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Big Game & Waterfowl Hunting

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 550 National Wildlife Refuges whose objective is to provide habitat for the conservation and protection of all species of wildlife. The harvest of surplus animals is one tool used to manage wildlife populations at a level compatible with the environment, provide wholesome recreational opportunities, and permit the use of a valuable renewable resource. The various habitats found on the refuge include dune-grass community, shrub community, upland maritime forest, fresh water marsh and salt marsh. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge manages its hunt through a permit system.

  • General Information

    We have made significant changes to the big game hunt program for 2016. In general, Chincoteague’s big game hunt has become more closely aligned with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s regulations and seasons.

    What's New?

    • The multiple zone system and all but 1 lottery have been revised. All hunts except the first 4 days of firearms are first come/first serve and there are no fees for any of the hunts. Hunters must still pay the refuge entrance fee.

    • There are still 2 big game seasons for the refuge; archery and firearms. The dates for these seasons now more closely align with Virginia. 

    The hunt orientation is now available online and will cover both archery & firearms seasons. 

    • We now have one application for big game hunting which covers both Archery and Firearms seasons.

    • Your signed application will act as your hunting permit, but you still have to submit an electronic copy via email to the hunt coordinator prior to hunting.

    • One significant difference is the bag limit and antler restrictions for whitetail deer.

    • For questions concerning hunt regulations please refer to the brochure or contact the Hunt coordinator, Chase Sands, at or 757-336-6122 x2315. Please note correspondence sent to the email address will not be replied to until after September 15, however applications sent prior to this date are still accepted.

    For specific Virginia state hunting regulations and licenses information please visit the
    Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. 

    You will need to download the most recent version of Adobe Reader to open brochures, applications and permit documents. You can get this software for free at


  • 2016 Archery Hunt

    Hunt Archery image promo 150x118

    Early Season Archery October 1st – November 18th

    Late Season Archery November 19th - December 17th 

    *All archery hunting is first come/first serve daily, no hunting on Sundays 

    Brochure (pdf 330KB)
    Application/Permit (pdf 276KB)
    Orientation (pdf 2.7MB) - expect a long load time due to large file size

  • 2016 Big Game Firearms Hunt

    Hunt Firearms image promo 150x118

    Northern Zone Firearms (Lottery) November 19th – 23rd

    Tom’s Cove Hook (Lottery) November 19th – 23rd

    First Come/First Serve (Northern Zone & Tom’s Cove Hook) November 28th - December 17th

    *No hunting on Sundays

    Brochure (pdf 341KB)
    Application/Permit (pdf 276KB)
    Orientation (pdf 2.7MB) - expect a long load time due to large file size

    For lottery applications only:   

    Applications due September 25, 2016

    Results emailed to hunters October 9, 2016

  • 2016-2017 Migratory Game Bird Hunt

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    Brochure (pdf 159KB)
    Application/Permit (pdf 226KB) 

    General Public Virginia Waterfowl and Rail Seasons
    We allow hunting of Waterfowl (as defined by the Virginia Waterfowl Hunting Guide) and Rail during the State seasons on designated areas of the Refuge within Wildcat Marsh, Morris Island, Assawoman Island, and Metompkin Island Divisions in accordance with State regulations.

  • 2016 Wallops Island Refuge Hunt

    Hunt Wallops image promo 150x118

    State of Virginia seasons apply for both Archery and Firearms, no hunting on Sundays. 

    Brochure (pdf 354KB)
    Application/Permit (pdf 217KB)

    *Requests for non-hunting assistant permits must be indicated on the hunters' application.

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2016
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