Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Turkey Hunt Lottery and 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 allows hunters to harvest one beared turkey during the spring turkey season. Daily shooting hours from April 22 through May 7 are one-half hour before sunrise to noon. Daily shooting hours from May 11 through May 21 are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours during the youth hunt on April 13th will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. 

Need to Know

Permit and License Requirements

You must have your permit on you. Either print the permit or download it to your phone so you can presnt the permit to an officer if requested. The refuge will not print permits. 

Each hunter must have the following in his/her possession while hunting and scouting, and display them upon request. 

  1.  A valid Maryland hunting license. 
  2.  Valid government-issued photo identification. 
  3.  Valid refuge turkey hunt permit.

All hunters must obtain a permit regardless of age. Permits are non-transferable. Each permitted hunter may be accompanied by a non-hunting assistant.

The non-hunting assistant must remain within sight and normal voice contact of hunter. Non-hunting assistants must not be afield with a hunting firearm, bow, or other hunting device, must read the turkey hunting brochure, and must sign the permit of the person they are assisting in ink. Non-hunting assistants must possess a valid government-issued photo identification on their person. Non-hunting assistants who call and/or set up decoys must possess a valid Maryland hunting license.

Access the Refuge

Area B1 Access Regulations (Only Available to Hunters with Permananet Disabilities)

We only allow hunters with a permanent disability to operate ATV/ORVs. If the hunter with a disability is unable to physically do so, the assistant may operate the ATV/ORV.

Hunters with Permanent Disabilities

Hunters wishing to qualify for the hunt in Area B1 must have a Federal Interagency Access Pass prior to applying. Hunters with a permanent disability may have a non-hunting assistant as described above. We require assistants to remain within sight and normal voice contact. To hunt from a vehicle, including ATVs, hunters require U (universal disability pass) designation on MD State hunting license or a handicap placard and a universal disability pass (formerly known as a hunt from vehicle permit), and a Federal Interagency Access Pass.

Youth Turkey Hunt

Youth hunters must be 16 years of age or younger to participate and must be accompanied by only one licensed or licensed exempt, unarmed adult, 21 years of age or older.

General Conditions and Regulations

View the complete Blackwater NWR Turkey Hunt Regulations, which include details about the following refuge regulations : 

Law Enforcement 

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee: $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee per permit

Recreation Fee: $10 for the Turkey Hunt Permit; Fees are reduced by ½ for all federal Senior Pass or Access Pass holders. Pass number must be provided when applying for your permit.

Fees are non-refundable.

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. If a reservation is cancelled, that hunting opportunity will become available on a first-come, first-served basis through

Transfer Policy

The permit is non-transferrable.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds allowed for this permit.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

2145 Key Wallace Drive Cambridge MD 21613

The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, closed on Monday's and all federal holidays. Check the website for more information.

Phone Number

(410) 228-2677

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