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Virginia Hunting

Everything you need to plan your hunting trips in Virginia, from maps and regulations to season dates, game animals, quotas, and wildlife management areas. Plus much more! Start your research right here.

Overview

Known For

From furbearers to black bears, and with whitetails and elk between, Virginia is known for having a lot of opportunities for hunters. Annual whitetail harvests average around 200,000 deer, and with the efforts of reintroducing elk into Virginia, the herd is nearly 250 strong.

Terrain

Virginia’s terrain is a blend of mountains and fertile valleys. In fact, much of the state is part of a gigantic trough that runs from Quebec to Alabama called “the Great Valley.” Virginia has five distinct geographic regions, from the tidewaters and coastal plains to the Appalachian Plateau. Virginia also features rich, fertile soil and ample agricultural land.

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Virginia Hunting Seasons

Filter By:
Season
Start Date
End Date
Bear
Oct 1, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Bear – Firearm 1
See regulations for specific counties.
Oct 1, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Bear
Oct 7, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Bear – Archery
Oct 7, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Bear
Nov 11, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Bear – Muzzleloader
Statewide in all areas where hunting with a muzzleloading rifle is permitted.
Nov 11, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Bear
Nov 27, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Bear – Firearm 2
See regulations for specific counties.
Nov 27, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Bear
Dec 4, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Bear – Firearm 3
See regulations for specific counties.
Dec 4, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Bobcat
Oct 7, 2023 – Oct 31, 2023
Bobcat – Archery
Bag limit 2.
Oct 7, 2023
Oct 31, 2023
Bobcat
Nov 1, 2023 – Feb 29, 2024
Bobcat – Firearm
Bag limit 2.
Nov 1, 2023
Feb 29, 2024
Coyote
Jan 1, 2023 – Dec 31, 2023
Coyote

Continuous open season except on National Forest lands and Department lands. Coyote hunting on National Forest lands and Department lands is permitted from September 1 through March 10 and during the spring turkey season. Coyotes may also be hunted on Department lands during the spring squirrel season unless otherwise posted (see list of open areas).

Jan 1, 2023
Dec 31, 2023
Deer
Oct 1, 2023 – Nov 30, 2023
Deer – Firearm 4
See regulations for select counties.
Oct 1, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
Deer
Oct 7, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Deer – Early Archery
Oct 7, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Deer
Nov 4, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Deer – Early Muzzleloader
Nov 4, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Deer
Nov 18, 2023 – Dec 2, 2023
Deer – Firearm 1
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Dec 2, 2023
Deer
Nov 18, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Deer – Firearm 2
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Deer
Nov 18, 2023 – Dec 2, 2023
Deer – Firearm 3
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Dec 2, 2023
Deer
Dec 1, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Deer – Late Archery
Late seasons start and end dates vary by location.
Dec 1, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Deer
Dec 16, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Deer – Late Muzzleloader E
East of the blue ridge. Either sex. See regulations for certain counties.
Dec 16, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Deer
Dec 16, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Deer – Late Muzzleloader W
West of the blue ridge. Either sex. See regulations for certain counties.
Dec 16, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Deer
Jan 7, 2024 – Mar 31, 2024
Deer – Archery Urban 2
See regulations for open areas.
Jan 7, 2024
Mar 31, 2024
Dove
Sep 2, 2023 – Oct 22, 2023
Dove – 1st Segment
Bag limit 15 per day.
Sep 2, 2023
Oct 22, 2023
Dove
Nov 18, 2023 – Nov 26, 2023
Dove – 2nd Segment
Bag limit 15 per day.
Nov 18, 2023
Nov 26, 2023
Dove
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 20, 2024
Dove – 3rd Segment
Bag limit 15 per day.
Dec 22, 2023
Jan 20, 2024
Duck
Oct 21, 2023 – Oct 21, 2023
Duck – Youth/Veteran 1
Oct 21, 2023
Oct 21, 2023
Duck
Nov 15, 2023 – Nov 26, 2023
Duck – 2nd Segment
Bag limit 6 per day.
Nov 15, 2023
Nov 26, 2023
Duck
Dec 19, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
Duck – 3rd Segment
Bag limit 6 per day.
Dec 19, 2023
Jan 31, 2024
Duck
Feb 3, 2024 – Feb 3, 2024
Duck – Youth Veteran 2
Feb 3, 2024
Feb 3, 2024
Elk
Oct 1, 2023 – Nov 30, 2023
Elk – Firearm 4
See regulations for select counties.
Oct 1, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
Elk
Oct 7, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Elk – Early Archery
Oct 7, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Elk
Nov 4, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Elk – Early Muzzleloader
Nov 4, 2023
Nov 17, 2023
Elk
Nov 18, 2023 – Dec 2, 2023
Elk – Firearm 1
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Dec 2, 2023
Elk
Nov 18, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Elk – Firearm 2
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Elk
Nov 18, 2023 – Dec 2, 2023
Elk – Firearm 3
See regulations for select counties.
Nov 18, 2023
Dec 2, 2023
Elk
Dec 1, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Elk – Late Archery
Late seasons start dates vary by location.
Dec 1, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Elk
Dec 16, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Elk – Late Muzzleloader E
East of the blue ridge.
Dec 16, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Elk
Dec 16, 2023 – Jan 6, 2024
Elk – Late Muzzleloader W
West of the blue ridge.
Dec 16, 2023
Jan 6, 2024
Fox
Nov 1, 2023 – Feb 29, 2024
Fox

