Deer Hunting

Hunt Page Banner Deer

The refuge offers archery, limited and open muzzleloader, and limited and open shotgun hunts as well as special disabled and youth hunt opportunities for both white-tailed deer and sika deer.


Hunt Permit Applications

Hunting at Blackwater is on a first come, first serve basis. There is no standby.

Hunters are required to apply online or by phone for the refuge deer hunt. The application for the deer hunt is located at www.recreation.gov . Hunters can apply directly on the website or by calling the recreation.gov customer service number, 877-444-6777. Hunters are required to have a signed permit in hand while hunting or scouting on the refuge. The 2021-22 deer hunt applications will be available beginning July 8th at 10:00 am ET.

Deer Hunt Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please note these changes for 2021:

  • Deer harvested on Blackwater NWR will count toward Maryland state bag limits. You can review Maryland state deer bag limits here, but note that hunting on the refuge follows the dates on the table below.
  • Hunters must check deer taken on Jan 22, 2022, as a firearms harvest.
  • Hunters may access the refuge 3 hours before legal sunrise and must exit the refuge within 3 hours after legal sunset. This includes all refuge parking areas.
  • The refuge's youth deer hunt will be the same date as the State youth hunt, November 13 and 14.

The 2021-22 deer hunt regulations, table of dates, and map are posted below. All hunters are responsible for reviewing and abiding by these regulations when hunting at Blackwater NWR.

The following files are available for viewing:

2021-22 Deer Hunt Regulations (174 KB PDF file)

2021-22 Deer Hunt Dates Table (103 KB PDF file)

2021 Deer Hunt Map (323 KB PDF file)

Area U1 Map (370 KB PDF file) This area is designated for disabled hunters.

Area Q2 Map and Instructions (430 KB PDF file) This area is designated for disabled hunters.

Use of E-Bikes at the refuge (100 KB PDF file)

Link to Maryland DNR Guide to Hunting and Trapping 2021-22 (State regulations)

Interactive Deer Hunt Unit Map

Find out how to use a Blackwater hunt unit map on your smart phone. 

2018 Deer Density Study

Researchers from University of Delaware recently performed a deer density study at the refuge (now updated with 2018 data).  Click on the links below to view their findings (PDF files).

Deer density study one page summary. 

Deer density study presentation.