Hunting for upland game, migratory game birds, and white-tailed deer (bow, muzzleloader and shotgun) is managed by refuge officials and the Meade Natural Heritage Association (MNHA) through a permit system. MNHA is a cooperating association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hunting is permitted from September through January and on selective days in April and May during the spring wild turkey hunt. Hunters are required to follow the Patuxent Research Refuge hunting regulations which are based on Maryland state hunting seasons. See refuge hunting regulations (pdf) for the 2016-17 season. Also see the refuge hunting calendar by date (pdf).
Hunting maps are available at the Hunting Control Station or by the following links: NT Hunting Map (pdf), ST Hunting Map (pdf), CT Schafer Farm Hunting Map (pdf).
Sign up your youth or new hunter for one of the Hunter Safety Classes being offered at the National Wildlife Visitor Center this summer! A hunter safety card is required to receive a refuge hunting permit.The goal of Maryland’s Hunter Education Program is to develop safe, responsible, and knowledgeable hunters in an effort to pass along traditions and the total nature experience. Taking a hunter safety class reduces accidents from happening with the training provided such as tree stand safety. Tree stand accidents cause more fatalities than firearm accidents in Maryland.
June Hunter Safety Class info hereJuly Hunter Safety Class info hereAugust Hunter Safety Class info here
Lotteries are held for turkey hunts and for additional limited deer hunting.
Deer Hunt Lottery: The Central Tract Deer Lottery Hunts will be Nov. 5 and Dec. 10, 2016. Hunters must sign up for the deer lottery hunts two weeks prior to the hunts.
Turkey Hunt Lottery:The Spring Wild Turkey Lottery Hunts will be April 17 through May 22, 2017 on designated days. Turkey hunters must sign up by Jan. 31. See Turkey Hunt details.
Lottery application forms are available at the Refuge North Tract Hunting Control Station (Mon. – Sat. through Jan. 31, 2017). Deer/Turkey Lottery Application (pdf).
Lottery hunting maps are available at the Hunting Control Station or by the following links: CT Deer Lottery Hunting Map (pdf) and NT Turkey Hunting Map (pdf).
The varied hunting opportunities at Patuxent Research Refuge are due to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and MNHA efforts to effectively manage refuge wildlife resources. Close cooperation in this partnership has established a model program for other refuges.
By using a daily sign-in system, weapon qualifications for deer hunters, hunter density limits in each hunting area, refuge officials and MNHA strive to provide safe, quality opportunities for the outdoor sports-person.
Hunting activities are managed by the MNHA Hunting Control Station (HCS) on Bald Eagle Drive. Permit sales, daily sign-in and harvest recording (deer checking) are performed at the HCS.
MNHA begins refuge permit sales in August each year and continues through January 31. Permit purchasers need a current Maryland hunting license, hunter safety course card (from any state), a check or money order for $70, and they must complete the refuge hunt application (PRR Hunt Form #1) and the warning/hunter ethics waiver (PRR Hunt Form #2) to receive a hunting permit.
The Meade Natural Heritage Association is an incorporated, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the purposes of wildlife conservation, management, and to promote and support outdoor sporting activities at Patuxent Research Refuge. As part of this program MNHA manages hunting activities on the refuge, with the distinction of having one of the largest federal public-use hunting programs in the United States in regard to season length and number of hunters. MNHA's membership is active throughout the year in support of these activities.
Through a wide variety of activities and services, MNHA offers benefits to its members, refuge hunters, the refuge, and our wildlife.
Most importantly, MNHA offers the opportunity to GET INVOLVED. Habitat restoration, refuge clean ups and other organized projects allow sports enthusiasts to give back for the improvement of the refuge and the hunting program. As a volunteer organization, MNHA depends on the contributions of its members.
MNHA membership benefits include:
Membership is just $10 per year. To join, stop by the Patuxent Research Refuge Hunting Control Station or North Tract Visitor Contact Station to pick up a MNHA brochure. The Hunting Control Station is located on Bald Eagle Drive, approximately 1/4 mile from the Rt. 198 entrance to North Tract.
Become part of the organization dedicated to ethical hunting and the Patuxent Research Refuge wildlife they enjoy...join MNHA today.
MNHA Telephone Numbers
Hunting Control Station: 301-317-3819MNHA Information Line: 301-317-3825
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The scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) is a medium sized song bird native to the northeast upland forest. Tanagers are often hard to spot as they frequent the highest reaches of the tree canopy. The brilliant red and black plumage of the breeding male is a treat to see. Tanagers seek out insects during the summer months and fruits during migration back to their wintering grounds in the tropics.