Hunting at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge represents both a traditional recreational use and serves as an important wildlife management tool. All hunters are required to adhere to state and federal regulations. Hunting units A, B, C, and D are archery only for hunting big game, small game, and furbearers. Hunting dogs are permitted only when assisting with waterfowl hunting and retrieval. Trapping and baiting are never allowed at the refuge.
As part of Parker River NWR's comprehensive wildlife management plan, an annual two-day, permit-only deer hunt is offered for shotguns and muzzleloaders. This hunt takes place on the 1,400-acre Plum Island section of the refuge (map)(regulations). Applications must be submitted through the RecAccess site between September 1st and September 30th, and winners are chosen through a randomized lottery.
In cooperation with the League of Essex County Sportsmen’s Clubs, the refuge conducts a Youth Waterfowl Hunt each October. The hunt includes a waterfowl ID presentation, water/marsh/hunt safety presentation, and a blind set up one day, followed by a supervised hunt on a reserved section of the refuge. Dates are determined by refuge staff annually.
The refuge is located in Massachusetts Wildlife Management Zone 10, and the Coastal Zone for waterfowl hunting. Legal open seasons and bag limits are in accordance with state regulations, which can be found on the MassWildlife website here and here.
Hunting opportunities in Areas A, B, C & D (map):
|Big Game||Deer (archery only)|
|Upland Game Birds||Crow, pheasant, quail, ruffed grouse, wild turkey|
|Small Game||Cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, gray squirrel|
|Furbearers||Bobcat, coyote, fox (red or gray), opossum, raccoon|
|Migratory Game Birds||Sora rail, Virginia rail, snipe, woodcock|
|Waterfowl||Canada goose, snow goose, blue goose, American coot, mergansers, ducks (see MassWildlife species list), sea ducks (see MassWildlife species list), brant|