Closed in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier (except Quantico), Loudon, Louisa, and Rappahannock counties.

Nov 1, 2023
Feb 29, 2024
Goose
Oct 17, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
Goose – Light
Bag limit 25 per day.
Oct 17, 2023
Jan 31, 2024
Goose
Nov 15, 2023 – Nov 26, 2023
Goose – Canada & White-fronted 3
Bag limit 5 per day. Resident Zone.
Nov 15, 2023
Nov 26, 2023
Goose
Nov 22, 2023 – Nov 26, 2023
Goose – Canada & White-fronted 1

2 geese per day (6 in possession). Atlantic Zone.

Nov 22, 2023
Nov 26, 2023
Goose
Dec 19, 2023 – Feb 24, 2024
Goose – Canada & White-fronted 4
Bag limit 5 per day. Resident Zone.
Dec 19, 2023
Feb 24, 2024
Goose
Dec 23, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
Goose – Canada & White-fronted 2

2 geese per day (6 in possession) Atlantic Zone.

Dec 23, 2023
Jan 31, 2024
Goose
Dec 23, 2023 – Dec 31, 2023
Goose – Atlantic Brant 1
Bag limit 2 per day. Atlantic Zone.
Dec 23, 2023
Dec 31, 2023
Goose
Jan 11, 2024 – Jan 31, 2024
Goose – Atlantic Brant 2

1 per day, 3 in possession Atlantic Zone.

Jan 11, 2024
Jan 31, 2024
Goose
Feb 1, 2024 – Apr 5, 2024
Goose – Light Goose Conservation Season
No daily or possession limit.
Feb 1, 2024
Apr 5, 2024
Grouse
Oct 28, 2023 – Feb 10, 2024
Grouse
Bag limit 3 per day. West of I-95.
Oct 28, 2023
Feb 10, 2024
Pheasant
Nov 11, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
Pheasant
No limit.
Nov 11, 2023
Jan 31, 2024
Quail Game Type
Nov 11, 2023 – Jan 31, 2024
Quail
Bag limit 6 per day.
Nov 11, 2023
Jan 31, 2024
Rabbit
Nov 4, 2023 – Feb 29, 2024
Rabbit
Bag limit 6 per day.
Nov 4, 2023
Feb 29, 2024
Turkey Game Type
Oct 1, 2023 – Nov 18, 2023
Turkey – Fall Archery

One per day, either sex may be taken.

Oct 1, 2023
Nov 18, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Oct 22, 2023 – Nov 4, 2023
Turkey – Fall Firearm 1

One per day, either sex may be taken. (See regulations for additional dates in certain counties).

Oct 22, 2023
Nov 4, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Nov 23, 2023 – Nov 24, 2023
Turkey – Fall Firearm 2

One per day, either sex may be taken. (See regulations for additional dates in certain counties).

Nov 23, 2023
Nov 24, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Dec 5, 2023 – Dec 31, 2023
Turkey – Fall Firearm 3

One per day, either sex may be taken. (See regulations for additional dates in certain counties).

Dec 5, 2023
Dec 31, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Dec 5, 2023 – Dec 17, 2023
Turkey – Fall Firearm 4

One per day, either sex may be taken. (See regulations for additional dates in certain counties).

Dec 5, 2023
Dec 17, 2023
Turkey Game Type
Jan 14, 2024 – Jan 28, 2024
Turkey – Fall Firearm 5

One per day, either sex may be taken. (See regulations for additional dates in certain counties).

