Located in south-central Virginia, the White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area provides outdoor enthusiasts in the region with a variety of opportunities. In addition to hunting and fishing, the road and trail system offers visitors excellent access to view wildlife, take a hike or enjoy the area’s diversity of habitats.
More accurately a plateau, the topography of the White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area is moderately rolling with elevations ranging from about 550 to 900 feet. The area’s 2,748 acres are about two-thirds forested. Timber types are mixed hardwoods and pines including loblolly, and Virginia pine. Hardwood species are primarily the upland oaks — white, black, chestnut, and southern red. Habitat enhancement is accomplished by a combination of forest management, annual and perennial plantings, and an aggressive prescribed burning program in the open areas. The area is dotted with ponds that range in size up to about one acre. The area’s meandering northwest boundary is formed by the Banister River.
White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area is known primarily as a small game hunting area, although deer and turkey hunting opportunities do exist. The area is particularly suitable for rabbits, quail, doves, and squirrels. Planted fields, prescribed burning and strip disking provide diverse plant communities supporting a variety of wildlife species. There are some opportunities to hunt wood ducks. Populations of these are being aided by the use of nesting boxes on or near the ponds.
The sighting-in range facility is located centrally at White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area and may be accessed from State Route 706 by following the direction signs posted on the area. No reservations are required. Visitors age 17 and older who do not possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration, will need to purchase an Access Permit.
Range Operation Dates and Hours
September 1 to March 31, closed on Mondays except holiday Mondays.
|September||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
Four ponds open to fishing offer anglers largemouth bass and bluegill. These ponds are sometimes managed under special regulations, which are posted.
Pete’s Pond has drained and will be managed as a wetland impoundment in the future. Additional ponds ranging up to 5 acres are scattered around White Oak Mountain WMA and are open for fishing. Please look for signs at access gates that say fishing pond.
Birdwatchers and nature photographers will find a wealth of birds and wildflowers on the area. In addition to game animals there is a variety of nongame species in the area for wildlife viewing, including many furbearers along the Banister River, some of the smaller streams and ponds. Hiking is a popular activity on the area. For fisherman, Lake Burton is nearby, west of the management area, and Leesville and Smith Mountain Reservoirs are to the northwest.
The area has one toilet facility and 16 parking lots. Five miles of improved gravel roads make travel within the area convenient. Gated roads and trails invite foot travel. A new sighting-in range is now available seasonally for rifle and shotgun enthusiasts. Built in 2003, this 100 yard range offers multiple shooting stations with a state of the art facility. Range rules and hours are posted on this page and on kiosks located at the ranges. Facilities are not available for handguns.
White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area is located near the center of Pittsylvania County, approximately five miles southeast of Chatham. Access from Chatham is via Route 57 east to Route 649 south, or from U.S. Route 29 south of Chatham via Route 640 north.
Images by: Lynda Richardson - DGIF