Laws and Regulations

The Refuge Road in autumn.

General Refuge Rules & Regulations

  • Abide by all posted signs. Signs may change seasonally to reflected updated closures and regulations.
  • No stopping or parking a vehicle on Refuge roads. Please use pullouts provided.
  • Refuge road access at night is for thru traffic only. All parking areas are closed after sunset.
  • No camping, night parking, campfires, or warming fires.
  • No drones.
  • No off-road or off-designated path travel.
  • No collecting or transporting any natural product, including shed antlers, from the Refuge.

Winter Wildlife Closure

From December 1 - April 30, a significant portion of roads on the National Elk Refuge close for wintering wildlife. This includes the Curtis Canyon and Flat Creek Roads. 

Are you a shed hunter? While no areas on the Refuge are open to antler collection, the public is allowed to access the adjacent National Forest areas to search for antlers between May 1 - November 30. Due to an overwhelming public interest in this activity, the Town of Jackson has strict guidance on how to participate. For more information, please visit this site.

Hunting Regulations

Please visit the hunting section of our website.

Fishing regulations

Please visit the fishing section of our website.

Other Federal Register Notices, Laws, Treaties, and Regulations

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d), enacted in 1940, and amended several times since, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from "taking" bald or golden eagles, including their parts (including feathers), nests, or eggs....

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712) implements four international conservation treaties that the U.S. entered into with Canada in 1916, Mexico in 1936, Japan in 1972, and Russia in 1976. It is intended to ensure the sustainability of populations of all protected migratory...

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) provides that the Service examine the environmental impacts, incorporate environmental information, and use public participation in the planning and implementation of all actions; integrate NEPA with other planning requirements; prepare NEPA...

An aerial view of pelican island.

The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act provides authority, guidelines and directives for the Service to improve the National Wildlife Refuge System; administers a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife and plant...

Spells out wildlife conservation as the fundamental mission of the Refuge System; requires comprehensive conservation planning to guide management of the Refuge System; directs the involvement of private citizens in land management decisions; and provides that compatible wildlife-dependent...