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Thread: Wildlife Management Areas

  1. #1
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    This morning, I went scouting for some hunting spots for next archery season. I was down at C.F. Phelps WMA. Here is the link to the rules for the area: http://www.dgif.state.va.us/HUNTING/.../wma_rules.pdf. The rules state that you cannot have a loaded or unloaded firearm unless you are hunting or have a concealed weapons permit. It does not say you have to conceal...just that you have to have the permit. It doesnt' appear to be a state park...Does anybody know if I could open carry? I concealed because in PA where I am from, the game wardens have an extreme amount of power...almost more than regular police in some instances. I didn't want to see if VA is the same... I love hunting too much to lose the privilage because of some big egoed game warden. I know I wimped out. Does this sound weird to anyone else? I have open carried at Giant, Wal Mart, Fairfax Police Station, Chevy Chase Bank...but I am scared to open carry in the middle of the woods! Go figure. Any advice?



  2. #2
    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    You can openly carry the firearm in a WMA, but you must have a permit to do so. You cannot open carry there without a permit.



  3. #3
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    Better safe than sorry.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
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    That's what I thought...but vapatriot said it best, "Better safe than sorry."

  5. #5
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    Sorry, that was vaopencarry who said, "Better safe than sorry."

  6. #6
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    Dear NoVaCCW

    For the past 20 or so years I have hunted exclusively at VA WMA Chickahominy. Several years ago, they put in a world-class firng range and I use it quite frequently. With few exceptions, the wardens are very tolerant and I have had little problem with "open carry" while using the facility and during my hunting excursions. You can't open carry during the primitive weapons season unless you have your CCW permit, otherwise, I have been open carrying there for years. While I'm sure the fellas that give precautionary statements like: "It's better to err on the side of caution" I perfer the axiom: "It's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission". For example, I hunt squirrel hunt with both the Hornady HMR 17 and the Hornady Mach II 17 caliber rifles. Several years ago I tried to get clarification on it's legal use from the Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries. I spoke with a captain up at the Richmond Office and after much discussion...he couldn't tell me one way or the other if the cartfidge was "legal". Finally, he said: "Well...I guess it's really up to the officer that confronts you. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it as it is ballistically superior to the standard 22 Long Rifle.

    I will continue using the philosophy as it has served me well up to this point, but you...as an "out-of-stater" should excersize caution.


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