Located on Back Bay in extreme Southeastern Virginia, Princess Anne Wildlife Management Area serves as the Game Department’s major waterfowl hunting area. Hunting opportunity is further enhanced by a long-standing cooperative agreement with Virginia State Parks that provides limited access to False Cape State Park for hunting waterfowl and deer.
Four tracts, totaling 1,546 acres, make up the Princess Anne Wildlife Management Area. Beasley, Trojan and Whitehurst, are on the western shore of Back Bay, a slightly brackish body separated from the Atlantic Ocean by False Cape. The Pocahontas Tract, a group of marshy islands, is at the south end of the bay. The Beasley and Whitehurst Tract is a combination of marshes, man-made impoundments and upland. Impoundment water levels are manipulated to promote vegetation for wintering and migrating waterfowl.
The hours listed below apply to the Beasley, Whitehurst, Pocahontas, and Trojan tracts. Fishing and wildlife viewing are allowed in the canal and pond at the WMA headquarters at 1300 Back Bay Landing Road year-round.
- September – April:
- May – August:
- Open for wildlife viewing, sunrise to sunset.
The blind stakes at Princess Anne WMA are open to first come/first serve hunting Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays during the September Canada Goose Season. Beginning with the opening day of September Teal the blind stakes are managed through the Quota Hunt system.
Youth waterfowl hunters and their chaperones are reminded that archery hunting will also be occurring on the Beasley and Whitehurst tracts on Oct 24.
All hunting is carefully controlled in an effort to provide a quality and successful hunting experience. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from designated floating blind locations on management area marshes and near the shoreline of the state park. Use of the floating blind sites, available from the Princess Anne Headquarters at the Trojan Tract.
The Whitehurst and Beasley Tracts are not open for the September youth deer hunt day.
The Whitehurst and Beasley tracts of the Princess Anne Wildlife Management Area will be open for archery deer hunting from the early archery season opening day (please consult hunting regulations) – October 31 (excluding Sundays). These two tracts, which are primarily marsh and wooded wetlands, combined are approximately 700 acres and are located in the City of Virginia Beach just east of Creeds. No lottery approval or daily reservations are required.
Hunters may scout the area prior to the season on Sundays and portable tree stands are welcome. Participants will be required to wear blaze orange. For more information contact the Regional Office at (804) 829.6580.
To minimize disturbance to waterfowl, trapping is not permitted on Princess Anne WMA without written permission.
Over the years, changes in salinity and the decline in aquatic vegetation, has altered the fishery in Back Bay proper. Currently, white perch is the primary sport fish in the bay. Anglers continue to take largemouth bass and bluegill from the creeks feeding the bay. These creeks also offer excellent fishing for channel catfish during the spring spawning period.
No camping is allowed at the WMA. False Cape State Park offers hiking, biking, primitive camping and an interpretative center. This unique habitat hosts a variety of wildlife species and is a birder’s paradise. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a visitor center and trails through the dunes.
There’s a boat ramp and parking at the Princess Anne headquarters.
Access to Princess Anne is south from Pungo on Route 615 then east on Route 699, south of Creeds, to the area headquarters.
Images by: Meghan Marchetti - DGIF