Myrtle Grove WMA

​ ​ ​ ​​ ​ Two ducks enjoying the sunset at one of the marsh areas

Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area is located in Charles County, Maryland near La Plata. This WMA encompasses the forested bottomlands of Mattawoman Creek and was once home to the Piscataway Indians. The original tract of Myrtle Grove WMA was acquired by the State of Maryland in 1929. This tract included 754 acres in the central portion of the property. Since that time, many additional acquisitions have grown this WMA to 5,190 acres, making it the largest Wildlife Management Area in the Southern Region.

​​​Myrtle Grove WMA is home to the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Office. This office issues the Free Public Hunting Permit and takes reservations for public hunting properties in the Southern Region. The office holds seasonal hours of 8am to noon. Call the office for current hours. The office can be reached by calling 301-743-5161.​


​Habitat Description and Management

Myrtle Grove 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. Myrtle Grove consists of mature uplands and bottomland forests consisting of oaks, hickories, maples, sycamores, poplars, beech, and several other tree species.

Myrtle Grove WMA staff maintain approximately 31 acres of wildlife food plots and early succession vegetation to provide habitat and food for upland wildlife. Two man-made greentree reservoirs provide food and wintering habitat for waterfowl. These reservoirs are deliberately flooded in the fall and winter while the trees are dormant. The nuts and seeds dropped by the trees are used by migrating and wintering waterfowl.

The Myrtle Grove Lake is a 23 acre lake located in the central portion of Myrtle Grove WMA. This lake is periodically stocked with rainbow trout and offers opportunities for fishing and kayaking. Fisherpersons can also find large-mouth bass, bluegills, pickerel, and catfish in the lake. Fishing is allowed year-round. A small boat launch is provided at the lake. Gasoline motors and electric motors exceeding 60 pounds of thrust are not permitted on the lake. To fish in the lake, a non-tidal fishing license is required, as well as a trout stamp, if fishing for trout.

​Myrtle Grove WMA provides critical habitat for all types of wildlife including white-tailed deer, fish, turtles, upland game, forest game, waterfowl and migratory birds.

Regulations for all Users

​Unless otherwise posted or with a permit issued by the Service, on lands and waters owned or controlled by the Wildlife and Heritage Service, it is UNLAWFUL to:

  • Catch, harass, hunt, intentionally disturb, kill, or pursue any wildlife on lands or waters posted as a “Wildlife Sanctuary” or a “Wildlife Refuge.”
  • Operate or possess a vehicle, except for licensed automobiles, boats, motorcycles, or trucks on roads, trails or waterways open to general traffic or specifically posted by the Service.
  • ​Operate any vehicle in an unsafe manner or cause damage to roads, trails, or other areas.
  • Operate any vehicle on lands or waters while under the influence of any intoxicants.
  • Park a vehicle, unless engaged in a legitimate recreational activity allowed on the property and in a designated parking area. Users must obey posted vehicle quotas and/or hours of operation.
  • Bait or feed wildlife or to hunt, shoot, kill, or attempt to hunt, shoot, or kill any game bird or mammal with the aid of bait.
  • Use or construct permanent blinds or tree stands, or leave temporary tree stands overnight.
  • Ignite, cause to be ignited, or maintain a fire, unless in a designated camping site.
  • Camp, unless in a designated camping site.
  • Trap furbearers (permits issued for certain properties).
  • Remove, disturb, damage, or destroy any portion of a mineral, plant, rock, tree, or nongame animal.
  • Release any animals or plants.
  • Conduct commercial activities.
  • Enter any area posted as “Restricted” or “Closed Against Entry.” (The Service may remove and place in storage, at the owner’s expense, a vehicle that remains in a restricted area).
  • Operate, possess, or use combustibles, explosives, or fireworks.
  • Place a geocache.
  • Without a permit from the Office of Archeology, dig for relics and treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use metal detectors.
  • Deposit litter or refuse, including but not limited to animal carcasses, appliances, brush, debris, furniture, garbage, hazardous materials, tires, wastepaper, 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.
  • Interfere with or hinder any Service employee from performing Service-related management activities.
  • Graze cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or other domestic animals.
  • Place decoys earlier than 1 hour before legal shooting hours, leave overnight, or remove later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.
  • Target shoot, unless at a designated shooting range.

Visitor Information

Myrtle Grove WMA is open 24 hours a day, year-round. Limited hours apply to the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Office and the Myrtle Grove Shooting Range.

Contact Information and Directions


Phone: 301-743​-5161

Address: 5625 Myrtle Grove Road, La Plata, Maryland 20646


Myrtle Grove WMA is located in Charles County about 5 miles west of LaPlata on MD 225. Take U.S. Rt. 301 south to MD 225, about 5 miles south of Waldorf. Go west on MD 225 to Myrtle Grove WMA. For additional information contact the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Office at 301-743- 5161.

