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 30,000 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, north of Florida.

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 and their group to hunt the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge for both white-tailed deer and sika deer only. The refuge offers archery, limited and open muzzleloader, and limited and open shotgun 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 Recreation.gov. 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 and group members, including assistants and adult supervisors (for youth hunts), must always have a signed permit on their person while hunting in the refuge.

This permit does not authorize turkey or waterfowl hunting. Interested hunters should visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/visit/hunting.html to learn about these hunting opportunities.

Need to Know

Printed Permit

You must print, sign your permit and bring it with you. Print the permit, that was emailed to you, before coming to the refuge. 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 copy) issued by Recreation.gov 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). 

Rules and Regulations

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

Scouting

Limitations

Law Enforcement

Fee Policy

There is a $6.00 reservation fee for all permits. 

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

Youth Hunt - $0

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

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 non-transferrable.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds allowed for this permit.

Discounts

The following Federal Interagency passes provide a 50% discount for only the pass holder. Each group member can enter their pass, but it must be a unique pass number. Note the reservation fee will remain at $6.00.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

2145 Key Wallace Drive Cambridge MD 21613

Phone Number

(410) 228-2677. Hearing-impaired visitors may call the Maryland Relay Service at TDD/(800) 735-2258

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