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Deer hunting occurs on the Preserve as part of our deer management program. Hunters play a critical role in helping to mitigate the impacts of deer overbrowsing on the unique forests of the Shawangunk Mountains.

2016 Mohonk Preserve Deer Hunting Season Dates and Time Restrictions

October 11 through December 20 (Specific to Mohonk Preserve)


EARLY BOWHUNTING:  October 11 – November 18

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Sunrise to 8:45 AM AND 3:00 PM to sunset (10/11/16 – 11/4/16)

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
from 8:45 AM to 3:00 PM
(10/11/16 – 11/4/16)

These restrictions DO NOT apply on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between the dates of October 11 and November 4. The Monday through Thursday time restrictions on hunting are lifted starting on November 5. Hunting is allowed every day from sunrise until sunset from November 5 to December 20.

CROSSBOW: November 5 – December 20
For more information on crossbow state regulations as outlined by the Department of Environmental Conservation, click here.

SHOTGUN / HANDGUN (NO RIFLES):  November 19 – December 11

MUZZLELOADER / LATE BOWHUNTING:  December 12 - December 20

PLEASE NOTE:  All other recreational activities are still allowed at the Preserve during hunting season. Recreationists are encouraged to wear blaze orange while hiking, and remember to always keep your dog leashed whenever you visit the Preserve. Blaze orange vests are available for wear at every trailhead.

For more information on DEC hunting rules and regulations, please click here.

To view Mohonk Preserve's hunting guidelines, please click here.

Downloadable Documents in PDF format

How does hunting help the Preserve?

To fulfill our mission of protecting the biodiversity of the Shawangunks, the Preserve must manage our unique habitats and natural resources. Long-term deer overbrowsing has had destructive consequences for the forests of the Shawangunks. Deer populations have grown due to a number of factors, including increasingly mild winters and development that creates lawns, gardens, and wooded edges that provide deer with plentiful food and habitat. Additionally, there is a lack of natural predators (like mountain lions and wolves) to check the deer population.

In our forests, deer are heavy consumers of saplings and other vegetation, and many areas of forest are simply not regenerating. At high risk are native plants like orchids and wildflowers, food sources of many animals, and critical nesting areas for birds like ruffed grouse, wood thrush, and warblers.

Deer hunting is widely recognized throughout the Northeast as a useful tool for maintaining healthy forests that can regenerate and support diverse plants and animals. The Preserve’s hunting and deer management policies are based on conservation goals and rooted in science, including more than 80 years of research on the nature of the Shawangunks.

Our program follows both New York State and our own permitting and safety regulations. Hunters are required to bring their deer to check stations, or have it checked by a ranger, allowing researchers to collect information (for example age and sex) so that we can monitor and help ensure the herd’s health over time. This is one of the research activities underway at the Preserve to understand and address the role of deer in the environment.