Mohonk Preserve’s 2021 Deer Management Program

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.

Hunting permit registration has closed for the 2021 season. Please check back in August 2022 for information on the 2022 hunting season. If you are a new hunter and would like to be emailed notifications regarding the 2022 season, please email and request to be added to the listserv. Thank you for your interest in the Deer Management Program.

There have been multiple reports of deer mortalities in Ulster County due to EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease), a viral disease that affects white-tailed deer. Last year, the Mohonk Preserve reported ~15 deer mortalities highly suspected to be due to EHD. EHD is transmitted by midges (small biting flies) and cannot be spread from deer-to-deer nor deer-to-human. A deer that contracts EHD typically will die within 8-36 hours. These infected deer will often be found near a water source and have no visible signs of physical trauma.

As integral participants in the Deer Management Program, we are encouraging our hunters to report any sick or dead deer to the Deer Management Program Administration at These reports will then be relayed to the NYS DEC. When reporting please include the location (general area: example “Duck Pond”, “Undercliff Road”, or hunting zone number), date sick/dead deer were observed, and if possible, the sex and age (adult or young-of-the-year) of the sick/dead deer.

For more information on EHD signs and symptoms please visit this fact page from Cornell University click here.

For the DEC’s most recent press releases click here.

A note to registered hunters: In the extreme circumstance that we need to cancel the 2021 Deer Management Program, a hunting permit fee refund cannot be completed. Your paid amount can either be used towards 2022 hunting permit fee or donated to the Preserve. You will be notified immediately should this event take place.

It is very important that all harvest forms and hunting logs are submitted! Please submit a harvest form within 48 hours after every harvest and a hunting log when you have concluded hunting for the season. The hunting log submission deadline is Friday, January 21st, 2022. Both harvest forms and hunting logs can be submitted via email or mail. Additional copies of these forms can be downloaded from this page, link below. Failure to submit harvest forms or hunting logs will impact approval for hunting permits in 2022.

We thank our hunters for their continued dedication to the Deer Management Program and Mohonk Preserve. If you have any questions please contact Deer Management Program administration at


2021 Mohonk Preserve Deer Management Season

Dates and Time Restrictions

(Specific to Mohonk Preserve)
October 12th through January 1st (No hunting in Southern Zone December 22nd – 25th)

During the first three weeks of our hunting season (October 12th – October 28th), Mohonk Preserve has time restrictions placed on hunting hours Monday through Thursday due to the presence of education groups on the Preserve. Please regard these hunting time restrictions below. 

Monday – Thursday
From sunrise to 8:45 AM AND from 3:00 PM to sunset (10/12 – 10/28)

Monday – Thursday
Between 8:45 AM to 3:00 PM (10/12 – 10/28)

These restrictions DO NOT apply on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between the dates of October 12th and October 28th.

The Monday through Thursday time restrictions on hunting are lifted starting on Monday, November 1st. Hunting is allowed every day from sunrise until sunset from November 1st to January 1st with the exception of the NYS Southern Zone blocked out dates of December 22nd – December 25th.

Mohonk Preserve Hunting Seasons

Mohonk Preserve follows the same season dates as New York State’s Southern Zone with the exception of a later opening day (October 12th vs. NYS October 1st). You can view deer hunting season dates on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website.

EARLY BOWHUNTING:  October 12 – November 19

CROSSBOW: November 6 – November 19

For more information on crossbow state regulations as outlined by the Department of Environmental Conservation please click here.

SHOTGUN / HANDGUN (NO RIFLES):  November 20 – December 12

MUZZLELOADER / LATE BOWHUNTING:  December 13 – December 21 & December 26 – January 1. (No hunting from December 22 – December 25)

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 reminded to always stay on trail keep your dogs on a leash. Blaze orange vests are available for wear at every trailhead.

2021 Deer Management Resources

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 ecology of the Shawangunks.

Our program follows both New York State and our own permitting and safety regulations. Hunters are required to report their deer harvest and submit hunting logs, allowing researchers to collect information (for example age and sex) so that we can monitor and help maintain the delicate balance between forest health and deer populations over time. This is one of the research activities underway at the Preserve to understand and address the role of deer in the environment.

You can help protect the Shawangunk Ridge!

Banner photo by Carol Rietsma