Virginia Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Virginia Hunting

Virginia is one of the states in the US that offers the best big game hunting. Hunters will have the opportunity to take large-sized animals like turkeys, black bears, elks, and deer. Small games are also abundant in Virginia. The state Appalachian Mountain is where the Virginia hunting season takes place.

Virginia Hunting Regulation

Hunting also covers the usage, setting, drawing of any device to take games, regardless of if the act of taking the game is successful or not. By assisting anyone in the taking of game and wildlife in Virginia, you are also a part of the hunting process.

Some of the restrictions, laws, and regulations for hunting in Virginia covers the following

Restrictions for Convicted Felon Hunters

It is a prohibition for convicted hunters to have any firearms in their possession while hunting. This includes the possession of muzzleloaders. An exception is made for convicted felons that already have their rights to possess firearms restored in the state or at the federal level. Also, this restriction only concerns the possession of firearms, and not archery, air rifles, and bows.

Restriction for the Use of Loaded Firearms

For the case of Virginia hunting, a firearm is loaded in the following cases:

  • If the magazine or chamber contains shells.
  • If the nipple possesses a percussion cap.
  • If the frozen pan contains gunpowder.
  • For the case of crossbows, they will be considered loaded when they are cocked.

Restrictions for Plugged Shotguns

Shotguns used for the taking of migratory birds in Virginia can only have a maximum of 3 shells in both the chamber and magazines. In case a plug is needed to limit the firearm capacity, it will only be a piece.

Restriction for Suppressors

If you have a suppressor that is lawfully allowed for hunting in Virginia, you can make use of it to take games. For hunting with suppressors on private lands in Virginia, you will need the permission of the landowner.

Archery Equipment Regulations

It is lawful to make use of compound bows, Recurve bows, longbows, and crossbows while hunting games, wildlife, and feral hogs in Virginia. However, the type of arrow that is permitted for the hunting of games like bears, deer, and feral hogs should be one with a broadhead. Other requirements like draw weight of the arrow, length of the arrow, and let off are not regulated for Virginia hunting.

Prohibited Hunting Activities in Virginia

Some of the activities that are illegal while hunting in Virginia include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to hunt on private lands you do not own, or without the permission of the landowner. This includes hunting in railroad, power, or gas lines. In the case that land is posted for hunting, you must obtain written permission before you can hunt on the land.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt under the influence of alcohol in Virginia.
  • It is a prohibition to possess, import, hold or release wildlife in Virginia without a valid permit from the Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
  • It is a prohibition to hide your possession of games and wildlife or parts of their body when you illegally obtain them.
  • It is a prohibition to kill or cripple a game in Virginia if you do not have any intention to take or retrieve them.
  • It is a prohibition to take, kill, or fire at farm deer there such as elks, axis deer, fallow deer, red deer, etc. It is also a prohibition to take, kill, or fire at any exotic wild animal in Virginia such as deer, antelope, sheep that are kept with wildlife licenses for recreation, sports, and amusement.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt or shoot at a game animal from the opposite side of a major road.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt from vehicles, Including motorboats, powerboats, and aircraft.
  • It is a prohibition to buy or sell games or part of their bodies. Exceptions are only made to parts like antlers, tails from squirrels, and deer hunting in Virginia, hides from furbearers hunting in Virginia, and body products from Elks.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of a computer or any other similar device to discharge firearms remotely for the purpose of hunting games and wildlife.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of substances like chemicals, drugs, any explosive, gas, electronically generated sounds, poisons, etc. to hunt games in Virginia.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of baits, pitfalls, hooks, nets, snares, decoys, deadfalls, etc. to take games in Virginia.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of communication devices while pursuing games and wildlife in a hunt.
  • It is a prohibition to unsettle games and wildlife in their dens, holes, or anywhere they live as homes.
  • It is a prohibition to shoot a firearm within the range of 50 yards across any public road in Virginia.
  • It is a prohibition to blind wildlife with lights while hunting them.

