Deer hunting at Mohonk Preserve
Deer hunting occurs on the Preserve through a volunteer-based deer management program. Each fall, hunters who have previously cooperated by returning a hunting log and properly reporting their deer are invited to participate another season. Invitations to reapply are sent to these hunters in late August and must be returned by a September 15th deadline. Permits, observation logs, maps, and guidelines will then be mailed to each returning hunter.
2014 Mohonk Preserve Deer Hunting Season Dates and Time Restrictions (Specific to Mohonk Preserve)
- Archery Season: October 14th through November 14th with restrictions.
Archery Restrictions: October 14th through November 7th. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays HUNTING IS ALLOWED from sunrise to 8:45am AND 3pm to sunset. NO HUNTING from 8:45am to 3pm.
- Shotgun Season (no rifles): November 15th through December 7th.
- Archery/Muzzleloader Season: December 8th through December 16th.
All other recreational activities are still allowed at the Preserve during hunting season. You may want to wear blaze orange while hiking, and remember to always keep your dog leashed whenever you visit the Preserve.
How does hunting help the Preserve?
To fulfill our mission of protecting the Shawangunks, the Preserve must manage land and natural resources. Behind this problem lies the growing abundance and concentrated presence of deer. Reasons behind this trend include the historic elimination of predators (like wolves and cougars), increasingly mild winters, and development that creates lawns, gardens, and wooded edges that provide deer with plentiful food and habitat.
In our forests, deer are heavy consumers of saplings and other vegetation, and many areas 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, 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.