Cavalier WMA

Important Notices for this WMA

Dove Hunting Closed on Cavalier WMA Until Further NoticeDue to illegal baiting on the area, dove hunting is prohibited until further notice. Federal and State laws require a 10 day waiting period once all of the bait has been removed from the landscape before hunting activities can resume. We will continue to monitor the situation and re-open the area to dove hunting once we can legally do so. Please check back here for future updates. If you have any information on the illegal baiting activities please contact the Wildlife Crime Line at 1-800-237-5712.

The Cavalier Wildlife Management Area is located in the far southeastern corner of Virginia, in the City of Chesapeake. The management area is comprised of two parcels, the 750-acre Dismal Swamp tract adjoining the Dismal Swamp Canal and the 3,800-acre Cavalier tract that abuts the North Carolina state line near Route 17.

Notice: Due to potential wildlife management concerns, horseback riding is not permitted on this WMA.

Cavalier WMA provides coastal and forested habitats for a wide range of wildlife, including black bear, neo-tropical migratory songbirds, canebrake rattlesnakes, white-tailed deer, and eastern wild turkeys.

Currently, much of the management area is cutover forestland, with several hundred acres in 15-year-old planted pine. The 3,800-acre main tract, located approximately 2.5 miles east of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), was once part of the Great Dismal Swamp but was ditched and drained more than 200 years ago.


Sunday Hunting Opportunities on Public Lands in Virginia »

Cavalier WMA is now removed from quota hunts and will be open to public hunting. All Chesapeake season dates, regulations, and bag limits apply. Hunting deer or bear with dogs is still prohibited. Centerfire rifles are also prohibited.

Cavalier WMA and the Dismal Swamp tract are not open for the early urban archery season. This season was initiated for suburban localities as a deer management tool and is not intended for Wildlife Management Areas.

Cavalier WMA is not open for September goose and teal hunting. Federal migratory game bird laws prohibit hunting waterfowl over grains that have been manipulated in any manner other than a normal agricultural practice. In order to provide dove hunting opportunities, some crops grown for wildlife are mown, which is in conflict with waterfowl laws.


From Deep Creek. Route 17 south to Ballahack Road. Left on Ballahack for 3.2 miles. Entrance to Cavalier WMA on right.

Images by: Meghan Marchetti/DWR

Recreational Opportunities