A wide range of hunting opportunities awaits the outdoor sports-person who ventures into the woods at Patuxent. Hunting for upland game, migratory game birds, and white-tailed deer (bow, muzzleloader, primitive 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 guidelines, which are based on Maryland state hunting seasons. See Refuge Hunting Guidelines (pdf) for the 2023-2024 season. Also see the Refuge Hunt Calendar (pdf )
New hunters and youth will want to attend Maryland state Hunter Safety Classes. Registration info at https://register-ed.com/programs/maryland. A hunter safety card is required to receive a refuge hunting permit. The refuge has a Mentored Hunt Program through MNHA and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Lotteries are held for turkey hunts and for additional limited deer hunting.
Turkey Hunt Lottery: The Spring Wild Turkey Lottery Hunts will be April 13 through May 23, 2024, on designated days. Turkey hunters must sign up by Jan. 31. See Turkey Hunt details. Lottery hunting maps: CT Deer Lottery Hunting Map (pdf) and NT Turkey Hunting Map (pdf).
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 a fee, and must complete the refuge Hunt Application and the warning/hunter ethics waiver (PRR Hunt Form #2) to receive a hunting permit. Hunters with disabilities are required to provide written verification of disability at the time of entry into the lottery - Patuxent Research Refuge Disability Certification Form (pdf).
Hunting Program Public Comments Period- Patuxent Research Refuge is seeking public review and comment on its Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) for hunting. The comment period will stay open through August 22, 2023. Full details here.
PRR Hunting Documents List