Mohonk Preserve

Mohonk Preserve



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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. As a volunteer in Mohonk Preserve’s Deer Management Program, you play a critical role in helping to mitigate the impacts of deer overbrowsing on the unique forests of the Shawangunk Mountains.

All permits for the 2015 season have been distributed. Thanks to our volunteers for your participation.

2015 Mohonk Preserve Deer Hunting Season Dates and Time Restrictions (Specific to Mohonk Preserve)

October 13 through December 22

ARCHERY:  October 13 – November 20

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Sunrise to 8:45 AM AND 3:00 PM to sunset (10/13/15 – 11/5/15)

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
from 8:45 AM to 3:00 PM
(10/13/15 – 11/5/15)

These restrictions DO NOT apply Fri, Sat, Sun, and from Nov 6th – Nov 20th

CROSSBOW: November 7 – December 22 (see tag and time restrictions outlined below)
    *November 7th through November 20th:  Hunters using crossbows during this season are only permitted to
        harvest deer using Bow/Muzzleloader/DMP/DMAP tags.
    *November 21st through December 22nd:  Crossbows are allowed during shotgun/handgun season using
        Reg. Big Game/DMP/DMAP tags.
    *December 14th through December 22nd:  Hunters using crossbows during this season are permitted to
        harvest deer using Bow/Muzzleloader/DMP/DMAP/Reg. Big Game tags.

    *Hunters must possess muzzleloader privileges on their license.

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

SHOTGUN / HANDGUN (NO RIFLES):  November 21 – December 13

MUZZLELOADER /   ARCHERY:  December 14 - December 22

PLEASE NOTE: Hunting on Mohonk Preserve via crossbow is legal. Hunters must follow state regulations as outlined by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Click here for more information and to view the state regulations.

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.

How does hunting help the Preserve?

To fulfill our mission of protecting the biodiversity of the Shawangunks, the Preserve must manage our unique haitats 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.

Watch this 30 minute presentation on Deer Management and hunting at Mohonk Preserve presented by the Preserve’s Senior Ecologist, John Thompson.

You can also download a copy of the slide show for this presentation