Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area – West Virginia Public Land

If you’re looking for West Virginia public hunting land in Hancock County, Hillcrest WMA is your destination.

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area is one of 96 different public land properties across the state managed by the WV DNR.  Here you can find multiple hunting, fishing, or other outdoor activities.

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area, formerly known as the Hillcrest Public Hunting and Fishing Area, is located in New Cumberland, WV in Hancock County.  

It is a 2,212 acres of gently rolling hills consisting of old orchards and crop fields located between scattered woodlots.  Hunting opportunities include deer, turkey, grouse, rabbit, and mourning dove.  

Deer Hunting At Hillcrest WMA

Hillcrest WMA is a unique property in West Virginia’s northern panhandle.  Unlike many of the other WV northern panhandle public land, Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area is open and flat.

It resembles multiple old farms butted up against each other.  There are planted fields surrounded by incredibly thick brush.  This gives public land hunters an opportunity unlike anywhere else in the area.

Hillcrest WMA

Not much open hardwoods to walk through, just incredibly dense jungles with a high stem count.  

This is good for many reasons, the most important being deer bedding.  With cover so thick it’s hard to walk through, deer have the security cover needed to advance in age at Hillcrest WMA. 

Combine the thick cover with a closed deer rifle season and you have a great recipe for trophy buck hunting at Hillcrest.

Not far from the incredibly secure bedding cover is a vast food source – planted fields.

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area

Much of the public land in West Virginia is mature forest on hillsides and ridges.  At Hillcrest you will have the feeling of hunting midwestern farmland.

At over 2000 acres in size you have plenty of space to set up your treestand away from other hunters.

It’s getting harder to find private land for deer hunting these days.  More and more hunters are heading out on public land to chase big game in West Virginia.

As the farthest north public land in WV, Hillcrest WMA provides residents of Hancock County and out of state hunters alike with a unique hunting experience.  

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area

It is important to note that at Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area all deer season regulations are the same as private land in Hancock County except the buck firearms season is closed at Hillcrest WMA.  

Hillcrest WMA has a special Muzzleloader Deer Season from November 21–December 4 and only muzzleloaders are permitted.

If you plan to bowhunt at Hillcrest WMA all the normal WV Deer Season regulations apply.

Class Q hunter access

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area has has a Class Q hunter access road for licensed hunters with physical challenges.  

There are seven designated parking areas around the perimeter of Hillcrest for accessing the public land.

For a hunting property as big as Hillcrest, getting away from the crowds will lead to a better hunting experience.  Patrol the perimeter of the public land and you’re bound to find one parking lot less crowded than the others.  

Remember, when hunting public land it’s important to be flexible.  You share the property with others.  There’s a chance the spot you planned to hunt is already occupied or someone is hunting near by.  

Go in with a plan, but have some backup options in case it doesn’t work out like you anticipated.

Hillcrest Shooting Range

Hillcrest Shooting Range

Looking for somewhere to sight in your rifle before West Virginia buck firearm season?

A quick trip to the range will make sure your scope is on target before pulling the trigger on a trophy WV whitetail deer.  Don’t make an easy to avoid error that will cost you your deer.  Be prepared going into this year’s hunting season.  

Hillcrest WMA has a 100 yard shooting range that is open to the public.  There are target backstops at 25, 50 and 100 yards to shoot multiple distances.

Hillcrest Shooting Range

The Hillcrest Shooting Range is open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon to Sunset.

The shooting range at Hillcrest is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

The Hillcrest shooting range was closed for a short period of time.  The state recently improved and modified the area and the updated shooting range at Hillcrest WMA was reopened on July 9, 2020.  

A trained and certified range officer is on site while the range is open to ensure the safety of participants.

During my visit the range officer was friendly and knowledgeable.  While I didn’t bring any guns to shoot that day he encouraged me to come back soon.  Check our YouTube video below showing the public shooting range in a detailed walkthrough.

Hillcrest Shooting Range

Like all public land in WV, camping and open fires are not permitted.  However, Tomlinson Run State Park is only a short drive away with campgrounds open spring through fall, weather permitting.

If you are planning on an out of state hunt at Hillcrest and are looking to book a place to stay, the Tomlinson Run yurts offer unique lodging for your trip.  

Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area Highlights

Hillcrest WMA

West Virginia is home to 1.4 million acres of public land.  The WV DNR manages 96 different properties for the  enjoyment of WV residents.  At 2,212 acres, Hillcrest WMA is the only public hunting land in Hancock County.

2 thoughts on “Hillcrest Wildlife Management Area – West Virginia Public Land”

  1. Hi, I am from Pennsylvania and my son lives in buckhannon wv. I am trying to find public land like pa state game land near buckhannon where we can hunt pheasant. Do you stock any on public land? If so where? Thanks

    1. They aren’t pheasants, but the Governors Quail Stocking Initiative has bobwhite quail stocked on these seven West Virginia WMA’s. The first on the list, Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area isn’t far from Buckhannon. Cross Creek WMA is just south of Hillcrest and also stocks quail.

      Burnsville Lake Wildlife Management Area
      Cross Creek Wildlife Management Area
      Frozen Camp Wildlife Management Area
      Greenbrier State Forest
      Huttonsville State Farm Wildlife Management Area
      Laurel Lake Wildlife Management Area
      Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area

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