Grove Farm Wildlife Management Area

Eastern Wild Turkeys, Photo by Lori BrambleThe former Wright property, located just west of Cecilton, Maryland, was acquired by the Department of Natural Resources in March 2008. The 744-acre tract is dedicated to wildlife conservation.

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Management

Grove Farm WMA is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The mission of the Wildlife and Heritage Service is to conserve and enhance diverse wildlife populations and associated habitats while providing for public enjoyment of the State’s wildlife resources through hunting and other wildlife-dependent recreation. Grove Farm WMA provides habitat for migratory waterfowl and upland and forest wildlife species including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, and songbirds.

Grove Farm WMA consists of 745 acres. A farming lease encompasses 228 acres of agricultural crops. Combined there is roughly 392 acres of early successional and deciduous hardwood forest land. Tidal swamps and tidal fresh water marshes encompass about 52 acres. Land management practices follow the prescribed Wildlife Management Area Vision Plan.

Grove Farm WMA is unique in that it is home to the federally threatened and state endangered Puritan Tiger Beetle. The 24 acres of sandy beach/cliff out crop is home to many cliff-obligate species.

Regulations for All Users

Unless otherwise posted or with a permit issued by the Service it is UNLAWFUL to:

  • Operate or possess a vehicle on roads, trails, or waterways not open to general traffic.
  • Bait or feed wildlife.
  • Use or construct permanent blinds or tree stands. All portable blinds or stands must be removed at the end of the day.
  • Ignite, cause to be ignited, or maintain a fire.
  • Camp
  • Remove, disturb, damage, or destroy any mineral, plant, rock, tree, or nongame animal.
  • Have dogs off leash from April 15 through August 15.
  • Use dogs to chase fox and raccoons.
  • Release any animal or plant.
  • Conduct commercial activities.
  • Place a cache for the purpose of geocaching.
  • Operate, possess, or use combustibles, explosives, or fireworks.
  • Dig for relics and treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use a metal detector without a permit from the Office of Archeology.
  • Deposit litter or refuse including, but not limited to, animal carcasses, appliances, brush, debris, furniture, garbage, hazardous material, tires, waste paper, yard waste, or other litter.
  • Vandalize real property including any blind, building, crop, equipment, gate, habitat, plant, road, sign, trail, vehicle, vessel, or other public property.
  • Graze cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or other domestic animals.
  • Place decoys prior to 1 hour before legal shooting hours, leave decoys overnight, or remove decoys later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.
  • Target shoot.​

Hunting

Public hunting on Grove Farm WMA is permitted during legal hunting seasons with restrictions (see below). A free permit is required and available from the DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office or online. Hunting is available for all legal game species in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

  • Click here to apply for the Free Public Hunting Permit.
  • Hunting access is restricted to seasonal permit holders with daily reservations during the deer muzzleloader and firearms seasons, regardless of what you are hunting.
  • Hunting is allowed all legal days of the week year-round. See your Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for available Sunday hunting in Cecil County. 
  • During the deer muzzleloader and firearms seasons there are 10 reservations available per day.
  • Managed Dove Fields are restricted in the month of September. Hunting in the Managed Dove Fields is allowed Opening Day, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from noon until sunset. After September, dove hunting is allowed all legal days and times. See map for dove field locations. Reservations are required for dove hunting in September with 25 reservations available per day.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for dove and waterfowl hunting.
  • Waterfowl hunters not utilizing an established blind site must be 250 yards away from an established site. Waterfowl hunting from tidal shoreline is only allowed from established blind sites.
  • Five waterfowl sites and four goose fields are available for use. Reservations are required during any waterfowl season from September through January. Goose fields will not be available until crops have been harvested.
  • During Spring Turkey Season reservations are required daily from opening day through the second Saturday and all remaining Saturdays. Three reservations are available per day. After the second Saturday hunting is allowed Monday through Friday without a reservation.
  • Permitted hunting devices include all legal devices allowed in Cecil County.​
  • Trapping is allowed by permit only. Contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at 410-356-9272 for more information.

Non-Hunting Users

Grove Farm WMA is open year-round to non-hunters. No permit or reservation is needed. Be aware of active hunting seasons. The property is open for the following activities:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Biking on established trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Nature Photography
  • Dogs must be leashed from April 15 through August 15

Directions

Grove Farm WMA is located on Grove Neck Rd (Rt. 282) west of Cecilton, Maryland. Public access to this area is on Grove Neck Rd and Hazelmoore Rd. For additional information or seasonal permits, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife and Heritage Service Office at 410-356-9272.

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Photo Credit: Eastern Wild Turkeys, photo by Lori Bramble


This area is a part of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the State’s wildlife resources.

Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.​