Deer in Spring Landscape

The terrain of Taylor's Island, marsh grass and shallow water abounds.Taylors Island WMA

The tidal marshes of Taylors Island have been relatively untouched by the development of small towns and villages on the nearby shores. This large island in western Dorchester County is a classic illustration of Chesapeake Bay tidal marsh habitat. Encompassing 1,120 acres, Taylors Island WMA is a mix of marsh, forests and fallow fields.

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What To See

Wildlife associated with the marsh include raccoons, muskrats and river otters. The small stands of forest support white-tailed deer as well as sika deer, a species of elk that is native to Asia. Visitors may also catch a glimpse of the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel. Osprey and bald eagles fish the deeper waters nearby, while mallard and black ducks feed in the shallows. Buffleheads, canvasbacks and scaup are often seen diving for food in the waters off shore. Herons and egrets use the marshes for hunting food. Shorebirds, like plovers and sandpipers, use the mudflats found along the shores at low tide.

What To Do

Hunters will enjoy the challenge afield offered by white-tailed and sika deer as well as a variety of waterfowl. Water-oriented recreation includes crabbing, fishing, and boating from a nearby county ramp. There is also a boat ramp on the island.

Area Regulations

  • Use of Taylors Island WMA is generally permitted seven days a week throughout the year.
  • Hunting is allowed in accordance with open seasons and shooting hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • All State and Federal Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
  • Trapping is by permit only. Trapping bids are available in September and are awarded in late October. Call the LeCompte WMA office for further information.
  • No motorized vehicles are permitted, except for watercraft.
  • Camping is prohibited.
  • Non-hunting Users Guide

  • Non-hunting visitors are welcome.
  • Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.
  • Season dates available in newspapers, on the Internet, and at some area stores.
  • A parking lot provides access to only a small portion of this WMA. The rest is only accessible by boat.
  • Biting insects can be abundant in warmer months.
  • Expect wet footing most of the year.
  • Only a small section of WMA can be reached from Smithville Road, the remainder is only accessible via watercraft.
  • Be aware of weather events, shallow water, and changing tides.
  • Site Management Goals

  • Nest boxes for Barn owls have been erected to supplement natural tree cavities for nesting.
  • Some habitat management activities occur on the areas adjacent to Smithville Road. 
  • This may include mowing, burning, discing, and forest thinning.
  • Tidal marsh habitat conditions on the island limit management practices that can be implemented.
  • Taylor's Island is located in Dorchester county on Maryland's eastern shoreDirections

    From the Bay Bridge, take U.S. Route 50 to Cambridge. Take MD 16 west about four miles from the town of Madison. Turn left on Smithville Road and watch for WMA signs. A parking lot provides access to only a small portion of this WMA. The rest is only accessible by boat. For boat access, continue on Smithville Road to the county boat ramp on Beaverdam Creek. To reach the WMA by boat, travel west on Beaverdam Creek. For additional information, contact the LeCompte Wildlife Office at (410) 376-3236.


    This area is a part of Marylandís Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the Stateís wildlife resources.

    Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

    Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.