Blackwater NWR announces changes to 2015 turkey hunt

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CAMBRIDGE — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be modifying the fee collection process for turkey hunting in 2015. Beginning with next spring’s hunt, applications for turkey hunting on the refuge will cost $10 each, with payments accepted in cash or check to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each applicant will be entered in a lottery style drawing. Holders of the Federal Interagency Senior Pass (for age 62 and up) or the Interagency Access Pass (for the permanently disabled) will be entitled to half off their application fee.

In October 2014, the management of Blackwater NWR’s hunting program was completely turned over to refuge staff after more than a decade of administration by the Friends of Blackwater, the refuge’s nonprofit support group. While this management change will have little effect on hunting logistics at the refuge, the application process may move to an online system in 2015. Hunters are encouraged to periodically check Blackwater NWR’s web site for updates at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/visit/hunting.html .

Hunt application fees collected by the refuge are sent to the Department of Interior’s central accounting office. Blackwater NWR will get back approximately 80 percent of those funds for use in the refuge hunting program. Those funds are typically spent on improvement of refuge infrastructure such as access roads, signs, and parking areas, and printed material for the hunt program.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes in Blackwater NWR’s hunting program, please contact Refuge Manager Suzanne Baird at 410-228-2692.

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