There are numerous hunting options in the North Platte area. For more information on seasons and requirements go to for easy permitting go to Fortunately we have a wide variety of public lands in the area and many of them are open to hunters during the appropriate season.

Public Land Guidelines

North Platte and Lincoln County are blessed with a wide variety of public lands that contain a number of different ecosystems as you’d expect in a region with such a varied topography. Most of these lands are open to a variety of different recreational uses.

Guide to Wildlife Management Areas

Hunters and anglers pay the entire bill for the acquisition, development and maintenance of these areas through the purchase of hunting and fishing permits and Habitat Stamps and through excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.

Current, valid State Park Entry Permits may be required on your vehicle for access to these lands. To protect these areas and their many assets, there are certain rules that all must abide by. This is just a synopsis of the guidelines that apply to the public use of public lands. For answers to specific questions, please contact your local Game and Parks Commission office or conservation officer.

We hope your outing is an enjoyable one … but remember, the true nature enthusiast leaves nothing behind but footprints.


  • Camping is permitted unless otherwise posted or restricted by special area regulations. Camping is truly primitive, for generally there are no facilities on these areas.
  • Special permission is required for group camping on any state wildlife area by any type of group, such as Scouts, 4-H, civic clubs or other organizations. To obtain a “Special Occasion Permit,” contact the area manager, District Wildlife Manager or the Game and Parks Commission in Lincoln.

House Pets, Horses and Livestock

  • House pets (dogs, cats, etc.) are allowed when camping or on other outings, unless otherwise posted or prohibited by special area regulations. However, they must be kept on leash or otherwise physically restrained.
  • Horseback riding is permitted, except where posted otherwise.
  • Grazing or ranging domestic livestock or poultry is not permitted, except by written permission of the Game and Parks Commission.

Dog Training/Running

  • Wildlife areas are open to dog training, exercise, running and hunting (in season), except from May 1 through July 31 of each year. However, some areas may be posted as closed or special area regulations may apply. Professional dog trainers are prohibited from using these areas for training.
  • Where an area is posted as an “Authorized Dog Training Area,” training is permitted year-round. Lands posted as “Dog Trial Areas” are closed to dog training activities.

Fires and Fireworks

  • Open fires are permitted only in fireplaces, grills, or fire rings where provided by the Commission. Visitors may also use their personal gas/propane stoves, charcoal grills and the like. All other fires are prohibited.
  • The use of any kind of fireworks is unlawful at all times.

Swimming, Wading and Boating

  • Where swimming is permitted, all flotation devices are prohibited except for U.S. Coast Guard approved life preservers.
  • Wading is allowed when fishing, hunting or trapping, although some areas may be posted against wading due to hazardous conditions.
  • Boating is permitted as posted on each area or as specified in the current Nebraska Boating Guide.
  • Swimming is prohibited in waters on state wildlife areas, except where swimming facilities are specifically provided and the area is posted to allow swimming.

Motor Vehicles

  • All motorized vehicles are restricted to roadways, parking areas or trails specifically designated for vehicle use. No off-road vehicles are permitted.
  • Traffic signs are posted on some areas, but regardless of whether signed or not, all vehicles must be operated at a speed and manner that is reasonable and prudent under prevailing conditions.

Fishing, Hunting, Trapping and Target Shooting

State wildlife areas are open to fishing, hunting, and trapping, in season, except where closed (or restricted) by signing or special area regulations. Please check the current Hunting Guide or Fishing Guide for specific regulations. Target shooting is permitted on most areas, although there are a few where this activity is prohibited. They are posted with appropriate signs. Use caution when using these lands during a hunting season.

List of Public Lands and Lakes

Birdwood Lake

West South River Road, North Platte, NE 69101 BIRDWOOD WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 20 acres, from the North Platte exit 177 I-80 interchange, go ½ mile south, 3 ½ miles west, 1 mile north, then northwest across overpass. Species include channel catfish, largemouth and rock bass, bluegill, yellow perch, and rainbow trout in winter.

Box Elder Canyon

South Box Elder Canyon Road, Maxwell, NE BOX ELDER CANYON WMA – 3S, 2W of Maxwell; Dove Waterfowl; 26 acres

Brady Interchange

East Fuller Road, Brady, NE BRADY INTERCHANGE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 25 acres, at the Brady I-80 interchange, southeast quadrant. Species include bluegill, channel catfish, grass carp, crappie and largemouth bass.

Cedar Valley

Opal Springs Road, Wellfleet, NE CEDAR VALLEY WMA – 1¼ E of Wellfleet; Deer, Dove, Pheasant, Quail, Turkey; 880 acres. Foot traffic only.

