Visitor Activities

Intern helping kids fish at the refuge - USFWS.

Get your Visitor Map here!

The refuge Visitor Center is open April 1 through November 30.  Hours are 10 am to 3 pm, daily.  Hours may vary, especially for the nature store, due to a lack of volunteer help.  Please contact andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov to learn more about volunteering!

The Wildlife Drive opens each year on April 1, weather-permitting, and is closed for the season on December 1st. Walking and bicycling are permitted on the Drive from May 25 through August 15 only. The Wildlife Drive, walking trails, and observation areas are open from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.  Dog-walking is only allowed on the Seneca Trail and dogs must be on a leash, under the owner's control. Trail closures occur during the white-tailed deer hunting season; please heed posted signs at trailheads.  Jogging/running is not permitted anywhere on the refuge.

  • Hunting

    Public restrooms are available in the Visitor Center when it is open, and at the restrooms at the beginning of the Seneca Trail (accessible from the Visitor Center parking area, next to the heron nest sculpture).

     

    Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge provides several opportunities for you to enjoy hunting.  New York State regulations for each season apply. To learn about refuge-specific regulations, please visit:

    -Waterfowl Hunting

    Reservations for the Veterans and Active Military Special Waterfowl Hunt will be taken on Tuesday, November 9, 8:30 to 9:00 am for both Thursday, November 11 and Saturday, November 13.

    CHECK-IN FOR 2ND SPLIT IS SELF-SERVE ON WEEKDAYS and on CHRISTMAS DAY (12/25) AT THE HUNTER CHECK STATION

    • Reservations for the 1st day of the 2nd split will be taken on Saturday, November 13, 8:30 to 9:00 am.
    • Reservations are required for all 2nd split Saturdays and will be taken the Saturday before (except for the 2nd split opener, which will be taken on November 13, and for December 25, which be self-serve).
    • Staff will check you in on Saturdays, unless otherwise stated (Saturday, 12/25 will be self-serve).
    • Weekday and December 25th permits will be available on a self-serve, first-come/first-served basis.
    • YOU MAY NOT ENTER THE REFUGE EARLIER THAN 2 HOURS BEFORE SUNRISE.
    • Permits will be in the box labeled DUCK outside the check station
    • Each permit will have the parking area written on it; take the permit for the parking area you want.
    • The gates will be on a combination lock.  The combination will be available at the Hunter Check Station.
    • CLOSE AND LOCK THE GATE BEHIND YOU ON YOUR WAY IN AND OUT!
    • Enjoy your hunt!
    • Return your permit to the Duck slot at the check station; please do not use the Tschache Pool mailbox.
                 

    -September Canada Goose Hunting 

    -Snow Goose Hunting - 2021/2022 Regulations coming soon!

    -White-Tailed Deer Hunting

    -Turkey Hunting

    -Small Game - Rabbit and Squirrel

    -Code of Federal Regulations, Hunting

  • Fishing and Boating

    Although fishing and boating are prohibited in refuge pools, the refuge maintains a fishing area (meets ADA standards) at May's Point, off NYS Route 89N. A NYS DEC boat launch is located on US Route 20, opposite the refuge entrance road.   The refuge also maintains a boat landing/seasonal dock along the NYS Barge Canal, just north of the US Route 20 bridge located east of the refuge entrance road (boat landing only/no launching or fishing from this dock). All NY state regulations apply when fishing and boating.

  • Environmental Education

    National wildlife refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources. Many refuges offer environmental education programs for a variety of audiences. Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities. Thousands of youth and adult groups visit every year to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of a particular national wildlife refuge? Contact or visit Montezuma refuge to check on program availability and reservation policies. Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Photography

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That's not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate. You don't need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list. Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas, and tour routes. Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System. We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive!