Hanover Watershed Cooperative Wildlife Management Area

Red foxes photo by Emily Mitchell

Located on the outskirts of Hanover, Pennsylvania the property is owned by the Borough of Hanover. The 337-acre tract is managed to protect the Hanover Watershed.

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Hanover Watershed CWMA hunting access 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. Hanover Watershed CWMA is primarily forested land that contains large tracts of commercial pine stands mixed with intermittent hardwood stands. Using sustainable forestry practices, periodic timber harvests are conducted on the area. Hanover Watershed CWMA provides habitat for upland and forest wildlife species, primarily white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and songbirds.

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.


Public hunting on Hanover Watershed CWMA 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.

  • Hunting access is restricted to seasonal permit holders with daily reservations from September 1st through February 15th and during the Spring Turkey Season.
  • There are 10 reservations available per day.
  • Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
  • Permitted hunting devices include all legal devices allowed in Carroll County.
  • The opening day of Deer Firearms Season is drawn by lottery.
  • During Spring Turkey Season, hunters must sign in at the parking lot with their Free Public Hunting Permit. Three hunters may sign in at a time at each parking area, six total for the whole property.
  • Trapping is not allowed.

Map of Maryland showing approximate location of Hanover CWMA in north central Maryland

Non-Hunting Users

From September through February and during the Spring Turkey Season, non-hunting users may access the property on Sundays only. No permit or reservation is needed. Outside these timeframes, Hanover Watershed CWMA 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


Hanover Watershed CWMA is located on the south side of Hanover, Pennsylvania. Public access to this area is off of Maryland State Route 30. Parking lots are located on Garrett Road and Band Hall Hill Road. For additional information or seasonal permits, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife and Heritage Service Office at 410-356-9272.