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Visitor Activities

Visitors viewing wildlife - Karen Dever.
  • Hunting

    Hunters with their catch - USFWS.

    Bombay Hook provides deer, small game, wild turkey, and waterfowl hunting on the Refuge. The hunting program also benefits the habitat management objectives of the refuge, especially in controlling the deer population. High deer densities have been shown to alter the understory of forests and negatively affect neotropical migrant birds as well as small game populations. The refuge provides handicapped accessible deer stands and waterfowl blinds.

    Hunting is a compatible wildlife-dependent recreational use outlined in the Recreation Act of 1997 and is an appropriate use on a National Wildlife Refuge.

    Hunting on Bombay Hook NWR shall be in accordance with state, federal and refuge-specific regulations.

    Learn more about hunting on the refuge. 

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Refuge visitor looking through binoculars - Karen Dever.

    A 12-mile wildlife drive traverses a cornucopia of habitats, including freshwater man-made pools, salt marshes, mudflats, woodlands, and upland fields. The variety of habitats welcomes a variety of birds throughout the year. Spring migration includes waterfowl, wood warblers, and shorebirds. Summer residents include herons, egrets, avocets, black-necked stilts, and terns. Fall and winter months provide resting and wintering grounds for Canada geese, snow geese, and a variety of waterfowl. Birds of prey are seen all year long. Mammals, amphibians and reptiles, fish, and lush flora are prevalent from spring into late fall. Along the wildlife drive you can stop and walk 5 short walking trails, 3 of the trails feature 30 foot high observation towers. Two of the trails are handicapped accessible. Numbered stops along the route correspond to points of interest in an interpretive brochure.

    Learn more about birding on the refuge. 

  • Environmental Education

    Young child learning about wetlands - USFWS.

    Environmental education is a learning process that increases people's knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization).

    Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge offers hands on nature studies allowing students to experience several habitats on the refuge – from tidal salt marsh to freshwater impoundments, bayshore, upland fields, and forests. The hands on activities provide a way for students to connect with the natural environment, develop skills to understand complex environmental issues, and foster attitudes that help them appreciate the connection between, people, wildlife, and habitat.

    Teachers select from a variety of programs to meet the needs of the class’s curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to create and facilitate their own programs on the refuge with limited assistance from refuge personnel. Refuge personnel provide guidance on appropriate topics and methods that align with the mission and purpose of the refuge. For current programs, visit For Educators.

  • Interpretation

    Children learning - USFWS.

    National Wildlife Refuges across the country provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and staff-led programs help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge provides a variety of public programs throughout the year. Most programs and events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide a range of opportunities for individuals to learn about wildlife and habitat conservation.

    The Spring Bird Count is held the 2nd Saturday of May in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day and the Christmas Bird Count is scheduled in December.

    Muzzleloader Deer hunting is scheduled during National Wildlife Refuge Week in October.

    Volunteer Orientation is held the first Saturday in March and September.

    For current programs, visit the Events Calendar.

  • Photography

    A flock of birds in flight - Jamie Richie.

    Bombay Hook’s diverse habitat provides refuge for a variety of birds, mammals, insects, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Nature photography provides us an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the natural world around us. Photography teaches us to be still, be silent, be patient and ultimately to become engrossed in the challenge of capturing rare glimpses of nature's mysteries.

    Photographers can access Bombay Hook’s wildlife drive year round and most photograph from their car. Birds and other wildlife are accustomed to vehicles along the drive and are likely to stay where they are located. If a fast moving car approaches or if someone gets out of the car the animals are more likely to look for cover.

  • Fishing

    Impoundment on the refuge - USFWS.

    There is no public boat ramp or fishing from the wildlife drive.

    If a boat enters the refuge from the Delaware Bay, individuals can fish from their boat. They are not allowed to get onto land and the waterways are closed to commercial fishing.

Page Photo Credits — Visitors viewing wildlife - Karen Dever., Refuge visitor looking through binoculars - Karen Dever., A flock of birds in flight - Jamie Richie.
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2013
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