Virginia Hunter Safety Course


Hunter Education and Licenses

Hunter Education in Virginia 

All hunters 12-15 years of age must complete a hunter education course before buying a license.

Anyone who has not previously purchased a hunting license must complete hunter education before the purchase of a license.

Hunters under 12 years of age and hunters using an apprentice license must be accompanied and immediately supervised by an adult with a regular hunting license. The apprentice license may be used as a regular hunting license after completion of Hunter Education, with no supervisor required. 

To buy a resident license a hunter must be a resident of Virginia

Hunting Licenses in Virginia

For hunting generally, a basic hunting license is required. 

To hunt dove, woodcock, snipe or rail, a basic hunting license with free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number is required. 

A National Forest or State Forest Use Permit is needed to hunt on those properties. 

To hunt bear, deer or turkey a basic license plus bear-deer-turkey license is required. 

To hunt waterfowl, a basic license plus federal and state waterfowl stamps, as well as HIP number (to get a HIP number call 1-888-788-9772 or go to is required. 

To hunt during muzzleloading season, a basic license, bear-deer-turkey license, plus muzzleloading license is required. 

To hunt during archery season, a basic license, bear-deer-turkey license, plus archery license if using a crossbow, compound, recurve, or long bow is required. 

A bonus deer permit is required to take antlerless deer in excess of the yearly bag limit. This permit is only valid on days when antlerless deer hunting is legal, on private lands and certain public lands.