Waterfowl Hunting


"Grand ideas can be born in duck blinds, for many of America's leading conservationists found both inspiration and motivation from what they saw and felt as they awaited encounters with wildfowl. Leopold's 'land ethic,' Darling's determination and Teddy Roosevelt's vision likely owe their genesis to the same wetland cathedrals..."

~Chris Dorsey, Wildfowler's Season

There is a new waterfowl lottery application process; please see below. The refuge is reviewing our hunt program and some information on this site is subject to change. Please check back periodically to make sure you are in compliance with the most recent rules and regulations. 

A permit is required to hunt waterfowl on the refuge. We currently offer waterfowl hunting from opening day until the conclusion of the first split of New York State's waterfowl season. The refuge is not open to waterfowl hunting during the State's nuisance goose season in September.

  • The Waterfowl Hunting Fact Sheet provides rules, regulations, and general hunting information for the refuge. 
  • Waterfowl Lottery Applications are now online! To apply, please go to our RecAccess page.
  • 2018 Waterfowl Hunt Stands As the season approaches and habitat conditions change, we will try to provide more information regarding how many, and which stands will be open. Please use the past year's map as a general reference for the upcoming hunt year. 
  • The refuge also offers a Youth Waterfowler's Program 

A new online lottery system will be put into place in 2019. We will update this page once this system is in place. The application process opens on August 15 and runs until September 15. 

Hunters with disabilities

  • To enter the reserved hunt days lottery for the handicap blind. Complete the Waterfowl Lottery Application. List your two dates in order of preference, and write "Handicap Blind" at the top of your application. A separate lottery will be conducted for the handicap blind, individuals who are selected will be notified prior to the hunt date. 
  • To be eligible for the handicap hunting blind on all other hunt days, those with a permanent disability must call the Refuge Headquarters by noon the day before they wish to have access to the blind. A lottery will be conducted at noon the day before the hunt to determine who will use the handicap blind the following day. If there are no inquires about the handicap blind before the day of the hunt, there will be at 5:00 AM lottery for the handicap blind for people with a permanent disability the morning of the hunt.
  • The permit allows for two able-bodied helpers who may also hunt.