off-road is prohibited. 

Other Prohibited Activities  

To minimize disturbance to wildlife and to comply with Federal laws, policies, and regulations, these activities are also prohibited on the Refuge.  

  • Camping 
  • Fires 
  • Water skiing 
  • Personal watercraft (jet skis) 
  • Speed boating 
  • Swimming 
  • Collecting plants, animals (including antlers), or historical artifacts  
  • Fireworks  
  • Dogs and other pets must be on a leash or under the owner's immediate control. Free roaming pets are prohibited.  
  • Littering 
  • Disorderly conduct 
  • Intoxication 
  • Commercial use (including guiding)