Chester Island

East Ft. McPherson Road, Brady, NE CHESTER ISLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 94 acres in 4 pits, 2 miles south and ½ mile west of Brady. Species include bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.

East Hershey

West South River Road, North Platte, NE EAST HERSHEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 20 acres, from the North Platte exit 177 I-80 interchange, go ½ mile south, 7 ¾ miles west, 1 ½ miles north, northeast across overpass. Species include channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, rock and small mouth bass.

East Sutherland

Lamont Road, Hershey, NE EAST SUTHERLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 27 acres, from the Hershey I-80 interchange, go ¼ mile south, 3 miles west, ½ mile north, northeast across overpass. Species include northern pike, channel catfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth and rock bass and yellow perch.

Fremont Slough

Diversion Dam Road, North Platte, NE, United States FREMONT SLOUGH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 30 acres, from the North Platte exit 177 I-80 interchange, go 1 ½ mile south, 4 ¾ miles east, ¼ mile north, right turn across canal, ¼ mile north under overpass. Species include bluegill, channel catfish, carp and largemouth bass.


West Oregon Trail Road, Hershey, NE, United States HERSHEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 53 acres, Hershey I-80 interchange, southeast quadrant. Species include channel catfish, largemouth, rock and small mouth bass, yellow perch, northern pike, walleye and bluegill.

Muskrat Run

West Suburban Road, North Platte, NE, United States MUSKRAT RUN WMA – 4W, 2N, ½W of North Platte on U.S. 30; Deer, Dove, Quail, Rabbit, Squirrel, Turkey, Waterfowl; 224 acres, Nontoxic Shot. Target shooting prohibited.


40.916438, -100.787394 Areas open to public hunting are entirely separate from the hike-bike and horseback trails available on the NCORPE property. Both areas allow for general day use only (no camping) and activities associated with day use. Ex. wildlife viewing, picnicking, hiking, and photography. There is no hunting allowed on the trails system, but hiking is allowed on the hunting... View On Map

North River

North River Road, Hershey, NE NORTH RIVER WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (PLATTE RIVER) – 2 ½ miles north of Hershey. Species include carp, channel and flathead catfish. The area encompasses 2 miles of North Platte River. Hunting; Deer, Dove, Pheasant, Quail, Rabbit, Squirrel, Turkey, Waterfowl; 681 acres. Target shooting prohibited.

Pawnee Slough

West Maxwell Road, Maxwell, NE PAWNEE SLOUGH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 30 acres, 2 miles west of Maxwell. Species include bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, largemouth and rock bass.


Diversion Dam Road, North Platte, NE, United States PLATTE WMA – 6E of North Platte; Deer, Pheasant, Quail, Rabbit, Turkey, Waterfowl; 242 acres. Target shooting prohibited.

Sutherland Reservoir State Recreation Area

The Sutherland Reservoir is a 3,000-surface-acre lake located three miles south of the Interstate 80 Exit at Sutherland, Neb. NPPD owns and manages the Sutherland Reservoir, part of its hydropower system. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) oversees most of the recreation areas at the lake. A day or season pass is required for entry into NGPC areas. Primitive campsites... View On Map


South Effenbeck Road, Maxwell, NE WAPITI WMA – 12S of Maxwell on county road; Deer, Dove, Elk, Turkey; 1,920 acres. The Wapiti Wildlife Management Area is a gem for those wanting to “get away from it all” in a pristine and primitive environment. Located south of North Platte in the beautiful Cottonwood Canyon, this 1,920 acre parcel is rugged and...

Wellfleet Lake

Roanoke St., Wellfleet, NE WELLFLEET LAKE – 50 acres, ½ mile southwest of Wellfleet. Species include bluegill, channel and flathead catfish, crappie and largemouth bass. Primitive camping is available, and boats must use electric fishing motors only.

West Brady

East Island Road, Brady, NE WEST BRADY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 6 acres, from the Brady I-80 interchange, go ¾ mile north and 3 miles west across overpass. Species include bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth and small mouth bass.

West Gothenburg

Highway 30, Brady, NE WEST GOTHENBURG WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 15 acres, from Brady, go 3 ½ miles east on Hwy 30, ¼ mile south across tracks. Species include channel catfish, largemouth and rock bass and bluegill.

West Maxwell

North Platte, Government Road, Maxwell, NE, United States WEST MAXWELL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA – 7 acres, from the Maxwell I-80 interchange, go ¾ mile north, ¾ mile west and ½ mile south. Species include catfish, rock and largemouth bass, bluegill and grass carp.