Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Updates Related to COVID-19

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is taking the COVID-19 virus very seriously and wants to make sure our staff and constituents are taking all necessary precautions. We want the outdoors to be a place of escape for the public during this time, and it will take all of us working together to make sure that this can be done in a safe manner. DWR encourages everyone in the Commonwealth to utilize the online option, GoOutdoorsVirginia.com for all of your licensing and registration needs. Hunters, anglers, boaters and wildlife enthusiasts can do most transactions online.

DWR Updates

All DWR offices and fish hatcheries are operational, but closed for walk-in traffic until further notice.

DWR offices:

  • Headquarters, Henrico, VA.
  • Charles City, VA
  • Fredericksburg, VA
  • Forest, VA
  • Marion, VA
  • Verona, VA

As you may have seen circulating around social media, DWR has not canceled any hunting seasons or fishing opportunities. Everyone hunting and fishing in Virginia MUST have a license and follow all rules and regulations.

For detailed information on Virginia’s hunting seasons and regulations, please visit the Hunting & Trapping Regulations section of the DWR website.

Due to the continued effects of COVID-19, and because the safety of the public and Department staffs is of vital concern to the Department, some fall hunting events are cancelled. The following list reflects the current event cancellations, and we will update this as future conditions warrant.

Quota & Managed Hunts

  • Radford Army Ammunition Plant deer hunts (Series #211) has been cancelled.
  • Land’s End WMA Hunts for dove (Series #610), deer (Series #222), and spring turkeys (series #415) have been cancelled.

Youth Waterfowl Hunts

  • The youth waterfowl hunt on Hog Island WMA slated for October 24, 2020 has been cancelled.

Field Trials

  • All field trials on DWR Wildlife Management Areas through December 31, 2020 have been cancelled.

CWD Sampling

  • Mandatory CWD Sampling in Culpeper, Madison, and Shenandoah Counties on November 14, 2020 has been cancelled.

DWR’s Wildlife Management Areas remain open to the public, and active hunting on these areas will begin in early September and continue into 2021.

Beyond DWR’s Wildlife Management Areas, hunting opportunities abound on other public lands in Virginia. Before heading afield on these public lands, DWR encourages hunters to check with the governing agency to ensure and familiarize themselves with rules and regulations specific to these lands and ensure there are no restrictions or facilities closures.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forest

  • Supervisor’s Office (540) 265-5100
  • Clinch Ranger District (276) 679-8370
  • North River Ranger District (540) 432-0187
  • Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District (540) 291-2188
  • James River Ranger District (540) 839-2521
  • Lee Ranger District (540) 984-4101
  • Mt. Rogers Recreation Area (276) 783-5196
  • Eastern Divide Ranger District (540) 552-4641
  • Warm Springs Ranger District (540) 839-2521

State Forests

  • Headquarters (804) 492-4121

United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Federal Refuges

  • Back Bay (757) 301-7329
  • Chincoteague (757) 336-6122
  • Great Dismal Swamp (757) 986-3705
  • Eastern Shore (757) 331-2760
  • Rappahannock River Valley (804) 333-1470
  • James River (804) 829-9020
  • Plum Tree Island (804) 829-9020
  • Presquile (804) 829-9020
  • Mason Neck/Occoquan (703) 490-4979

Military Areas

  • Fort A.P. Hill (804) 633-8984
  • Fort Pickett (434) 292-2618
  • Quantico Marine Reservation (703) 784-5523/5329
  • Fort Belvoir (703) 805-3969

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Virginia State Parks

  • Hunting Information (800) 933-7275

Q: Are sighting-in ranges closed?

The Department’s sighting-in ranges will open under their normal operating hours beginning on September 1, 2020. Users are welcome to bring cleaning supplies should they desire to wipe down the station prior to shooting. Sighting-in ranges on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest are open, visit the GW&JNF website for more details.

Q: Are the barrier-free trails and blinds closed?

The Department’s barrier-free trails and blinds are open for use during the hunting seasons. Users are welcome to bring cleaning supplies should they desire to wipe down the blind prior to shooting.

Facilities:

  • Public Restrooms and Porta-Potties located on Department facilities are open for use by the public.
  • Goshen and Little North Mountain WMA: Due to ongoing safety concerns, the swinging bridge access over the Maury River at Goshen and Little North Mountain WMA is closed to the public until further notice. This bridge is the public access point to the southern portion of the Little North Mountain WMA and the only access point to VDCR Division of Natural Heritage’s Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve.
  • Cavalier WMA: The seasonal gate is closed past the first parking lot, but visitors may walk in beyond that. This gate is scheduled to be opened on September 1, 2020.

Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site’s own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.

For education, DWR has some resources for you.

For further resources, please see the below links.

To stay up to date with the latest DWR information, please follow us on social media and subscribe to Notes from the Field.

DWR asks that if you or someone you have been in contact with has a known connection to COVID-19, please stay at home so that you do not spread the virus and/or germs. DWR will keep working diligently with other agencies to make sure we do our part to help prevent the spread of the virus.

If you have any questions regarding DWR services or activities, please give them a call (804-367-1000) and they will help with your needs as best they can.