• Mentored Hunt Promo

    Hunting Mentors Wanted

    Are you a hunter interested in sharing your knowledge and passion for the sport? We need hunting mentors for our special hunt programs!

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  • Deer

    2018-2019 Hunt Permits On Sale 4/2/18

    2018-19 Hunting permit sales start April 2nd, 2018. Current hunt permits (2017-18) valid until March 31st.

    Purchase Permit Here

What's Happening

Wallkill River NWR Deer Population Experiencing Die-off

Deer Herd in Fall

Since late September, the refuge has been experiencing an outbreak of what appears to be EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) or bluetongue virus, two very similar infectious diseases affecting white-tailed deer and other ungulates. The virus is carried by insect midges (similar to no-see-ums) that ultimately cause high fever and internal hemorrhage in the animal, drawing it to water as it seeks to cool down. The virus can take its course in 5-10 days of infection, though some animals exposed to a mild case may develop antibodies which help fight later exposure to the virus. Sick animals may develop ulcers on the tongue, swelling in the face, excessive salivation, and difficulty breathing as fluid builds in the lungs. EHD or bluetongue virus is seasonal and occurs in late summer and early fall, as dry mudflat habitats favor conditions for the midge that carries the virus. Because the midge is a small-bodied insect who cannot travel far, outbreaks are typically restricted within drainages and can be very isolated. A good hard frost or two will ultimately kill the insects, and the outbreak should diminish quickly after that. Unfortunately, very mild temperatures this fall are prolonging the refuge die-off. Refuge biologists are working closely with State epidemiologists to monitor the outbreak and take samples to confirm which particular strain is affecting the population. Outbreaks of the virus can be cyclical but typically occur in cycles longer than the animal’s lifetime; this is the first time in the memory of refuge staff that we have experienced a localized outbreak. The virus poses no risk to humans.

New Law Enforcement Hot Line Number

Introducing the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, National Wildlife Refuge System Turn In Poachers, or TIPs, hotline. Please contact this phone number to report any unlawful activities observed on the refuge. 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Winter Raptor Event

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge hosts many free public events throughout the year, including hiking, fishing, bird watching, and kayaking as well as various children’s programs. Check out all of our upcoming events on the events calendar.

Events Calendar

Meet Our Friends

Meet Our Friends

Friends Group Members pose with Blue Goose

The Friends of Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge is an independent non-profit association founded in 2006. The operations and activities are managed by an all volunteer board of directors. The purpose of the Friends of Wallkill River is to support the mission of the Refuge through promotion of environmental stewardship, biological programs, environmental education, recreational activities, land acquisition and habitat management and enhancement. For more information, visit their website or contact: pres@friendsofwallkillriver.org


About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS