Hunting at Blackwater NWR


Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of more than 560 national wildlife refuges in the United States. The primary objective of a national wildlife refuge is to provide habitat for the conservation and protection of wildlife. The harvest of surplus animals is one tool used to manage wildlife populations. Carefully managed hunts maintain wildlife populations at a level compatible with the environment, provide wholesome recreational opportunities, and permit the use of a valuable, renewable resource.

REMEMBER! Your hunt permit authorizes you to take specified game only. Harming or needlessly disturbing any other wildlife is a violation of Refuge regulations and is cause for prosecution.

Blackwater NWR provides hunting opportunities for turkey, deer and waterfowl.

Hunt Coordinator

Important: For more information about any of the deer or turkey hunts offered at Blackwater NWR, or to request a hunt packet containing hunting regulations, maps, and applications, please contact Hunt Coordinator Allen Johnston at 410-221-8815.


Deer Hunting

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

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

The 2017-18 Deer Hunt has ended.

The application and regulation information posted below is for reference only, and does not reflect any changes that will be in effect for the 2018-19 season.  If you would like to be added to our Deer Hunt mail list, please leave a message for the hunt coordinator at 410-221-8815, or call 410-228-2677.

Click below to view the following (all are in PDF format):

2017-18 Deer Hunt Letter.  Highlights changes to the 2017 deer hunt.

2017-18 Deer Hunt Application Instructions

2017-18 Blackwater Deer Hunt Regulations brochure.  This brochure includes a hunt area map and is formatted for 11x17 paper.

Area U1 Map. This area is designated for disabled hunters.

Deer Hunt Boat Access

Click the following links for information regarding boat access during the refuge deer hunts.

Deer hunt boat access FAQ. (PDF file)

Waters closed to boat access standard map. (2.25 MB JPEG file)

Waters closed to boat access satellite map.  (1.90 MB JPEG file)

    Interactive Deer Hunt Unit Maps

    Click here to find out how to use Blackwater hunt unit maps on your smart phone.


    Turkey Hunting

    Each spring the refuge offers turkey hunting on designated Tuesdays and Saturdays within the State season. Hunters can use any weapon approved for state turkey hunts. The refuge also offers a special one day youth turkey hunt.

    Turkey hunters are chosen by lottery from applications received.

    The 2018 Turkey Hunt Applications will be available soon.  The 2018 Turkey Hunt regulations, application instructions, and hunt map (PDF files) are posted below for your reference.  Application packets will be mailed out the week of February 11 to hunters on our mailing list, and will be available to pick up at the Visitor Center information desk beginning February 17.  Applications must be postmarked no later than March 15.  If you have a question about the Turkey Hunt or would like to be added to the mailing list for future hunts, please call Hunt Coordinator Allen Johnston at 410-221-8815. 


      Waterfowl Hunting

      *Federal Duck Stamp Reminder for Waterfowl Hunters*

      Blackwater NWR provides waterfowl hunting opportunities at several designated hunt sites on the refuge. Waterfowl hunting is permitted on dates specified by the Refuge during the State waterfowl season. All sites are accessible by boat only.

      The 2017-18 Blackwater NWR waterfowl hunt has ended.  The regulation information posted below is for reference only, and does not reflect any changes that will be in effect for the 2018-19 season.

      Waterfowl Hunt Access Photos and Maps

      If you are interested in learning about duck stamps, visit our duck stamps page for more information.