Hunters Dressing Regulations

For hunting in some particular seasons. It is compulsory for a hunter and any escort to wear fluorescent yellow as outer clothing while hunting in Virginia. The cloth must not be less than 550 square inches, and over the hunter’s waist level. A headcover may also be included.

Some of the seasons where this dressing is required include the following:

  • Firearms and primitive weapon season for deer hunting.
  • Firearms and primitive weapon season for bear hunting.
  • Hunting feral hogs during firearm season for either bear or deer hunting.

Open Carry While Hunting Hunting in Virginia

Open carry in Virginia is legal, especially for hunting activities.

Therefore, you can lawfully own, handle and use firearms and other types of weapons for hunting activities such as fishing, legal wildlife gaming, and camping.

The state law has hunter harassment laws to prohibit the disturbance of legal hunting activities.

They include the following:

  • A person must not deliberately interfere or disturb hunting activities like fishing and gaming in any state-owned or private wildlife area or aquatic body.
  • A person must not try to alter the natural habitat in the wildlife or aquatic body in a bid to prevent or impact a legal hunting activity in the state.

Virginia Hunting License, Permits, and Tags

Virginia hunting licenses, permits, and tags are issued based on age and residency. They also have various validity periods.

Types of licenses, permits, and tags issued in Virginia include the following:

Hunting and Fishing License

This license is the combination of both hunting and fishing in Virginia. Holders of this license will be able to take part in hunting seasons and fish in various water bodies of the state. The license is available for residents and nonresidents of Virginia, and it has 3 validity periods. The annual license costs $30 for residents and $150 for non-residents. The one valid for just a day costs $5 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Then there is an additional day Hunting and fishing license that costs $1 for residents and $10 for non-residents.

Apprentice Hunting and Fishing License

This license is for the combination of fishing and hunting in Georgina and it can be purchased by beginners that need supervision while hunting or fishing. It is valid for one day and costs $5 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

Hunting License

This is a Virginia Hunting license available to residents of the state that are within the age of 16 to 64. It is also available as an out-of-state hunting license for nonresident hunters. The hunting license in Virginia has 3 validity periods. The annual license costs $15 for residents and $100 for non-residents. The one valid for just a day costs $5 for residents and $20 for non-residents. Then there is an additional day Hunting and fishing license that costs $1 for residents and $6 for non-residents.

Senior Sportsman’s License

This license is available to just residents of Virginia that are 65 years old and above. Sportsman’s license will provide access to hunting and fishing. But it is exempted for the hunting of Elks. It is valid for a year and costs $7.

Big game licenses

This license is available to residents and nonresident hunters that want to take big games in Virginia. It has 3 validity periods. The annual license costs $25 for residents and $225 for non-residents. The one valid for just a day costs $10 for residents and $130 for non-residents. Then there is an additional day Hunting and fishing license that costs $2 for residents and $8 for non-residents.

Trapping License

This is a license for game trapping in Virginia, and it is available for residents and non-residents of the state. It is only valid during the season of the game that you want to trap. It costs $40 for residents and $325 for non-residents.

Shooting Preserve License

This license is valid for two years. It is available for residents and nonresidents, and it costs $12 for both.

Migratory Birds and Waterfowl Stamps

This is an annual stamp for the taking of migratory birds and waterfowls in Virginia. It is valid for 2 years, and available for residents and non-residents with a cost of $5 for both.

Disability Hunting License

This license is valid for disabled residents of Virginia that want to take part in state hunting activities. There are two validity periods for this license. The annual license costs $3 while the 3 years’ license costs $9.

Virginia Fishing License Permits and Tags

Fishing licenses, permits, and tags available in Virginia include the following:

Fishing License

This license allows holders to fish in various water bodies in Virginia. It is available for residents between the ages of 26 and 64, and nonresidents of all ages. There are 3 validity periods for this license. The annual license costs $15 for residents and $100 for non-residents. The one valid for just a day costs $5 for residents and $20 for non-residents. Then there is an additional day Hunting and fishing license that costs $1 for residents and $6 for non-residents.

