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Deer Management

Mohonk Preserve's 2020 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.

Thank you for your interest in the Deer Management Program. Please check back in August 2020 for information on the 2020 deer hunting season.

During the first three weeks of our hunting season (October 13th – October 29th), The 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 (10/13 – 10/29)
Monday - Thursday
Between 8:45 AM to 3:00 PM (10/13 – 10/29)

These restrictions DO NOT apply on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between the dates of October 13th and October 29th.

The Monday through Thursday time restrictions on hunting are lifted starting on Monday, November 2nd. Hunting is allowed every day from sunrise until sunset from November 2nd to December 15th.

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 13th vs. NYS October 1st). You can view deer hunting season dates on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website



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

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 keep your dogs on a leash. Blaze orange vests are available for wear at every trailhead.


2019 Hunting Maps
Click the links below to view and download.

Full Map
Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 3

2019 Guidelines, Hunting Log, and Harvest Form
Click the links below to view and download.

Hunting Guidelines (PDF)
Hunting Log (PDF)
Hunting Log (Excel)
Harvest Form (PDF)
Harvest Form (Excel)
DMAP Sign-in/out Policy

All New York State hunting laws, rules, and regulations apply to Mohonk Preserve lands. In addition, we require the following:

Mandatory Hunting Information Session: Hunters new to the Mohonk Preserve hunting program are required to attend one, 1-hour mandatory hunting information session located at the Mohonk Preserve’s Visitor Center. Sessions are scheduled on the Mohonk Preserve Hunting webpage when registering for your hunting permit. The hunting permit, car parking placard, hunting map, hunting log, and tree stand/trail camera tags will be handed out to registered hunters at each scheduled session. Please bring your New York State hunting license and email confirmation of your Mohonk Preserve hunting permit purchase with you to your scheduled information session.

Hunting Permit: Hunting is permitted only with a purchased Mohonk Preserve permit and a current New York State hunting license. To purchase your hunting permit please visit the Mohonk Preserve Hunting webpage. The permit allows deer hunting only. No target shooting, sighting in, or trapping allowed. Though hunting concludes on the last day of the season (December 17th) your hunting permit allows you to visit the Preserve until the expiration of January 12th, 2020. This granted time after the hunting season allows hunters sufficient time to remove all equipment (treestands, trail cameras, blinds) from Preserve land.

Hunting Permit Fee: There is a fee to purchase a Mohonk Preserve hunting permit; $40 for non-members or $25 for current Mohonk Preserve yearly members. There are ways to reduce your permit fee through both harvesting antlerless deer and volunteering personal time assisting in deer management research. For each antlerless deer harvested the pervious season a hunter will receive $5 off the Mohonk Preserve permit fee for the current season. Volunteer opportunities are determined on an as-needed basis by the Hunting Administrator (contact for opportunity information). 

Display of Hunting Permit: Mohonk Preserve property is patrolled by our Rangers. To aid in identification, hunters are required to prominently display their Mohonk Preserve permit on their person.  

Parking: Parking is permissible at our designated trailheads, hunter-reserved lots (see hunting map), and Visitor Center. When parking, hunters are required to display their car placard on the dashboard of their parked vehicle. Driving and parking on any carriage roads is prohibited.

Reporting and Checking Your Deer:  All harvested deer must be reported to the Hunting Program Administrator, Megan Napoli, within 48 hours of harvest. Reports can be delivered through phone, email, or by completing and turning in a harvest report form (provided in your hunting packet and on the website). In addition, you must also report your deer to the NYS DEC. If you would like to age or weigh your deer, you may check your deer with a Ranger by calling the Visitor Center at 845-255-0919. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. It is not guaranteed that a Ranger will always be available to check your deer.
Hunting Logs: All hunters must complete and return the hunting log provided with their permit. Logs can be returned by mail, email, or given to the Front Desk at the visitor Center. By returning your hunting log you will be eligible to be entered in the DMAP tag lottery drawing which takes place before the season commences.

No Rifles:  Rifles are not permitted on Mohonk Preserve lands. 

No Hunting Zones:  There is absolutely no hunting allowed on Mohonk Mountain House property. The Mohonk Mountain House property is located in the center of the Mohonk Preserve land and is shown on the hunting map in purple. There is no public hunting on the Mohonk Preserve’s Foothills and Gateway land parcels. No Hunting Zones for the Preserve are shown on the hunting map in orange.

Retrieving Your Deer:  Mohonk Preserve carriage roads are closed to all motor vehicles (excluding Mohonk Preserve staff vehicles). A Ranger may assist you in hauling out your deer. Rangers are constantly patrolling on weekends; at other times patrol is sporadic. Therefore, during the week if you need assistance bringing your deer out, stay with your deer at a carriage road and call the Visitor Center with your information at 845-255-0919. Visitor Center hours are 9 am - 5 pm.

Setback Distances: Setback distances from dwellings and buildings in use are 150 feet for vertical bows, 250 feet for crossbows and 500 feet for firearms. To ensure the safety of our recreationists, the setback distance from roads and trails is always 150 feet. When actively hunting or setting up equipment, be sure to be at least 150 feet away from any carriage road or trail. The 150-foot setback distance is represented by an orange border around roads and trails on the hunting map. 

Carriage Roads and Hiking Trails: Do not aim or fire across any road or trail and respect the 150-foot setback distance.

Equipment: Tree stands, blinds, and trail cameras are allowed and can be left on Preserve property from the time of hunting permit purchase until stated removal deadline. Equipment must be removed by January 12th, 2020. Equipment left in place after that date will be confiscated. Equipment must be tagged with an official Mohonk Preserve hunting equipment tag. You can register for an equipment tag when completing your hunting permit registration online.

No Land Modification: Land modification of any kind is prohibited on Mohonk Preserve land. This includes removal of any vegetation (trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants), trenching, digging, and blazing on trees. This also includes using permanent means, such as screws, to attach hunting equipment to trees.

Camping and Lodging: There are several campgrounds, motels, and hotels in the region, including the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground on Route 299 in Gardiner. The campground is open through mid-November. For more information and to book your campsite, click here. Camping and fires are not permitted anywhere on Mohonk Preserve property. For more information on lodging options in the area please visit our Area Guide

Please Remember: As the number of visitors to our natural area increases, the need for everyone to be a conscientious steward of the land also increases. In particular, we remind you that litter, such as shell-cases and field dressing gloves, remain in nature for years and bring discredit to reputable hunters. Please follow the “carry-in, carry-out” policy; what you bring into the forest ensure that you also take out.

Hunting privileges will be revoked by Mohonk Preserve staff if Mohonk Preserve and NYS regulations are not strictly obeyed.

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

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.

Banner Photo by Renee Zernitsky