Jan 14, 2024
Jan 28, 2024
Turkey Game Type
Apr 6, 2024 – Apr 7, 2024
Turkey – Youth Spring
Apr 6, 2024
Apr 7, 2024
Turkey Game Type
Apr 13, 2024 – Apr 28, 2024
Turkey – Spring 1
One per day, bearded turkeys only. Open until 12 noon each day.
Apr 13, 2024
Apr 28, 2024
Turkey Game Type
Apr 29, 2024 – May 19, 2024
Turkey – Spring 2
One per day, bearded turkeys only. Open until sunset each day.
Apr 29, 2024
May 19, 2024

Virginia Hunting Regulations

Bear

Bear

Bag Limits

One per license year, at least 100 pounds live weight or 75 pounds dressed weight (all internal organs removed). Females with cubs may not be harvested. Cubs may be 30-50 lbs by fall. Please observe and be patient before shooting as cubs often lag behind the female.

Big Game

Deer

Legal Hours

  • One half-hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset for nonmigratory birds and game animals except during spring turkey season.
  • One half-hour before sunrise until 12 noon during spring turkey season, except the last 20 days when the hunting hours are one halfhour before sunrise until sunset.
  • One half-hour before sunrise to sunset for Youth/Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunting Weekend.
  • Hours for bear hound training season are from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
  • Bobcats, foxes, raccoons, and opossums may be hunted by day or night during authorized seasons.
  • Nuisance species may be taken day or night.

Shotguns

Legal Game is, Deer, Bear, Elk, Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey.

  • (Including muzzleloading shotguns) using ammunition loaded with larger than number 2 fine shot

Airguns

Legal Game is Deer, Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey.

  • .35 caliber or LARGER

Rifles & Pistols Using Rimfire Ammunition & Airguns

Legal Game is Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey.

  • .35 caliber or SMALLER

Rifles & Pistols Using Centerfire Ammunition

Legal Game is Deer, Bear, Elk, Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey.

  • 23 caliber or LARGER
  • Pistols must generate at least 350 foot pounds of energy or greater

Legal Game is Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey.

  • SMALLER than .23 caliber

Muzzleloading Firearms

Legal Game is Deer, Bear, Elk, Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey

Rifles

  • 40 caliber or larger
  • Pistols – 45 caliber or larger

Legal Game is Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey

Rifles

  • Smaller than .40 caliber
  • Pistols – smaller than .45 caliber

Archery

Legal Game is Deer, Bear, Elk, Fall Turkey, Spring Turkey

  • Broadhead widths/expandables that open to 7/8-inch

Harvest Reporting

Includes: Bear, Deer, Elk, Turkey and Bobcat

  1. Telephone Harvest Reporting System (866)GOT-GAME or (866)468-4263; touch-tone phone only (Available during all open seasons)
  2. Internet Harvest Reporting System www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com; click Internet Harvest Reporting (Available during all open seasons)
  3. GoOutdoorsVA Mobile App (eNotch) (Available during all open seasons)

Deer

Deer

Bag Limits

East of the Blue Ridge (except on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties).

  • The bag limit for deer shall be two a day, six a license year. Of the six-deer limit, no more than three may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exceptions below).

EXCEPTIONS:

  • The daily bag limit for deer shall be unlimited in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and in all cities and towns east of the Blue Ridge except in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. However, no more than three antlered deer may be killed in a license year.

Only one deer per day may be taken on National Forest lands and Department-owned and Department-managed lands east of the Blue Ridge. West of the Blue Ridge and on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties

  • The bag limit for deer shall be two a day and five a license year. Of the five-deer limit, no more than two may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exceptions below).

EXCEPTIONS:

  • The daily bag limit for deer shall be unlimited in all cities and towns west of the Blue Ridge. However, no more than two antlered deer may be taken in a license year.

Only one deer per day may be taken on National Forest lands and Department owned and Department-managed lands west of the Blue Ridge.

  • If a deer hunter kills two antlered bucks in a license year in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, or Rockbridge County, at least one of the bucks must have at least four antler points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.

Elk

Elk

Bag Limits

Only one elk per day may be taken statewide.

Elk Hunting Outside the EMZ

Any elk (bull, cow, or calf) can be taken on any day of an open deer season (archery, muzzleloader, or firearms) in the county/locality in which the individual is hunting. Legal weapons for taking elk coincide with legal weapons for deer during that specific season except that elk may not be taken with a slingbow or air rifle. The taking of an elk counts toward a hunter’s daily and seasonal bag limit for deer.

Elk Management Zone

By lottery draw only in designated EMZ counties.

Furbearers

Furbearers

Bobcat – Bag Limits

Two per hunting party taken between noon one day and noon the following day.

Fox, Coyote, Opossum, & Skunk – Bag Limits

No Limit

Raccoon – Bag Limits

East of the Blue Ridge: Two per hunter taken between noon one day and noon the following day. West of the Blue Ridge: Two per hunting party (individual or organized) taken between noon one day and noon the following day.

Migratory Birds

Dove

Doves – Bag Limits

15 per day, 45 in possession.