Optional Youth Fishing License

This is a fishing license available to teenage residents of Virginia that are within the age of 12 and 15. Nonresidents cannot purchase this license regardless of age. It is valid till the youth reach 17 years old, and it costs $10.

Trout License

This license is required for residents and nonresidents that are 16 years old or more that want to fish mountain trout in Virginia. You can only make use of this license alongside a basic fishing license. There are 3 validity periods for the Trout license. The annual license costs $10 for residents and $25 for non-residents. The one valid for just a day costs $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents. Then there is an additional day Hunting and fishing license that costs $1 for residents and $2 for non-residents.

Commercial Fishing License

This license is available to residents and non-residents for commercial purposes, but it is only valid throughout a hunting season. It costs $20 for residents and $200 for non-residents.

Disability Fishing License

This license is available for residents of Virginia that are disabled and have valid proof to back it up. Nonresidents cannot apply for this. There are 2 validity periods for Disability Fishing License in Virginia. The one valid for a year costs $3, and the one valid for three years’ costs $9.

Virginia Hunting Season 2020/2021

There are different seasons for hunting games in Virginia, and this is further divided into seasons for the weapons that can be used to hunt these games.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Virginia includes the following:

Virginia Deer Hunting Seasons

  • Archery Season (12th of September to 10th of January)
  • Extended Archery Season (12th of September to 31st of January)
  • Primitive Weapons Season (10th of October to 10th of January)
  • Firearms Season (17th of October to 10th of January)

Virginia Bear Hunting Seasons

  • Archery Season (12th of September to 10th of January)
  • Primitive Weapons Season (10th of October to 10th of January)
  • Firearms Season (17th of October to 10th of January)

Virginia Turkey Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (20th of March to 15th of May)
  • Special Opportunity Youth and Mobile Impaired Season (13th of March to 14th of March)

Virginia Elk Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (within the sunset of 14th of August to the sunrise of 5th of October)

Virginia Small Games Hunting Season

  • Fox and Bobcat Season (1st of December to 28th of February)
  • Grouse Season (15th of October to 28th of February)
  • Opossum Season (15th of October to 28th of February)
  • Quail Season (14t of November to 28th of February)
  • Rabbit Season (14th of November to 28th of February)
  • Raccoon Season (15th of October to 28th of February)
  • Squirrel Season (15th of August to 28th of February)
  • Woodcock Season (5th of December to 18th of January)

It is important to know that the date for each game season could vary based on the different hunting zones in Virginia. Also, hunting regulations, bag seasons, and special hunting seasons in Virginia can vary based on the game and season.

Virginia Wildlife Games and Fish

Games and wildlife available for hunting in Virginia include the following

Virginia Deer Hunting

Deer hunting in Virginia is very popular, and it is one of the states in the US with abundant deer hunting spots. There are about 100 Wildlife Management Areas in Virginia, and each of them guarantees optimum deer hunting. The white-tailed deer is well dispersed in all parts of the state and mostly inhabit coastal marsh and forest regions of the state.

Virginia Black Bear Hunting

Black bear hunting in Virginia is on a steady rise due to the increasing population of bears in the state. Bears in Virginia are estimated to be in thousands in Virginia.

Virginia Elk Hunting

Elks hunting in Virginia takes place in the wetland areas. They inhabit places like swamps, wetlands, ponds, lakes, rivers, and other water bodies found in the wild. Elks have also been found in drainages and ditches close to human settlements in Virginia.

Virginia Bobcat Hunting

Bobcats are one of the commonest predators in North America, and in Virginia, they are evenly distributed statewide. They inhabit various parts of the state based on where they can find the most prey. Bobcat hunting in Virginia takes place in agricultural and forested areas where they are mostly found.

