Facility Rules and Policies

An eastern pond hawk.

Welcome to your national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
. Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge provides a number of activities to enjoy nature throughout the year including hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and photography. The refuge does have areas that are closed year-round or seasonally to the public to provide important sanctuary areas for wildlife. To help protect and minimize disturbance to wildlife and its habitat, the refuge has other rules and regulations regarding activities on the refuge. To learn more about permitted activities, pick up a refuge brochure when visiting or call us at 712-388-4800 with any questions.

Refuge Hours:

Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge is open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset.

Refuge Access:

The main unit of Boyer Chute, which includes Boyer Island, is open year-round to permitted activities. The refuge has other units of the refuge that are open seasonally from April 15th – October 14th. Refer to maps on refuge kiosks or in brochure for details of these seasonal units.


Fishing is allowed year-round in the Missouri River and Boyer Chute. An Iowa or Nebraska Fishing license is required. State and Federal Regulations apply. Additional fishing regulations include:

  • Digging or seining for bait is prohibited
  • Trotlines, bank lines, set lines and float lines are prohibited
  • No more than two lines and two hooks per line may be used.
  • Archery and spearfishing are permitted for rough fish only
  • Collection and/or possession of frogs, toads, turtles, clams, and all other wildlife is prohibited.
Boating and Paddling:

All watercraft are prohibited in the chute. 

Wild turkeys.

Hunting opportunities at Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge are available on a regulated basis. Deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl hunting opportunities are available yearly. All hunting occurs at Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge within the state seasons, follows the regulations of the state and special Boyer Chute Refuge regulations. In addition to state hunting permits, all hunters are required to read, sign and possess the Refuge Hunting Regulations and Permit Brochure.  A complete list of the hunting regulations along with season dates is found in the annual refuge hunt brochure. An overview of hunt opportunities at Boyer Chute include:

Turkey Hunting:

  • Spring and Fall Archery Turkey Hunting: Archery hunters can hunt within our public archery hunt areas in accordance with state seasons.
White-tailed deer doe with fawns.

Deer Hunting:

  • Archery Deer Hunting: Archery deer hunting is permitted each year within the public archery hunt area on the refuge in accordance with state season. Hunters must possess the refuge hunt brochure and valid state deer permits/license.
  • Antlerless Muzzleloader Hunts: Dates determined each year – the refuge hosts a week-long antlerless only muzzleloader hunt. This managed hunt is antlerless only and requires either a Statewide Muzzleloader Permit or Season Choice Wahoo Unit permit along with the refuge hunt brochure. Season dates are set each year prior to the hunt season.

Waterfowl Hunting:

  • Waterfowl hunting is permitted along refuge land in the immediate shoreline of the Missouri River, up to and including the high bank. Check with refuge for map of waterfowl hunting area and refuge-specific regulations.

General Hunt Information:

Refuge Hunting Permit:

  • All hunters must possess a Refuge hunting permit. This brochure, when signed and in your possession, serves as a permit for all refuge lands.

State Regulations:  

  • All state regulations apply including hunting methods, license, tagging, and reporting requirements. Additional Refuge-Specific regulations are outlined in this brochure and in Title 50 CFR. All commercial activities, including guided hunts, are prohibited. 

Refuge Hours: 

  • Two hours before sunrise and two hours after sunset. Contact refuge law enforcement to remain after closing hours to retrieve or track wounded game.  

Archery Seasons: 

  • Boyer Chute is open to archery deer and archery fall and spring turkey seasons. Season dates and legal archery equipment align with Nebraska State Regulations. See map in hunt brochure for archery zone areas.  

Archery Safety Zone on Trails: 

  • Boyer Island will remain open to other public uses during overlapping archery seasons. Archery hunters must be 50 yards clear of public trails when hunting.  

Stands, Blinds, & Other Properties:  

Only portable stands and blinds may be placed on the refuge during applicable hunting season. Trail cameras are not allowed.  

