Virginia Hunter Safety Course

 

Rules and Regulations

Hunting Hours

Legal hunting hours are generally from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset.  This can vary for federal migratory birds, spring turkeys, and other species.

Click here for more information.

Blaze Orange

Hunters during any firearms deer season, excluding muzzleloading seasons, must wear a blaze orange hat or upper body garment.  Alternatively, a minimum of 100 square inches of blaze orange material, visible from 360 degrees, may be displayed at shoulder height within arm reach.

Click here for more information.

Private Property

  • If following a hunting dog onto the property of another, vehicles and firearms are prohibited. The hunter must walk and may not take a firearm onto the property.
  • Hunters must have oral permission to hunt on un-posted property.
  • Hunters must have written permission to hunt on posted property.
  • Landowners may post property with signs or with vertical paint marks. The color of the paint marks must be “aluminum”.
  • Landowners who allow hunting are protected from liability by Virginia Code Section 29.1-509.

Click here for more information.

Legal Firearms and Archery Tackle 

  • Spring turkey hunters are not permitted to use any shot size larger than #2 fine shot.
  • Maximum shotgun size is 10 gauge.
  • Shotguns for migratory birds must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells.
  • Shotgun barrels must not be shorter than 18 inches.
  • Rifles for deer and bear must be .23 caliber or larger.
  • Localities may restrict firearms use (See 2013-14 Va. Hunting Regulations Digest, pages 23 – 25).
  • Crossbows and archery equipment may be used during all seasons.

Click here for more information. 

Tag and Checking Requirements for Deer, Bear, Elk and Turkey

Tagging:

  • When a bear, deer, turkey or elk is killed by a hunter, the appropriate tag on the bear-deer-turkey license must be validated (notched) before removing the animal from the place of kill.
  • Any tag mistakenly validated prior to the killing of an animal must be voided by writing “VOID” in ink on the line provided.
  • Hunters killing an elk are required to validate an appropriate deer tag.

 

Checking: 

  • Deer must be checked by either phone, internet or at a check station.  
  • Elk must be checked at a check station.
  • Bear must be checked at an official black bear check station.
  • All deer killed after the first Saturday in January must be checked by phone or internet.
  • License-exempt hunters must check bear, deer, elk, turkey and bobcat. 

Click here for more information on Tag Validation & Checking Requirements.

 
X