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Visitor Activities

View of the island and an old dock from the water.

The refuge is not open to the public. Due to fragile habitats and safety concerns associated with its former use as a bombing range, public access is prohibited.

  • Hunting

    By refuge permit only, limited waterfowl hunting is offered on the 211-acre Cow Island Unit. This hunt is conducted as a Quota Hunt through partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Hunting occurs from stationary hunt blinds. Currently approximately 25 days are offered during the second segment of the Virginia waterfowl season. (mid November to late January). Application costs are $7.50 and if selected a two-day hunt permit is provided.

    Hunters can apply for the hunt through Virginia’s Quota Hunt Lottery system GoOutdoorsVirginia.com during the summer application period.

  • Wildlife Viewing and Photography

    The refuge is not open to the public. Due to fragile habitats and safety concerns associated with its former use as a bombing range, public access is prohibited. Off-site wildlife viewing from the mainland (namely Messick Point Marina) and some adjacent waters is encouraged.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Jul 08, 2016
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