Rules and Regulations

At Refuges, Wildlife Rules 

National Wildlife Refuges are places where wildlife comes first. Although people are welcome, activities are regulated and monitored to ensure that impacts are minimal to the plants and animals that call the refuge “home”. Below is a list of rules and regulations for Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer.

Refuge Hours 

Visitors are welcome to visit the refuge during daylight hours only. Refuge headquarters is open from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, and is closed on all Federal holidays.


Restroom facilities are located at the refuge headquarters office.


Hiking is permitted in certain areas of the refuge. Discover where...


Areas within refuge boundaries may be closed to public entry due to sensitive species or restoration activities. Be aware of signs indicating closed areas. The Center Road is closed to all public entry from October through May, including foot travel, to minimize impact on wildlife. Most of the refuge is open to foot traffic only - pay special attention at gates and other points of entry to determine if the area is open.


No dogs are allowed on the refuge, except dogs engaged in authorized hunting activities.

Bicycles, Motorcycles and Motor Vehicles 

Motor vehicles, motocycles and bicycles are permitted to travel on Steamboat Slough and Brooks Slough Roads and adjacent parking areas, the headquarters road to the refuge office, and the wildlife viewing site off State Highway 4. All other areas of the refuge are closed to mechanized traffic.


Camping is not allowed on the refuge.


Fires are prohibited.


Hunting of waterfowl, coot, and snipe is permitted on designated areas of the refuge. All state regulations apply to hunting on the refuge. Note that the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge has lands in both Washington and Oregon. Learn more about specific refuge regulations…


Bank fishing is permitted from the Mainland Unit shorelines ajoining Elochoman and Columbia Rivers as well as Steamboat and Brooks Sloughs, and the shorelines of Refuge islands located in Oregon, in accordance with State fishing regulations. Bank Fishing is permitted in the pond adjacent to the Diking District pumping station by Brooks Slough. Areas of the mainland Unit not listed above are closed to fishing. All state regulations apply.   

Collecting of Natural or Cultural Objects is Prohibited 

Collecting and removing archeological or historic objects is prohibited, as well as removing any natural material such as plants, mushrooms, berries, and antler sheds.

ATVs and Horses are prohibited on the refuge. 

In case of an emergency, call 911.