Cheltenham WMA

Color photograph of Pipe vine swallowtail on a bush by Anthony BurrowsThis 80-acre area is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. ​Cheltenham's rolling grass, shrub and agricultural fields and young forests are home to mourning doves and a variety of songbirds.

What To See

The mournful cry of the mourning dove and the crisp "bob-bob-white" call of the appropriately named bobwhite quail are often heard in the fields and forest edges of Cheltenham. Both birds take full advantage of the grain crops grown for them in agricultural fields. White-tailed deer and cottontail rabbits also abound here. Several songbirds, including warblers and sparrows, find a haven here among the surrounding development of Prince George's County.

What To Do

There are two main activities that Cheltenham WMA offers. One of these involves the archery range. This is a state-of-the-art "walk through" range which simulates hunting situations for archers. It includes 12 targets and one tree-stand station. Archers will find this range an excellent opportunity to hone their skill for the field. The range is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Dove hunting is another of Cheltenham's popular activities. The dove hunting area is open by permit and reservation during appropriate seasons. Several walking trails meander through the area.

Area Regulations

  • Click here to apply for the free Southern Region Public Hunting Permit.
  • Use of Cheltenham WMA is generally permitted seven days a week.
  • All State and Federal Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
  • Archery Deer hunting is permitted by permit and reservation only.
  • Dove hunting is allowed by permit only and is restricted to certain days and shooting hours.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Special Areas

Cheltenham WMA boasts a state-of-the-art, "walk through" archery range that simulates actual hunting situations. The range is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Non-hunting Users Guide

  • Non-hunting visitors are welcome.
  • Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.
  • Season dates available in newspapers, on the Internet, and at some area stores.
  • Cheltenham is home to many songbird species.
  • Several walking trails meander through the area, but hikers must be aware of the both the archery range and dove hunting seasons.

Site Management Practices

Annual food plots, used by both mourning doves and bobwhite quail, are typically established on portions of this WMA. White-tailed deer and cottontail rabbits also take advantage of these plantings.


Cheltenham WMA Location mapCheltenham WMA is approximately 25 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., 35 miles southwest of Annapolis and 10 miles north of Waldorf in Charles County. From U.S. Route 50/301, take the Route 301 exit south toward Richmond, Va. Approximately 5 miles south of the Route 4 exit, turn left on Old Indian Head Road, follow to Cheltenham WMA. From Southern Maryland, Cheltenham can be reached via Route 4 or Route 301. For additional information, contact the Myrtle Grove Work Center at (301) 743-5161.

Click Here for Map

Photograph by Anthony Burrows

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.​