Hunting Regulations and Information
for the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge

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Permits at the Sacramento River NWR:

  • No recreation fees
  • No hunter check stations
  • No hunter quotas 

Regulations at Sacramento River NWR:

All Units Are Different! - Each Unit has different regulations and boundaries. Please consult the INDIVIDUAL UNIT BROCHURES to be familiar with hunting boundaries and regulations.  To see which units you might be interested in, look at the General Hunting Access Map for the Sacramento River NWR.

GENERAL REGULATIONS (remember, all units are different, see above link to unit maps/regulations):

  • Hours - The units are day use only, open 2 hours before legal sunrise to 1-1/2 hours after legal sunset. Only gravel bar access is allowed at other hours.
  • Foot/Boat Access - Seven Units have foot access through parking areas. 
    • Four of these units can be accessed for hunting via the parking area (Capay, Sul Norte, Drumheller, and Drumheller North). Most units must be accessed by boat for hunting.
    • Bogg's Bend has foot access through a parking area on adjacent California Department of Fish and Wildlife property.
  • Hunting - Hunting is allowed only in designated areas for authorized species from August 15 to May 31.
  • Dogs - dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash except for authorized hunting activities under the immediate control of a licensed hunter. Dogs are no longer permitted to be used while deer hunting on the Sacramento River NWR.
  • Camping - Camping is allowed only on gravel bars for up to 7 days during a 30 day period. Camping is prohibited on other refuge lands. No overnight stay in parking lots.
  • Littering - Be a land steward and take out what you bring in. It is unlawful to litter!
  • Bicycles are permitted on Rio Vista, Pine Creek, Capay, Sul Norte, Packer, and Drumheller between May 15 through August 15 on designated trails. Visit the Bicycles info page for more information.
  • Firearms - Rifles and pistols are prohibited. Shotguns and archery equipment allowed during hunting season, in hunting areas only. Firearms are not allowed in the parking areas of the Rio Vista and Pine Creek Units - hunting access is only by boat. Target shooting is not permitted. No crossbows.
  • Ammunition - Lead ammunition is not permitted. Learn more about non-lead ammunition in California on CDFW's website (look under Frequently-Asked Questions).
  • Fires - Fires are prohibited except for portable gas stoves on gravel bars.
  • Horses - Horses are prohibited.
  • Motorized Vehicles - Motorized vehicles are prohibited. Mobility impaired hunters should consult refuge manager for allowed conveyances.
  • Flooding - Units are prone to flooding. Some county roads may close during flooding events. Do not go through closed areas to access the refuge. "Road closed" means the road is closed!

Be Safe!

Exercise caution at all times! Pond and river bottoms can make wading hazardous. Be familiar with the Sacramento River's banks and underwater hazards. Be aware of the locations of nearby hunters and visitors when shooting.

This is a natural and wild area, be alert! You may encounter ticks, mosquitoes, wasps, yellow-jackets, bees, poison oak, stinging nettle, poison hemlock, rattle snakes, feral pigs, and mountain lions.

Mountain lions have been sighted on Sacramento River NWR. Immediately report all encounters or attacks by calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) 24-hour dispatch center (916) 445-0045 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Sacramento NWR Complex at (530) 934-2801.