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White River National Wildlife Refuge boardwalk was built at 30 feet flood stage. Today, the flood stage is at 34 feet. Photo by USFWS.

Flooding closes all deer hunting on White River National Wildlife Refuge

White River National Wildlife Refuge and all out-tracks are closed to deer hunting due to an unprecedented early flood season. All refuge lands are closed to deer hunting to ensure hunter safety and protect the deer resource for the future.

Unfortunately, the current and projected flood levels will keep the refuge closed for deer archery hunting and prevent the scheduled modern gun youth hunt on November 7-8, 2009 and the modern gun quota hunts on both units (North and South) November 14-16th, 2009.

Modern Gun deer permits are nonrefundable as the funds collected have already been spent on quota hunt application process and overall hunt administration costs. The permits are also not renewable for next year’s hunt as this would be unfair to the 1,400 applicants not selected for this year’s quota hunts.

The North Unit of the refuge closed to deer hunting when the White River reached 23 feet at St. Charles and will not reopen until the level falls below 21 feet. The river at Saint Charles is currently at 26 feet and rising and projected to remain above 21 feet throughout the fall season.

The South Unit closed to all deer hunting when the White River gauge at St. Charles reached 23 feet and the tailwater gauge reading at Norrel Lock and Dam #1 reached 145 feet simultaneously and will not reopen until the gauge reaches 21 and 143 feet.

Up-to-date flood related deer season closure information is also available on the refuge’s automated phone message system at (870) 282-8200 ext 3. All refuge roads and campgrounds are closed at this time.


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