Waterfowl Managed Hunts
2023–2024 Managed Hunts
Note to Managed Hunt Applicants
Managed Hunts are generally by on-site random drawings or by application through the local Resource Office. Hunting opportunities are provided on various Department Wildlife Management Areas and National Wildlife Refuges.
Managed Waterfowl Hunts
Hog Island WMA - September Waterfowl Hunts
Hunt resident Canada geese and teal when in season on the third and fourth Wednesdays in September until 11:00 a.m. A total of 10 parties of no more than 3 hunters per party will be selected each morning of the hunt. One vehicle per hunting party will be authorized through the security checkpoint. There are no blinds or decoys provided for these hunts. Hunters should call in advance to determine field hunting conditions (crops in/out or of the fields). Phone number: (757) 357-5224. Dogs are allowed and recommended.
- Drawing begins promptly at 4:15 a.m.
Hog Island WMA - October Youth Hunter Waterfowl Day
The Department, in cooperation with The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia, will host a Youth Waterfowl Hunting day for 20 youths. Only youth may hunt and carry a firearm. The hunt is restricted to youths (15 years of age and under) and each youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult. All youth hunters must register for this event and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, contact the Hog Island WMA between October 2–6, 2023, at (757) 357-5224. There are no blinds or decoys provided for these hunts. Dogs are allowed and recommended.
- Hunters to arrive by 4:30 a.m.
Hog Island WMA - February Youth Hunter Waterfowl Day
This is an opportunity for nine youths to hunt waterfowl. Only youths may hunt and carry a firearm. The hunt is restricted to youths (15 years of age and under) and each youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult. All youth hunters must register for this event and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, contact the Hog Island WMA between January 15–19, 2024, at (757) 357-5224. Dogs are allowed and recommended.
- Hunters to arrive by 4:30 a.m.
Princess Anne WMA Impoundments September Canada Goose/Teal Hunts
This is an opportunity to hunt September Canada geese/teal on the Princess Anne WMA in Virginia Beach. The area’s impoundment system will be open on a first-come, first-served basis for half-day hunting on Saturdays only. Due to ongoing habitat management, the impoundments might not be flooded at this time. All hunters are required to stop hunting at 1:00 p.m. and have all decoys retrieved and be away from the impoundments by 2:00 p.m. Hunters are required to park in the designated parking areas off Munden Road. There are no blinds or decoys provided for these hunts.
- Hunters may not occupy area before 5:00 a.m.
Princess Anne WMA Light Goose Conservation Order Season (Snow and Ross’ Geese)
This is an opportunity for hunters to hunt snow geese (light geese) at the Princess Anne WMA after the general duck season. The Princess Anne float blind stakes and impoundments at Back Bay are available for snow goose hunting after the general duck season. These hunts will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Daily hunting times will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The impoundments are open for late snow goose hunting on Wednesdays, Saturdays and state holidays only. The blind stakes may be hunted Mondays–Saturdays. A boat is required to hunt the float blind stakes.
Princess Anne WMA -
Youth/Veteran Hunter Waterfowl Days
Float blind stakes and the impoundments will be open on a first-come, first-served basis to youth (15 years or younger) when accompanied by an adult, and veteran hunters, during Youth/Veteran Waterfowl Hunting days. The float blind stakes will be open Saturday and Sunday. Only youth or veterans may hunt and carry a firearm. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult. There are no blinds or decoys provided for these hunts. Note: During the October hunt date there may also be deer hunters using the area around the impoundments.
- Hunt day: October and February Youth/Veteran Waterfowl Hunt Days
- Hunters may not occupy area before 5:00 a.m.
The Department of Wildlife Resources reserves the right to manage hunter access and hunter use on Department-owned and controlled lands as deemed appropriate.
This program received federal financial assistance in Sport Fish and/or Wildlife Restoration. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to the Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 300, Arlington, VA 22203.
What is Legal?
You can hunt waterfowl on or over or from the following areas that are not otherwise baited:
- Standing crops or flooded standing crops, including aquatic plants.
- Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation.
- Flooded harvested croplands.
- Lands or areas where grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation.
- Lands or areas where top-sown seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, or a planting for agricultural soil erosion control or post-mining land reclamation.
