SOUTH CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Over the past two years, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) has expanded the state’s public land with the creation of seven new Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and the expansion of four existing WMAs in more than 31,200 acres District 6.
“These WMAs are extremely important to conservation and increase opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation such as hunting, trapping, fishing and wildlife viewing,” said Jerry Westfall, wildlife biologist for the WVDNR’s sixth district.
New WMAs in District 6, a 10-county area in the west of the state, include:
- Burning Springs (Wirt County)
- Federal Comb (Pleasants County)
- Little Kanawha River (Host and Calhoun County)
- Lynn Camp (Host County)
- Sandy Creek, Jackson County
- Toll Station (Ritchie and Doddridge Counties)
- Walker Creek (Wood and Wirt County)
The WVDNR has also expanded four existing WMAs in the district, including Frozen Camp (Jackson Counties), Hughes River (Ritchie and Wirt Counties), Ritchie Mines (Ritchie Counties), and Sand Hill (Pleasants, Wood and Ritchie Counties).
Hunting access to these areas, which also include former commercial forests, was limited in the past. The WVDNR acquired the properties in 2020 using hunting and fishing license fees, funds from Federal Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, and impact fees from pipeline development companies. Access to these new and expanded WMAs is free to the public.
A highlight of the purchases is the 8,255-acre Little Kanawha River WMA, which is managed as an Elderly Deer Management Area, where buck harvest is limited to animals with a minimum external antler spread of 14 inches (approximately ear tip to ear tip).
“Many hunters enjoy hunting in areas where bucks are allowed to mature to a certain antler size before harvest, so we expect the WMA on the Little Kanawha River to become really popular,” Westfall said.
The new WMAs also improve fishing access to large bodies of water such as the Little Kanawha River and Hughes Rivers, and access to the WMAs via the North Bend Rail Trail, which runs through parts of the district.
Hunters, trappers, anglers, and other wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to review the maps of District 6 WMAs. To download topographic WMA maps of the areas, go to WVdnr.gov/gis-mapping or use the WVDNR’s hunting map tool at mapwv.gov/huntfish. Cards are also available during regular business hours from the WVDNR District 6 Office at 2311 Ohio Avenue in Parkersburg.