  • We allow two portable tree stands/blinds per hunter within the Archery hunt area. Of those, only on stand/blind can be left on refuge from one week prior to the start of the designated hunt season to one week after the end of the designated hunt season.
  • Hunters must remove all stands, blinds, and other property by one week after the close of the designated season.
  • Unattended stands and blinds must be plainly labeled with full name and/or hunting license number of the owner. Labels must be visible from the ground.
  • Spikes, nails, screw-in bow holders, and any items that penetrate the outer bark of a tree are prohibited.
  • Cutting or altering of tree branches or any vegetation is prohibited.
  • During any deer firearm season, ground blinds must display a 12 inch by 12 inch patch of solid blaze orange material visible in all directions.
  • Stands and blinds not in full compliance with these regulations are subject to removal.


  • The use of two-way mobile radio transmitters to communicate location of game or coordinates movement of hunters is prohibited. 


  • Possession or use of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited. 


  • Only legal hunters holding the proper state hunting license may enter and hunt the refuge hunting areas. Unlicensed companions are not permitted in the hunting area when not open to the general public.  

Deer Drives:  

  • Participation in organized deer drives is prohibited. 


  • You may not field dress any game within 100 feet of the centerline of any refuge road or parking lot. You may not dispose of an animal carcasses on refuge property. All ribbon & flagging must be removed by the end of the hunt season.  

Waterfowl Hunting: 

  • Waterfowl hunting is permitted along the Missouri River boundary of the refuge and within the backwaters to the high bank of the Boyer Island Unit. Contact refuge office for map and more information on waterfowl hunting regulations – 712-388-4803. 

Blaze Orange:  

  • All hunters (including archery) must display blaze orange that meets their respective states firearms season requirements during any DEER season in which firearms are allowed on the refuge (See refuge hunt brochure). 

Muzzleloader Deer Hunt – ANTLERLESS ONLY SEASON: See Refuge Hunt Brochure. 

  1. To access the hunt area, hunters must possess:
    • a. Nebraska Season Choice- Wahoo Unit OR Statewide Muzzleloader Permit.
    • b. Nebraska Habitat Stamp
    • c. Boyer Chute Hunt Access Permit (this permit)
  2. Only antlerless deer may be harvested with muzzleloader. Hunters may fill as many valid state tags as they possess.
  3. Hunters must follow all state and federal deer hunting regulations for the permit they hold, this includes: hours, hunting methods, tagging requirements, and permit requirements.
  4. Entry into the hunting areas is only allowed during these dates for the muzzleloader hunt. Archery hunters can still hunt within the archery zones.
  5. Legal Weapons: All weapons and scopes allowed under the state requirements of a muzzleloader may be used.
  6. Only legal hunters may enter and hunt during this time. No companions, unless required, such as a youth hunter.

Printable Hunt Brochure

Mushroom Gathering:

Mushroom gathering for personal consumption only is permitted in the open public use areas of the refuge. Boyer Island is open year-round but other units of the refuge open to public access (including mushroom gathering) from April 15 – October 14. See refuge brochure for map of open areas.

Additional Regulations:
  • Open fires are prohibited. 
  • Camping is not permitted on the refuge.
  • The use of artificial lights to take or locate wildlife is prohibited,
  • Disorderly conduct or disturbance of the peace is prohibited.
  • Illegal substances: Use or possession of alcohol by minors is prohibited. Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited.
  • Unauthorized use of firearms, fireworks, airguns and all other weapons are prohibited.
  • Dogs are permitted only under physical restrictive control of a leash at all times. Leashes may not exceed 6 feet in length.
  • Horseback riding is prohibited on the refuge.
  • Swimming is not allowed on the refuge.
  • Trespassing into closed areas is prohibited.
  • Collecting or destruction of plant and animal life is prohibited. Collecting shed antlers is prohibited. Searching for or removing artifacts or objects of antiquity is prohibited.
  • Use of motorized All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles, etc.) is prohibited at all times.
  • Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property is prohibited. All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day. The exception is approved hunting blinds/stands during the designated dates for refuge hunt seasons (refer to refuge hunting brochure).
  • Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the refuge is prohibited. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.