- A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation.
- A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, provided your use of such vegetation does not expose, deposit, distribute or scatter grain or other feed.
- Standing or flooded standing crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as the result of hunters entering or leaving the area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds. Hunters are cautioned that while conducting these activities, any intentional scattering of grain will create a baited area.
What is Illegal?
Some examples of areas where you cannot hunt waterfowl include:
- Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown and the Cooperative Extension Service does not recommend the practice of top sowing (see section on wildlife food plots).
- Crops that have been harvested outside of the recommended harvest dates established by the Cooperative Extension Service (including any subsequent post-harvest manipulations).
- Unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations that distribute, scatter, or expose grain.
- Areas where grain is present and stored, such as grain elevators and grain bins.
- Areas where grain is present for the purpose of feeding livestock.
- Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.
- Croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where grown.
These examples do not represent an all-inclusive list of waterfowl baiting violations. More specific information on the baiting regulations for waterfowl can be found on the following U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website (https://www.fws.gov/le/waterfowl-hunting-and-baiting.html). See Definitions & Terms for the definition of a Normal Agricultural Operation.
Dove Hunting and Baiting. Baiting regulations for doves, and migratory game birds other than waterfowl and coots, are somewhat different than those for waterfowl and can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/le/dove-hunting-and-baiting.html
It is Unlawful to Take Migratory Game Birds:
- With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;
- With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. This restriction does not apply to crows and during dates states have selected under the Light Goose Conservation Order (i.e., greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese);
- From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;
- From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance;
- From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased;
- By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl;
- By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. This restriction does not apply to crows or during dates states have selected under the Light Goose Conservation Order (i.e., greater and lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese);
- By means or aid of any motor-driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird;
- By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area, where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.
Hunting is allowed on Sundays except under the following circumstances:
- within 200 yards of a house of worship or any accessory structure thereof.
- to hunt or kill any deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs.
Note: The General Assembly passed a new law that now allows Sunday hunting on public land for all game species. Many public landowners are taking advantage of this new hunting opportunity and opening their public lands for hunting on Sundays. For details on how public landowners will implement Sunday hunting on their lands please contact the public landowner or visit virginiawildlife.gov/SundayHunting.
Wanton Waste of Migratory Game Birds
No person shall kill or cripple any migratory game bird without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird, and retain it in his actual custody, at the place where taken or between that place and either (a) his automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) his personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.
No person may take ducks, geese (including brant), swans, coots, mergansers, gallinules, rails or snipe while possessing shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than approved non-toxic shot. For a list of approved non-toxic shot, see General Information or www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdissues/nontoxic.htm.
Opening Day of a Season
No person on the opening day of the season shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit, or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies.
Field Possession Limit
No person shall possess, have in custody, or transport more than the daily bag limit or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies, of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (a) his automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) his personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.
No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than at his personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were killed. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.
Custody of Birds of Another
No person shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged.
Termination of Possession
Subject to all other requirements of this part, the possession of birds taken by any hunter shall be deemed to have ceased when such birds have been delivered by him to another person as a gift; or have been delivered by him to a post office, a common carrier, or a migratory bird preservation facility and consigned for transport by the Postal Service or a common carrier to some person other than the hunter.
Gift of Migratory Game Birds
No person may receive, possess, or give to another, any freshly killed migratory game birds as a gift, except at the personal abodes of the donor or donee, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter who took the birds, stating such hunter’s address, the total number and species of birds and the date such birds were taken.
Transportation of Birds of Another
No person shall transport migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged.
Species Identification Requirement
No person shall transport within the United States any migratory game birds, except doves and band-tailed pigeons, unless the head or one fully feathered wing remains attached to each such bird at all times while being transported from the place where taken until they have arrived at the personal abode of the possessor or a migratory bird preservation facility.
Marking Package or Container
No person shall transport by the Postal Service or a common carrier migratory game birds unless the package or container in which such birds are transported has the name and address of the shipper and the consignee and an accurate statement of the numbers of each species of birds therein contained clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside thereof.
More restrictive regulations may apply to National Wildlife Refuges opened to public hunting. For additional information on refuge specific regulations see www.fws.gov/refuges/.