More info from the DNR
Located on River Road in Western Montgomery County, McKee-Beshers WMA is a 2,000-acre tract in a mixture of woodlands, fields, wooded bottomland and managed wetland impoundments (green-tree reservoirs). The WMA shares a common boundary with the National Park Service Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to the south and borders Seneca Creek State Park, a 1,200-acre public hunting area, on the east.
What To SeeMcKee-Beshers WMA provides habitat for a great diversity of wildlife species including deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, over 200 species of songbirds, and numerous reptiles and amphibians. Biologists deliberately flood forests during the fall and winter in "greentree reservoirs." These attract colorful wood ducks as well as other waterfowl which migrate through or spend the winter here.
What To DoHikers will find trails for miles and miles, meandering through the forests, fields and wetlands. The C&O Canal and trail actually border the area. From here, you can hike or bicycle east all the way to Washington, D.C. or west as far as Cumberland. Hunters enjoy the pursuit of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, woodcock, squirrels, waterfowl and many other species.
- Use of McKee-Beshers WMA is permitted seven days a week throughout the year.
- Hunting is allowed in accordance with statewide open season dates, bag limits and shooting hours, unless otherwise noted.
- McKee- Beshers WMA is a public hunting area. No permit is required.
- All State and Federal Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
- Trapping is by permit only.
- Dove hunting in specific designated fields is restricted to certain days and shooting hours.
- No motorized vehicles are allowed.
- Vehicle access is via marked parking areas located on River Road, Hunting Quarter Road and Sycamore Landing Road.
- Access to Maddux Island is by boat only. Launch from boat ramp on Rileys Lock Road into Seneca Creek or put in at the end of Sycamore Landing Road at the C&O Canal.
- Roads are maintained and suitable for hiking, nature photography, birding, hunting and other recreational activities.
- Visitors to the management area should be aware of biting insects, mosquitoes and ticks from April-December.
- Area is wet most of the year, wear appropriate footwear.
- There are two specific dove management areas that are open to the public for hunting with certain restrictions that apply.
- Specific areas are set aside for dog training. A Retriever Dog Training Permit is required if releasing live birds.
- Green-tree reservoir impoundments totaling approximately 160 acres are managed for waterfowl. Chest waders recommended.
- Maddux Island (Van Deventer Island) in the Potomac River is part of the WMA. This 170 acre island is accessible by boat only.
- For information on organized field trial events contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at 410-356-9272.
- Approximately 200 acres of field are managed under an agricultural lease for crop production.
- Certain fields are planted with crops to provide winter food for upland wildlife species.
- Green-tree reservoirs and other wetland impoundments have been created and water levels are manipulated to provide habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and furbearers.
- Several fields have been planted to native warm season grasses, cool season grasses or have been left fallow to provide habitat for ground nesting wildlife species and brood habitat for wild turkeys.