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Doodletown Wildlife Management Area

Doodletown WMA Locator Map

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The primary purposes of Doodletown Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA is a combination of two parcels, one purchased in 2017 consisting of 690 acres, and another purchased in 2019 consisting of 388 acres, for a total of 1,078 acres. The WMA is primarily forested with semi-mature to mature forest stands of oak, maple, birch, and aspen. Several wetlands and vernal pools are scattered throughout the property providing breeding and nursery habitat for many species of amphibians. This WMA also has several recreational opportunities, such as hunting, trapping, and bird watching.

An important species to be managed at Doodletown WMA is the New England cottontail, a species of special concern in New York State. The WMA falls within the Southern Columbia County New England cottontail focus area. Management actions planned for this WMA will protect critical habitat to support populations of New England cottontail.

Doodletown WMA is situated along the western edge of the Taconic Range and is characterized by rocky, forested hills made up of marble, limestone, slate, and iron. Mining of iron in this area was important to the early economy; agriculture and farming now characterize much of the landscape surrounding Doodletown WMA. The topography is made up of flat-topped hills and sloping ravines.

Forest at Doodletown WMA

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 4Z

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

White-tailed deer and a variety of small game species offer ample hunting and trapping opportunities. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).


wildlife viewing

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Deer, turkeys, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area, so bring your binoculars and camera and enjoy the native wildlife.

Wildlife found in the area are typical of forests and forest edge habitats. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.


The property can be accessed from Doodletown Road, Westfall Road, Route 27, and Sheppards Road. From the north, it can be accessed from County Route 27. From the south, the area can be accessed from the Taconic State Parkway by taking Route 82 east to Doodletown Road. The Allen Road parking lots can be accessed by Westfall Road, which is off of County Route 7, northeast of Ancram.

All Google links leave DEC website.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

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Old foundation in Doodletown WMA

All users of Doodletown WMA must follow all Wildlife Management Area Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

Outdoor Safety Tips

NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (leaves DEC website).

How We Manage Doodletown Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Doodletown WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment.

Management at Doodletown WMA is designed to maintain forested and wetland habitats, while creating habitat diversity within the property. Young forest created will provide critical habitat to support populations of New England cottontail and many other species of wildlife including ruffed grouse, cerulean warbler, and bobcat. Forestry practices will be utilized to create openings within the forest canopy, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor and promote natural regeneration.

Doodletown WMA is managed for non-intensive recreation consistent with its wildlife management function. The area does have open woodlands, but there are no designated trails. Those seeking more developed day use areas should visit the nearby Lake Taghkanic State Park.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Doodletown Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in July 2018, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

State Lands and Facilities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.