Rails – Bag Limits

Clapper/King Rails – 15 counted together daily, only one of which may be a king rail.

  • Possession limit 45, only 3 of which can be king rails.

Sora/Virginia

  • 25 counted together daily, 75 in possession.

Gallinules – Bag Limits

5 per day counted together, 45 in possession.

Woodcock – Bag Limits

3 per day, 9 in possession.

Snipe – Bag Limits

8 per day, 24 in possession.

Small Game

Small Game

Grouse – Bag Limits

Three per day.

Quail & Pheasant – Bag Limits

Quail: six per day.

Pheasant: no daily or seasonal bag limit.

Rabbit – Bag Limits

Six per day.

Squirrel (Gray, Red, & Fox) – Bag Limits

All squirrels combined–six per day.

Crow – Bag Limits

No Limit

Groundhog – Bag Limits

No Limit

Turkey

Turkey Game Type

Bag Limits

One per day, bearded turkeys only. Hunters may take one, two, or three bearded turkeys depending on how many turkeys were taken in the fall season

Waterfowl

Waterfowl

September Teal – Bag Limits

6 per day, 18 in possession.

Margansers – Bag Limits

5 birds daily, 15 in possession

Ducks – Bag Limits

6 ducks of any species except for the following restrictions:

  • Can include no more than 2 mallards (only 1 hen mallard), 3 wood ducks, 2 black ducks (except closed Oct. 7-10)
  • Scaup: 1/day for 40 days (October 7-10, November 16-27, December 17-January 9), and 2/day for 20 days (January 10-29)
  • 2 redheads, 2 canvasback, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 4 total sea ducks (no more than 3 scoters, 3 eiders [only 1 hen], 3 long-tailed ducks).

Coots – Bag Limits

15 per day, 45 in possession.

Canada Goose – Bag Limits

  • Atlantic Population Zone (AP) Bag Limit 1 goose per day (3 in possession).
  • Resident Population Zone (RP) Bag Limit 5 geese per day (15 in possession).
  • Southern James Bay Population Zone (SJBP) Bag Limit 3 geese per day for the entire season, (9 in possession)

September Canada Goose – Bag Limits

10 per day, 30 in possession.

Light Goose – Bag Limits

Bag Limit 25 per day, no possession limit.

Light Goose Conservation Order – Bag Limit

No Limit

Atlantic Brant – Bag Limit

2 per day, 6 in possession.

Tundra Swan – Bag Limits

1 per permittee per season.

*Season dates and regulation data provided by

Virginia Licenses, Permits, and Regulations

Virginia hunting licenses, permits, and regulations for resident and non-resident hunters can be purchased on the official website of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Click below to view the website.

Hunting GPS Maps

Every Virginia hunter should have hunting GPS maps on hand. Virginia hunting maps are available from onX Hunt. With a paid membership you can access Satellite, Topo, or Hybrid Basemaps, over which you can view maps of wildlife management areas, along with State, Forest Service, and other public and private property boundaries. You can view trails and roads, and even download maps to the Hunt App for use offline. Click below to get onX Hunt for Virginia.

Wildlife Management Areas

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources maintains 46 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) totaling more than 215,000 acres for public enjoyment. 44 of the 46 WMAs offer hunting opportunities. Within all the WMAs for hunting, each may have quotas in place for animal harvest, antler restrictions, or managed hunt opportunities. It’s important to know the regulations for each WMA. Click below to view Virginia’s wildlife management areas in more detail through an interactive map.

Hunting Layers

VA Private Lands Preview

VA Private Lands

Over 3,200,000 parcels mapped by the onX team, this layer helps you know who the property owners are in Virginia. Tap any parcel to learn more info about the owner and acreage.

VA Gov Lands Preview

VA Gov Lands

onX has the most accurate maps of Gov Lands, covering over 3,400,000 acres in Virginia. Not all Gov Lands offer access opportunities, check regulations before recreating.

VA Possible Access Preview

VA Possible Access

onX has mapped 810,000 acres of possible access lands in Virginia including timber companies and land conservation groups. Research rules on these private lands before recreating.

VA Blue Ridge Line Preview

VA Blue Ridge Line

Virginia Blue Ridge Line Division. Please hunt responsibly, obey all signage and have a safe legal hunt.

VA PALS Walk In Areas Preview

VA PALS Walk In Areas

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Public Access Lands for Sportsmen Walk In Areas. All hunters are expected to know the rules of the program.

POWRR Walkin Areas Preview

POWRR Walkin Areas

The Public Opportunities for Wildlife Related Recreation (POWRR) program will open private lands for the public to enjoy hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and wildlife viewing.

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