Cape May National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region
24 Kimbles Beach Road
Cape May Court House, NJ
(609) 463-0994


Seasonal deer hunting and migratory game bird hunting are allowed in designated areas of the Refuge under State and Federal regulation. As well as following State regulations, see below for Refuge regulations. Please contact Refuge headquarters for additional information.

2013 / 2014 Hunting Regulations

The Cape May NWR is open for deer hunting, migratory game bird, turkey, rabbit and squirrel hunting only. Trapping is NOT permitted. Hunting is prohibited on the Two Mile Beach Unit (former Coast Guard Electronic Engineering Center). For additional information contact the Refuge.

Download the 2013 / 2014 Hunting Regulations (pdf - 148KB)

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In addition to State laws and regulations, the following Refuge specific regulations apply. Bullets in RED mark new regulations in effect as of January 21, 2010:

  • The distribution of bait and/or hunting over bait is prohibited.
  • Motorized and non-motorized vehicles are prohibited on refuge lands. This includes but is not limited to vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and bicycles
  • Sunday hunting is prohibited.
  • Anytime the State requires hunters to wear a minimum of 200 square inches of orange clothing, the Refuge requires hunters to wear in a conspicuous manner on head, chest, and back, a minimum of 400 square inches of solid-colored hunter orange clothing. This must consist of a vest and hat or a jacket and hat. Blaze-orange camouflage is not permitted.
  • All public entry is prohibited in areas designated with "Area Closed" signs and also on Refuge roadways posted with "Inholders Only" signs.
  • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.
  • The use of spotlights, automotive headlights, or other artificial light for the purpose of spotting, locating, or taking any animal is prohibited. This regulation applies even if no weapons are in the vehicle.
  • The use of wire, nails, screws, or bolts to attach a stand to a tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter is prohibited. Screw-in tree steps are also prohibited.
  • Permanent stands, blinds, or pit blinds are prohibited. The Service takes no responsibility in the loss or theft of stands/blinds left in the field.
  • Marking (this includes but is not limited to, the use of flagging, bright eyes, tacks, and paint), cutting and/or removal of trees or vegetation is prohibited.
  • The use or possession of any drug on any bow hunting arrow is prohibited. Archers may not have arrows employing such drugs in their possession on any national wildlife refuge.
  • Falconry is prohibited.
  • We prohibit dog training at all times.

Deer hunting:

The Refuge is open for all six State Deer Management Zone 34 seasons: fall bow, fall permit bow, winter permit bow, six-day firearm, permit shotgun, and permit muzzleloader.

  • You must remove all deer hunting stands, blinds and hunting materials at the end of the Zone 34 State deer hunting season. Tree stands should be marked with owner information (name, address, phone number)

Migratory game bird, rabbit and squirrel hunting:

  • We allow hunting of waterfowl, coot, moorhen, rail, common snipe, and woodcock.
  • Migratory game bird, rabbit and squirrel hunting is permitted only on those Refuge lands west of Highway 47 in Middle Township and north of Highway 550 through the Great Cedar Swamp in Upper and Dennis Townships.
  • The common snipe season on the refuge begins with the start of the State early woodcock south zone season and continues through the end of the State common snipe season.
  • Rabbit and squirrel hunting begins after the end of the state Six Day Firearm Season and will end at the end of the regular rabbit and squirrel season.
  • All waterfowl hunting blind materials, boats, and decoys must be removed from the Refuge at the end of each hunting day.
  • Only Federally approved, non-toxic shot is permitted for migratory bird hunting. -Crow hunting is prohibited.
  • We allow the use of retrieving and/or pointing dogs for migratory game birds; however, the dogs must be under the hunter's control at all times, and groups of three or more dogs per hunter are prohibited.
  • The use of dogs for rabbit and squirrel hunting is prohibited.
  • Hunters must remove all hunting stands, blinds, hunting materials, and decoys at the end of each hunting day.

Turkey hunting:

  • Turkey hunting is only permitted on refuge tracts within the Great Cedar Swamp Division north of County Route 550.
  • The use of dogs for turkey hunting is prohibited.
  • Hunters must remove all hunting stands, blinds, hunting materials, and decoys at the end of each hunting day.

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Last updated: November 7, 2013