Hunting in Virginia: Everything You Need to Know
Virginia abounds with a wide variety of wild game, making it a great state for both experienced and novice hunters. Before you head out on a trip, however, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with hunting in this state.
Below, you’ll find an introduction to hunting in the state of Virginia.
Is a Hunter Education Required?
As per Virginia law, all first-time hunters, as well as hunters who are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old, are required to successfully complete a hunter education certification course. Additionally, in order to purchase a license, all hunters in the aforementioned categories have to complete a training course that has been approved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
What are The Hunting Regulations in Virginia?
In Virginia, the following hunting regulations are stringently enforced:
- Hunting is permitted between sunrise and sunset.
- For birds that do not migrate and game animals, hunting may take place half an hour prior to sunrises and half an hour past sunset, with the exception of turkey season.
- Hunting for raccoons, bobcats, foxes and opossums is permitted during both day and night during appropriate seasons.
- Animals that are considered a nuisance may be hunted both day and night.
Are there Special Rules on Sundays?
Hunting is permitted on Sundays, but certain circumstances have to be met:
- Those who own land, family members, and any person who has received written permission from the owner is permitted to hunt wild animals and foul on the owner of the property, as long as it is not within 200 yards of a place of worship.
- Rail and waterfowl hunting is also permitted on Sundays, so long as it does not occur within 200 yards of a place of worship. This hunting is also subject to any restrictions that may be imposed by the powers that be.
With the exception of these circumstances, hunting and killing wild animals and birds, including nuisance animals, with any weapon, on Sundays, is considered unlawful.
Are Hunting Weapons Limited?
Yes, the weapons that are used for hunting in Virginia are limited. The firearm and archery equipment that can be used is dependent on the type of species being hunted, as well as the location where hunting occurs.
Generally speaking, shotguns, rifles, crossbows and archery tackle may be used; however, there are regulations regarding barrel and gauge size, as well as the ammunition that is being shot.
What Animals can be Hunted in Virginia?
Virginia is home to a wide variety of wild game that is considered acceptable to hunt. These animals range in size from small to large. Some of the most commonly hunted animals in Virginia include:
- Feral hogs
- Wild turkeys
- Bob cats
- Pheasants and quails
- Red and gray squirrels
- Fox squirrels
- Albino squirrels
Do note that while hunting these animals is permitted, regulations do exist regarding the hunting of these species. For example, bears may only be hunted one day a year, and hunters must have the appropriate licensure and weaponry.
What are the Best Spots for Hunting in Virginia?
There are several spots throughout Virginia that are considered prime hunting locations. Some of the most prominent spots for hunters include:
- South Piedmont
- Charles City
- Northern Neck
As well as several others.
To learn more information about hunting in Virginia, please check with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
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