Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area

American Kestral, photo by Steve Hillebrand, USFWS

Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area is located on Gwynnbrook Avenue, just off Owings Mills Boulevard in Owings Mills. Originally a game farm, this 88 acre tract was purchased by the State in 1919, making it the oldest wildlife management area in Maryland.

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Management

Gwynnbrook 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. Gwynnbrook WMA contains limited trails available for use by hikers and hunters that are not regularly maintained and are often rough and muddy. This area provides habitat for upland and forest wildlife species including white-tailed deer, squirrels, and songbirds. Five acres of fields are managed for wildlife cover and pollinators. Some food plots may be planted in these fields. The remainder of the property is forested. There is a one acre pond located on the property.

The Central Region Public Hunting Program is run out of the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area.

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.

Hunting

Public hunting on Gwynnbrook WMA is permitted during the deer archery season 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 deer only in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

  • Click here to apply for the free Central Region Public Hunting Permit.
  • Hunting access is restricted to seasonal permit holders with daily reservations from September through January.
  • Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
  • From September through January there are 4 reservations available per day.
  • This area is not open for hunting during the Spring Turkey Season.
  • Permitted hunting devices include archery equipment only.
  • Trapping is not allowed.
  • No hunting is allowed around the Gwynnbrook WMA pond.

Non-Hunting Users

From September through January non-hunting users may access the property on Sundays only. No permit or reservation is needed. The Gwynnbrook WMA pond is open year-round for wildlife viewing and fishing. Outside this timeframe, Gwynnbrook WMA is open Sunday through Saturday for the following activities:

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

Maryland may showing approximate location of Gwynnbrook WMA

Directions

From I-695, take the I-795 Expressway to Owings Mills Boulevard towards Reisterstown Road. Follow the signs to Owings Mills Boulevard. Continue on Owings Mills Boulevard to Gwynnbrook Avenue. Turn right on Gwynnbrook Avenue and then immediately left into the Gwynnbrook WMA. Public parking is located directly on Gwynnbrook Avenue. Turn up the driveway to visit the Wildife Office. For additional information, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at 410-356-9272.

American kestral, photo by Steve Hillebrand


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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.​