Meade Natural Heritage Association

Experience Our State's Best Kept Secret !

The Patuxent Research Refuge was established in 1936 by an executive order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. With land surrounding the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD, the refuge has grown from the original 2,670 acres to its present size of 12,750 acres and encompasses land formerly managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Defense. A wide range of hunting opportunities await the outdoor sportsman who ventures in the woods and fields of the Patuxent Research Refuge. Hunting for upland game, waterfowl, and white-tail deer exist and is managed by both refuge officials and the volunteer staff of the Meade Natural Heritage Association (MNHA). Through the use of a permit system, MNHA is cooperating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, providing outdoor opportunities to avid sportsmen. Hunting is permitted from September through January, based on Maryland state hunting seasons. The varied hunting opportunities at Patuxent Research Refuge are due to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and MNHA efforts to effectively manage refuge wildlife resources. Close cooperation in this partnership has established a model program for other refuges. By using a daily sign-in system, weapon qualifications for deer hunters, hunter education classes and hunter density limits in each hunting area, MNHA personnel strive to provide the safest and highest quality outdoor experience to the outdoor sportsman.  MNHA has grown since it's inception in 1991 to over 600 permit hunters. Hunting activities are controlled by the MNHA staff at the Hunting Control Station (HCS), located on Bald Eagle Drive. Permit sales, daily sign-in and harvest recording (deer checking) are performed at the HCS. MNHA begins permit sales in August of each year and continues through the hunting season.