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Refuge Hunting Opportunities

A wide range of hunting opportunities await the outdoor sports-person who ventures into the woods and fields of Patuxent Research Refuge.

Hunting for upland game, migratory game birds, and white-tailed deer (bow, muzzleloader and shotgun) is managed by refuge officials and the Meade Natural Heritage Association (MNHA) through a permit system. MNHA is a cooperating association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Hunting is permitted from September through January and on selective days in April and May during the Spring Wild Turkey Hunt. Hunters are required to follow the Patuxent Research Refuge Hunting Regulations which are based on Maryland state hunting seasons. See Refuge Hunting Regulations for the 2013-14 season (PDF file - 380 KBytes). Also see the Refuge Hunting Calendar by date (PDF file - 65 Kbytes).  
Hunting maps are available at the Hunting Control Station or by the following links: NT Hunting Map (PDF file - 490 KBytes), ST Hunting Map (PDF file - 333 KBytes), CT Schafer Farm Hunting Map (PDF file - 320 KBytes).

Lotteries are held for turkey hunts and for additional limited deer hunting.
Deer Hunt Lottery: The Central Tract Deer Lottery Hunts will be Nov. 9 and Dec. 14, 2013.   Hunters must sign up for the deer lottery hunts two weeks prior to the hunts.
Turkey Hunt Lottery:The Spring Wild Turkey Lottery Hunts will be April 12 through May 19, 2014 on designated days.   Turkey hunters must sign up by Jan. 31.
Lottery application forms are available at the Refuge North Tract Hunting Control Station (Mon. – Sat. through Jan. 31, 2014). Deer/Turkey Lottery Application is here. 
Lottery hunting maps are available at the Hunting Control Station or by the following links: CT Deer Lottery Hunting Map (PDF file - 280 file) and NT Turkey Hunting Map (PDF file - 860 KBytes).  

The varied hunting opportunities at Patuxent Research Refuge are due to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and MNHA efforts to effectively manage refuge wildlife resources. Close cooperation in this partnership has established a model program for other refuges.

By using a daily sign-in system, weapon qualifications for deer hunters, hunter density limits in each hunting area, refuge officials and MNHA strive to provide safe, quality opportunities for the outdoor sports-person.

Hunting activities are managed by the MNHA Hunting Control Station (HCS) on Bald Eagle Drive. Permit sales, daily sign-in and harvest recording (deer checking) are performed at the HCS.

MNHA begins refuge permit sales in August each year and continues through January 31. Permit purchasers need a current Maryland hunting license, hunter safety course card (from any state), a check or money order for $50, and they must complete the Refuge Hunt Application (PRR Hunt Form #1) and the Warning/Hunter Ethics waiver (PRR Hunt Form #2) to receive a hunting permit.

HOW MNHA MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
OUTDOOR SPORTING ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

The Meade Natural Heritage Association is an incorporated, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the purposes of wildlife conservation, management, and to promote and support outdoor sporting activities at Patuxent Research Refuge. As part of this program MNHA manages hunting activities on the refuge, with the distinction of having one of the largest federal public-use hunting programs in the United States in regard to season length and number of hunters. MNHA's membership is active throughout the year in support of these activities.

Through a wide variety of activities and services, MNHA offers benefits to its members, refuge hunters, the refuge, and our wildlife.

Most importantly, MNHA offers the opportunity to GET INVOLVED. Habitat restoration, refuge clean ups and other organized projects allow sports enthusiasts to give back for the improvement of the refuge and the hunting program. As a volunteer organization, MNHA depends on the contributions of its members.

MNHA membership benefits include:

  • Quarterly MNHA newsletter - detailing Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract hunting information and MNHA activities.
  • MNHA range days (March - December)- maintain firearms proficiency throughout the year.
  • MNHA membership card - enjoy discounts on sporting goods merchandise at some local area retailers.
  • Voting status - Be a voice in determining your organization and your hunter program.

Membership is just $10 per year. To join, stop by the Patuxent Research Refuge Hunting Control Station or North Tract Visitor Contact Station to pick up a MNHA brochure. The Hunting Control Station is located on Bald Eagle Drive, approximately 1/4 mile from the Rt. 198 entrance to North Tract.

Become part of the organization dedicated to ethical hunting and the Patuxent Research Refuge wildlife they enjoy...join MNHA today.

MNHA Telephone Numbers

Hunting Control Station: 301-317-3819
MNHA Information Line: 301-317-3825


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