Virginia Fox Hunting

The species of fox found in Virginia is the red fox. Red fox presence in the USA is a result of Europeans that settled in the nation. Red fox can be found in almost every part of the US including Virginia. Red fox hunting in Virginia occurs in areas of the state they inhabit the most, wood forests, grasslands, and croplands.

Virginia Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Virginia is very common, and there are about 5 species of the game in the state. Turkeys are evenly dispersed in Virginia and wild turkeys can be found almost everywhere in the state.

Virginia Grouse Hunting

Grouse inhabit the mountain regions of northern Virginia. They are birds that love very high elevations. They are also available in quite a number of public hunting lands in the state.

Virginia Rabbit Hunting

For rabbit hunting in Virginia, the commonest species is the Eastern cottontail rabbit. Other species you can see are the Appalachian cottontail rabbit, marsh, and swamp rabbits, However, they are all referred to as cottontail rabbits.

Virginia Raccoon Hunting

Raccoons inhabit various landscapes of Virginia. They are mostly found in water bodies like marches, lakes, streams, swamps, and rivers in the state. You can also find them in places with hardwood trees.

Virginia Shooting Ranges

Shooting ranges in Virginia that are accessible to the general public include the following:

  • White Oak Mountain WMA Shooting Range.
  • Timber Ridge Shooting Grounds.
  • The Marksman.
  • The Range.
  • Silver Eagles Group.
  • Sharpshooters Small Arms Range.
  • Old Forge Sporting Clays.
  • NRA Range Fairfax.
  • Norfolk County Rifle Range.
  • NAS Oceana Skeet & Trap Range.
  • Hite Hollow Shooting Range.
  • Gathright WMA Shooting Range.
  • Franklin County Gun Club.
  • Chickahominy WMA Shooting Range.
  • Clark Brothers.
  • Gathright WMA Shooting Range.
  • C. F. Phelps WMA Shooting Range.
  • Amelia Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Shooting Range.
  • Blue Ridge Arsenal.
  • Bull Run Public Shooting Center.

Virginia Hunting Land for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Virginia include the following:

  • 315 acres located in Carroll County, Beautiful remodeled farmhouse and cottages with barns and on a ridge top.
  • 106 acres’ spectacular log cabin nestled amidst the folds of the Blue Ridge Mountains, - Vesuvius, Virginia in Amherst County.
  • 228 acres of great opportunity for incredibly private, deep water, lakefront acreage hunting. Lynch Station, Bedford County.
  • 47 acres for development, recreation, family compound, big game hunting, in Suffolk, Suffolk City County.
  • 73 acres of flowing Creek for Deer, Bear, Turkey Hunting and potential ATV Trails in Bandy Tazewell County.
  • 20 acres for development, recreation, family compound, big game hunting in Suffolk City County.
  • 302 acres for turkey Hunting, Timber, and Residential property in Yale, Sussex County.
  • 114 acres for Great Hunting and also recreational land for sale Kenbridge, Lunenburg County.
  • 148.18 acres of property that has an abundance of wildlife including deer, turkey, and bear in Axton, Henry County.

Hunting lands for lease in Virginia include the following:

  • 240 acres Year around lease available in Pittsylvania County.
  • 75 acres of hunting property available in Beloxam, in Accomack County.
  • Beautiful wooded acreage and some fields in Bedford County, 100 acres.
  • 478 acres for Whitetail Deer Lease Available in South of Stanley, Page County.

Virginia Public Hunting Lands

Public hunting lands in Virginia Include the following:

  • 447 Acres in Accomack county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck.
  • 7500 Acres in Wythe county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics.
  • 3164 Acres in Prince Edward county for hunting Turkey, Exotics.
  • 14283 Acres in Highland county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics.
  • 1400 Acres in Mecklenburg county for hunting Dove, Quail, Duck, Exotics.
  • 5217 Acres in Charles City county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Dove, Duck, Exotics.
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