The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area is the only Game Department management area in the coastal plain that consists mainly of woodlands and is managed primarily for upland wildlife rather than wetland species. This type of management, coupled with the area's location along a major tidal river and creek, gives this Charles City County area a variety of habitat types that is unique to the Department's Wildlife Management Area system. A sighting-in range located at the WMA provides hunters a place to hone their skills.
The management area gains its name from the Chickahominy River which forms the area's eastern boundary. To the south, Morris Creek flows through the area and then along its southern boundary. Other smaller tidal creeks and marshy guts cut into the forests to provide additional wetland diversity. The upland, though mainly wooded with mixed hardwood and pine stands, also features cultivated, mowed and "old field" openings. The area's 5,217 acres are contiguous although there are some interior, private properties. Nearly level, elevations range from about 25 to 50 feet.
Shooting Range Operation Dates:
September 1 to March 31, closed on Mondays except on state holidays.
Closed on Monday
Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday: 1 PM - 6:30 PM
October - January:
Closed on Monday
Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday: 1 PM - 4:30 PM
February - March:
Closed on Monday
Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday: 1 PM - 5:30 PM
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Hunting opportunities on the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area include those for deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, doves and waterfowl. Agricultural crops beneficial to wildlife are planted annually. Timber is sold to to create small clearings and mowed trails provide linear openings and create "edge" to further enhance existing habitat. White- tailed deer are abundant. Turkeys use the area extensively, and squirrels are plentiful during most years. Open areas and woodland "edges" sustain fair quail and rabbit populations. Ducks are common and use the beaver ponds as well as tidal waters adjacent to the property. Waterfowl is hunted primarily by floating blind, hunters being allowed access on a first come basis. Stationary blinds are not allowed.
Morris Creek is a good largemouth stream and also provides excellent fishing for crappie and catfish, including channel, blue and white. Many of the smaller tributaries are also productive. The species mentioned above also occur in the Chickahominy River as it passes the management area. Additionally, the river often provides good fishing for striped bass and yellow perch.
The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area is excellent for observing and photographing wildlife. Visits to the bluffs along the Chickahominy River, or the interior of the property often yield sightings of many upland and wetland plant and animal species, including ospreys and bald eagles. Nearby, a number of restored plantations are located along the James River and easily accessible from state route 5. Also close by are Lake Harrison, the Federal Fish Cultural Station, Williamsburg and the Scotland-Jamestown Ferry.
Parking areas are located along routes 623 and 621 as well as along some of the interior roads. An excellent public boat ramp on Morris Creek gives boating and fishing access to the creek and the Chickahominy and James Rivers. Trails mowed to benefit wildlife also invite hikers. A well developed sighting-in range for rifle and shotgun shooters is a popular feature of this area.
In the fall of 1607, Jamestown had no food in storage for the winter. Captain John Smith began a series of trips to Chickahominy Indian towns to trade for corn.
In October and November, Smith and his crew took their barge Discovery up the river three times, exploring and mapping the region as they went.
The Chickahominy welcomed them and traded baskets of corn for copper pots, blue beads, and other manufactured items.
On his fourth trip up the river in December, Smith left the Discovery and most of his crew at Appocant (near present-day Providence Forge), because the barge could not continue in the narrow, shallow waters.
He hired a Chickahominy guide to take him and two crew members further upriver in a canoe. In the Chickahominy Swamp, they ran into a Youghtanund Indian hunting party that killed the crewmen and captured Smith.
The Youghtanund held Smith for six weeks and eventually took him to meet paramount chief Powhatan.