Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl 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 32,000 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 and their group to hunt the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge for waterfowl only. 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 begin at 10 am EST the week prior to the hunt and close at 3 pm on the last hunt day of that week.  

Each group member must always have a signed permit on their person while hunting in the refuge. The group members must hunt with the permit holder.  Only the permit holder may have an electronic copy of the permit on their person (device).

This permit does not authorize turkey, sika or white-tailed deer hunting. Interested hunters should visit to learn about these hunting opportunities.

Need to Know

Hunters in the group that did not make the reservation must have a printed, signed copy of the permit from on their person while hunting on the refuge. The individual who made the resevation may have an electronic copy of the permit while hunting. 

Accessing the Refuge

Required Documents

Rules and Regulations

Law Enforcement

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee:

$6.00 non-refundable reservation fee per permit (up to 4 people can hunt as a group under this permit)  

Recreation Fee:


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

Phone Number

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

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