CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.- Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges are seeking public review and comment on their proposed hunting opening plan.
The public is invited to review the draft documents for refuges’ proposed hunts, including the draft hunting plan, compatibility determinations and environmental assessment. These documents will be available for a 60-day comment period.
Chincoteague NWR is proposing to continue to allow deer and migratory game bird hunting and open new opportunities for raccoon, opossum, fox, and coyote hunting during the state deer season only; adding additional migratory game bird species including woodcock, dove, snipe, gallinule, and crow to the existing waterfowl hunt; and opening a quota turkey hunt. Other changes include no longer allowing the use of shotguns in the former Toms Cove Hook zone (now merged and part of archery only zone), requiring non-lead ammunition for upland game, migratory game birds, and turkey immediately, while instituting a 4-year phase out of lead ammunition for deer (non-toxic ammunition will be required by 2026).
Wallops Island NWR is proposing to continue to allow deer hunting and open new opportunities for raccoon, opossum, fox, coyote, rabbit, and squirrel; opening to all migratory game birds (waterfowl, goose, coot, rail, snipe, woodcock, dove, gallinule, and crow); and opening a quota turkey hunt. The refuge will also be requiring the use of non-lead ammunition for upland game, migratory game birds, and turkey immediately while instituting a 4-year phase out of lead ammunition for deer (non-toxic ammunition will be required by 2026).
A signed brochure, available at no cost, will be required to hunt on Chincoteague and Wallops Island NWRs. All required state permits must be in possession of the hunter while hunting on the refuge. Daily sign-in and sign-out procedures will be required for big game hunters at Chincoteague NWR.
The full draft hunting documents can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/chincoteague.
The comment period will stay open through the end of the “2022–2023 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations” comment period, to be announced in the Federal Register. We will accept public comments through June. We will update our webpages with the final date soon. If you wish to comment, please note “Chincoteague NWR” in the subject line of an email, and address to “[email protected]“. You can also submit comments to the refuge by mail at the address listed above.