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Stafford Hill WMA

Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are open to the public for fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Town: Cheshire
Acreage: 1,440
Wildlife Management Zone: 2

Description

This high-elevation WMA contains gently sloping fields and forests that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. To enrich and improve the habitats found here, MassWildlife actively manages areas of this property. Historically, much of this property was farmed, and the remnants of those activities are still visible. Old apple trees are managed to boost fruit production for wildlife. An area off Jenks Road is leased for active agricultural use. Fields throughout the WMA are mowed annually to maintain grassland habitat and provide cover for upland birds. Portions of the wooded areas are managed with periodic cuts that result in a collection of different ages of forests— including young forests, which are vital to many kinds of wildlife. Along with the biological diversity, visitors can enjoy stunning views throughout the property, including a spectacular look at Mount Greylock from the top of Stafford Hill.

Location, access, & parking

There are three parking areas on Stafford Hill Road in Cheshire—one on the northern parcel and two on the southern parcel. There is a town pull-off on Wells Road on the western parcel. See WMA map.

Note: WMAs are intentionally wild, visitors will find natural landscapes rather than maintained trails.

Habitat management

Large management timber cuts have been ongoing throughout this WMA to bring it back to shrubland and transitional forest, thus improving upland gamebird habitat. Fields are mowed to create safety zones, access, and cover for upland game. Abandoned orchards are being managed to more successfully produce wildlife food.

Learn more about MassWildlife's habitat management activities.

Hunting & fishing opportunities

: The combination of field and forest provide excellent habitat for white-tailed deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. Ring-necked pheasants are stocked throughout the WMA during the season. MassWildlife’s forest management activities create and maintain excellent habitat for ruffed grouse and American woodcock. Geese use the agricultural fields on Jenks Road as a stopover site. Duck hunting is an option along the Hoosic River South Branch. The river also provides fishing opportunities. The South Branch is stocked with trout each spring and can be accessed from the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.

Hunting regulations

Freshwater fishing regulations

Wildlife viewing & other features

The varied habitat types and managed forests make this a good spot for birding and a prime location for bird species that require young, regenerating forests. Patches of rare calcareous fens and wet meadows fed by calcium-rich groundwater can be found on this property. These unique sites support an impressive array of highly specialized and uncommon plants and invertebrates.

Get wildlife viewing tips.

Regulations

During the open pheasant season, a “hunter orange” hat is required for all hunters and hunting hours are sunrise to sunset unless night hunting for raccoons or opossums.

Read Wildlife Management Area regulations.

About Wildlife Management Areas

MassWildlife owns and manages over 220,000 acres of land to conserve fish and wildlife habitats and provide access for outdoor recreation. All WMAs are open to hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor recreation activities. Visit the MassWildlife Lands Viewer for an interactive map of MassWildlife properties.

You can support land protection in Massachusetts. Contributions to the Wildlands Fund help pay for the cost of acquiring wildlife habitat. Learn more about the Wildlands Fund

Contact   for Stafford Hill WMA

Address

88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton, MA 01226

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