Hunting and Trapping

Hunting and trapping is permitted within the Missouri National Recreational River within the Bow Creek and Goat Island Recreation Areas in accordance with the site-specific conditions/regulations outlined below, as publicized in cooperation with each state (NE and SD) as applicable. In general, hunters and trappers need to be familiar with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks state regulations, whereas those hunting at Bow Creek Recreation Area only need to be familiar with Nebraska state regulations. See below for the site-specific regulations which hunters and trappers need to be aware of.

 

Bow Creek Recreation Area

The Bow Creek Recreation Area is open to public hunting and fishing. The following regulations were developed to ensure equal access for all visitors, provide a safe environment for recreation, and protect resources for present and future generations to enjoy. Please be aware of the following National Park Service regulations:

  • Upland game, turkey, deer and waterfowl are permitted to hunt in accordance with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regulations and seasons.
  • Trapping is prohibited.
  • Permanent decoys are not allowed. All decoys must be removed daily.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all shotgun hunting.
  • Off shore fishing is allowed from the Bow Creek Recreation Area and Bow Creek. A valid state fishing license or permit from Nebraska is required for all anglers and the laws and regulations of the state of license apply.
  • The hunting seasons are the same as listed for the state of license, with the exception of no hunting at the Bow Creek Recreation Area from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • No hunting or trapping is permitted at the Bow Creek Recreation Area within 100 yards of developed facilities including designated primitive camping areas.
  • Stands and/or Elevated Platforms are allowed, but must not be permanently mounted (no nails or screws) to trees and not allowed within 100 yards of developed facilities (camping areas). Hunters can utilize no more than two stands or elevated platforms per hunter and can remain in place for the duration of the season. Stands or platforms can be erected one week before the season starts and must be removed by the last day of the season. Stands and platforms must be labeled with the owner’s contact information, including name, address, and telephone number.
  • Portable or mobile blinds are allowed, but must be removed daily. Blinds must be labeled with the owner’s contact information, including name, address, and telephone number.
  • All hunters and users of the area are encouraged to pack out all hunting debris, such as spent shell casings or other personal trash. The Missouri National Recreational River practices “Leave No Trace” and best practices for waste management and disposal for both human and hunting waste.
  • The following tools, devices, or techniques are not allowed at Bow Creek Recreation Area: feeders, bait stations, artificial light, amplified or recorded calls, drones, transmitting information regarding the location of game, running and/or game drives.
  • All hunters are required to provide harvest information to the park including dates hunted, species harvested, and other information as supplied by the National Park Service. The information you provide will help in the management of the resource. Please send this data by email to e-mail us or mail to: National Park Service, Science and Resources Management, 508 East Second Street, Yankton, SD 57078.
 

Goat Island Recreation Area

Goat Island Recreation Area is open to public hunting, trapping, and fishing. The following regulations, going into effect at the beginning of year 2020, for hunting and trapping were developed in cooperation with the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to ensure equal access for all visitors, provide a safe environment for recreation, and protect resources for present and future generations to enjoy. Please be aware of the following National Park Service site-specific regulations:

  • Archery only deer and archery only turkey hunting are permitted.

  • Trapping is permitted in accordance to Nebraska and South Dakota state laws and regulations.

  • Waterfowl hunting is open only to firearm use per the laws and regulations of the Nebraska or South Dakota state hunting license.

  • Permanent decoys are not allowed. All decoys must be removed daily.

  • Fishing is allowed from Goat Island and in the waters surrounding the island. A valid state fishing license or permit from the states of Nebraska or South Dakota is required for all anglers and the laws and regulations of the state of license apply.

  • Small game hunting is not allowed on Goat Island.

  • Anyone hunting or trapping on Goat Island must have a valid Nebraska or South Dakota license/permit, applicable to the species and location.

  • The hunting and trapping seasons are the same as listed for the state of license, with the exception of no hunting or trapping on Goat Island from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

  • No hunting or trapping is permitted on Goat Island within 100 yards of developed island facilities including designated camping areas or toilets.

  • Stands and/or Elevated Platforms are allowed for deer and turkey archery hunting only. They must not be permanently mounted (no nails or screws) to trees and not allowed within 100 yards of developed facilities (camping areas or toilets). Hunters can utilize no more than two stands or elevated platforms per hunter and can remain in place for the duration of the season. Stands or platforms can be erected one week before the season starts and must be removed by the last day of the season. Stands and platforms must be labeled with the owner’s contact information, including name, address, and telephone number.

  • Portable or mobile blinds are allowed to be set up on the island or on a sandbar attached to the island; all blinds must be removed daily. Blinds must be labeled with the owner’s contact information, including name, address, and telephone number.

  • All hunters and trappers are encouraged to pack out all hunting debris, such as spent shell casings or other personal trash. The Missouri National Recreational River practices “Leave No Trace” and best practices for waste management and disposal for both human and hunting waste.

  • The following tools, devices, or techniques are not allowed on Goat Island: feeders, bait stations, artificial light, amplified or recorded calls, drones, transmitting information regarding the location of game, running and/or game drives.

  • Deer and turkey hunters and all trappers are required to provide harvest information to the park including dates hunted, species harvested, and other information as supplied by the National Park Service. The information you provide will help in the management of the resource. Please send this data by email to e-mail us or mail to: National Park Service, Science and Resources Management, 508 East Second Street, Yankton, SD 57078.

 

Areas Closed to Hunting and Trapping

  • Hunting and trapping are not allowed at Green Island Recreation Area and Mulberry Bend Overlook.


Hunting in a National Park unit is a unique visitor experience, but also a tradition that has been passed down through the generations as a way to enjoy the outdoors and nature. Discover other national parks that allow hunting.

For additional hunting information and state regulations please visit the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks websites. For any questions concerning hunting within the Missouri National Recreational River, please contact the National Park Service Yankton, SD office by calling 605-665-0209 or by email.



Last updated: December 3, 2019

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Mailing Address:

508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, SD 57078

Phone:

(605) 665-0209

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