Visitor Activities

Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1999, is located in the Hudson Valley in Ulster County, New York. Public hunting is permitted on 154 acres for deer using archery equipment only. The hunting program is administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in cooperation with NY State’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Hunters must obtain a refuge permit prior to hunting or scouting and must review the rules and regulations.

Bow Hunting Permit Information:
Bow hunt permits will be administered through a lottery due to the limited number of permits available. Nine (9) permits will be available for deer only and are $25.00 each. A $5.00 processing fee is charged for each lottery application. 

Submit your Refuge Bow Hunting Permit Lottery application here starting August 15th, 2020

Remember to review the refuge hunting regulations and maps on the website prior to purchasing your permit.

  • Hunting


    Hunting is a wildlife management tool used to control some animal populations and is also a Congressionally mandated priority public use. Hunters must obtain a refuge permit for each hunting season, as well as all applicable state licenses and permits.  Public hunting is permitted on 154 acres during specific times of the year using archery equipment only.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

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    The refuge offers outstanding opportunities to observe (by eye and ear) a great variety of grassland birds. Upland Sandpipers, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows may be found during the breeding season. Short-eared Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, Horned Larks and Snow Buntings are frequent visitors during the wintering months. Five observation blinds are located along the trails to facilitate wildlife viewing.

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  • Interpretation

    Interpretation Kiosk

    Information on the refuge and its resources is available at the trailhead kiosk and on the website.

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  • Photography


    The refuge is a very popular destination for wildlife photographers, particularly those seeking to capture wintering raptors, meadowlarks or bobolinks and their photogenic displays. Photographers are welcome to use any of the refuge’s maintained trails and five observation blinds. Off-trail travel is prohibited.