Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Deer Hunt Permits

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located 12 miles south of Cambridge, Maryland, was established in 1933 as a refuge for migratory waterfowl. The refuge includes more than 33,000 acres, composed mainly of rich tidal marsh characterized by fluctuating water levels and variable salinity. Other habitats include freshwater ponds, mixed evergreen and deciduous forests, cropland and managed impoundments that are seasonally flooded for waterfowl. 

Blackwater NWR is home to the largest natural population of formerly endangered Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrels and is also home to one of the largest breeding population of American bald eagles on the East Coast.

The refuge contains one-third of Maryland's tidal wetlands, which makes it an ecologically important area within the state. These wetlands also provide storm protection to lower Dorchester County, including the town of Cambridge.

Permit & Season Information

This permit authorizes the permit holder to hunt the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge for both white-tailed deer and sika deer only. The refuge offers archery, limited and open muzzleloader, limited and open shotgun, and primitive hunts as well as special disabled and youth hunt permits. Taking and/or collecting any other wildlife or plants is a violation of refuge regulations. Permits are only made through The refuge will not sell permits in-person or by phone.

Open hunt reservations can be reserved during the open hunt season and will close on the last day of the open hunt at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Permit holder, including assistants and adult supervisors (for youth hunts), must always have an electronic or signed permit on their person while hunting or assisting a hunter on the refuge.

This permit does not authorize turkey or waterfowl hunting. Hunters should visit to learn about these hunting opportunities.

Need to Know


You must have either an electronic permit on your device or you must print and sign your permit and have it on you while scouting and hunting. The refuge will not print permits. 

Accessing the Refuge

Required Documents

Hunters are required to possess an electronic or printed copy of a valid Maryland hunting license and all required stamps, an original valid government-issued photo identification (no copies or photos), and a valid hunting permit (printed or electronic copy) issued by on their person at all times during refuge hunting and scouting days. The corresponding State stamps are required to participate in the archery and muzzleloader hunts. Hunters hunting from a vehicle must possess a MD DNR issued universal disability pass (formally a “hunt from vehicle” permit). 

Purchase of permit requires your Maryland DNR ID number. Be ready to enter upon checkout. Do not enter any other state licensing numbers. See example in the media gallery images. 

Rules and Regulations

View the complete Blackwater NWR Hunt Permit Hunting Regulations , which include details about the following refuge regulation topics:  


Law Enforcement

Fee Policy

There is a $6.00 reservation fee for all permits.  This is nonrefundable!

Permit Fees

Open Archery - $20/person

Limited Muzzleloader - $10/person

Open (Early Season) Muzzleloader - $20/person

Open (Late Season) Muzzleloader - $20/person

Limited Shotgun - $10/person

Open (Early Season) Shotgun - $40/person

Open (Late Season) Shotgun - $30/person

Primitive - $20/person

Youth Hunt - $0

*Note: Fees are reduced by ½ for Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass holders. Pass numbers must be provided.

Sportsman's Package for Blackwater. This will include all dates for:


Early and late open muzzleloader

Early and late open shotgun

There will be one $12 transaction fee for this permit. The limited and primitive hunts will still need to be purchased separately.  

Cancellation Policy

Change Policy

There are no modifications allowed for this permit.

Cancellation Policy

Customers, the call center, and the facility can cancel a reservation at any time. No refunds are provided for cancellations. 

Transfer Policy

The permit is nontransferrable.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds allowed for this permit.


The following Federal Interagency passes provide a 50% discount for the pass holder. Note the reservation fee will remain at $6.00.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

2145 Key Wallace Drive Cambridge MD 21613

Phone Number

For the help center call (877) 444-6777. Hearing-impaired refuge visitors may call the Maryland Relay Service at TDD/(800) 735-2258

Photo Gallery