​Hunting Regulations

Public hunting on Myrtle Grove WMA is permitted during legal hunting seasons. No permits or reservations are required. Hunting is allowed for all legal game species in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. See the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for current regulations.

  • Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday, year-round. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
  • Permitted hunting devices include all legal devices allowed in Charles County in the established hunting seasons that allow them.
  • Trapping is allowed by permit only. Myrtle Grove WMA is included in the Southern Region Public Lands Trapping Lottery. The online application can be found on the main Southern Region Public Hunting Lands webpage. Any spaces not filled in the lottery are available by inquiring through the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Office at 301-743-5161.
  • Hunting access is permitted day and night; however, overnight camping is not allowed.
  • Myrtle Grove WMA has no designated waterfowl sites, but waterfowl hunting is allowed on the property. Two greentree reservoirs are managed for waterfowl.
  • Myrtle Grove WMA has a Managed Dove Field. Hunting this field is restricted in September and October to Opening Day, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, noon to 5pm.
  • The Public Land deer and turkey Big Game Check-In code for Myrtle Grove WMA is 401.
  • A lottery Stocked Pheasant Hunt for youth, apprentice, and lapsed hunters occurs on Myrtle Grove WMA each year for one day in November. Small game hunting in the stocked areas on the lottery date is restricted to lottery winners. After the lottery, general hunting is allowed for any remaining pheasants. See the Mentored Hunt Program page for more information.

Myrtle Grove WMA is located in Charles county in southern Maryland Myrtle Grove WMA Shooting Range

Myrtle Grove WMA is home to the only public shooting range on a Wildlife Management Area in Maryland. Use of this range requires a permit and is subject to specific restrictions.

Range Permit Information:

  • Range Permit Cost
    • Annual Permit - $20
    • Daily Permit - $5
  • Range Permit Regulations
    • Annual and daily permits may be purchased on COMPASS, at a license agent, or at a DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center. Daily permits may also be purchased via honor box in-person at the range with cash or check. Annual permits are not available on-site.
    • Permits are nontransferable and are required for all range users.
    • Annual Range Permits are valid from August 1 st through July 31 st of the following year.
    • Daily Range Permits are only valid on the date of issuance.
    • Shooters 17 and younger MUST have a hunter safety certificate and be accompanied by an adult 21 or older with a valid range permit.​
range hours

Range Facilities:

  • Eight-station firearms shooting range
    • Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and pistols are allowed. No automatic weapons allowed.
    • Target stands and clothes pins are provided.
    • Users must bring their own paper or cardboard targets.
  • Trap range
    • Only shotguns with shot are allowed at the trap range.
    • ​Users must bring their own clays and clay thrower.
  • Three-station archery range
    • Crossbows, compound bows, longbows, and recurve bows are allowed at the archery range.
    • Users must bring their own archery target. Block targets are recommended.
​ ​

Range Regulations and Restrictions:

  • Target shooting is only allowed on a Wildlife Management Area on a designated shooting range.
  • The number of shooters at the range may not exceed the range capacity. Only one shooter is allowed at a shooting lane at a time.
  • The possession, use, or consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and any person under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is prohibited at the range at all times.
  • Shooting is permitted at paper or cardboard targets only. Targets may not be placed on any portion of the baffle structure and shall be located 3 to 4 feet from ground level.
  • Automatic weapons are not permitted at any time.
  • Non-expanding full metal jacketed, incendiary, and tracer bullets are not permitted.
  • A person is not permitted on the shooting range outside the hours of use posted at the range.
  • Users must follow posted time restrictions when the range is at capacity. When all shooting lanes are occupied and additional shooters are waiting for a lane, range users are asked to limit their shooting time to one (1) hour.
  • An individual 17 or younger shall be accompanied by an adult 21 or older with a valid range permit while shooting.
  • Commercial activities are prohibited at the range.
  • It is unlawful to damage or vandalize public property. This includes intentionally shooting any part of the range or safety baffles.

Contact Information and Directions to Shooting Range:

Location: Myrtle Grove Shooting Range​
Address: 5625 Myrtle Grove Road, La Plata, Maryland 20646
Phone: 301-743​-5161

*During inclement weather events where snow, ice, or downed trees are present, Myrtle Grove Road and the shooting range may be inaccessible.

Directions: Myrtle Grove WMA is located in Charles County about 5 miles west of LaPlata on MD 225. Take U.S. Rt. 301 south to MD 225, about 5 miles south of Waldorf. Go west on MD 225 to Myrtle Grove WMA. For additional information contact the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Office at 301-743- 5161.

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.​