General Information

Hunting Regulations Icon Virginia Hunting


Archery Tackle

As used in this digest, archery tackle includes longbow, recurve bow, compound bow, slingbow, and crossbow.


A pneumatic-powered air gun that fires an arrow. Explosive propellant arrowguns may not be used for hunting in Virginia.


Bait shall mean any food, grain, or other consumable substance that could serve as a lure or attractant; however, crops grown for normal or accepted agriculture or wildlife management purposes, including food plots, shall not be considered as bait.

Blaze Colored

The term “blaze colored” in reference to clothing or other items required for specific safe hunting practices shall be one of two colors: 1) solid blaze orange means a safety orange or fluorescent orange hue, or 2) solid blaze pink means a safety pink or fluorescent pink hue.

Dismal Swamp Line

Beginning at a point on Rt. 10 where it intersects the Isle of Wight County line, then along this highway to its intersection with the corporate limits of Suffolk, then through Suffolk to its intersection with Rt. 642 (White Marsh Road) and then along this highway in a southwest direction to Rt. 604 (Desert Road), and then southerly along this highway to the North Carolina state line.


An unmanned aerial vehicle, aircraft, or similar device, guided by remote control or onboard computers.

Furbearer Species

Furbearer means beaver, bobcat, fisher, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, skunk, and weasel.

Game Animal

Game animal means bear, bobcat, deer, elk, fox, rabbit, raccoon, and squirrel.

Hunting and Trapping

The act of or the attempted act of taking, hunting, trapping, pursuing, chasing, shooting, snaring, or netting birds or animals, and assisting any person who is doing the same, regardless of whether birds or animals are actually taken.

Loaded Arrowgun

Defined as an arrowgun that has an arrow or bolt inserted on the arrow rest or barrel.

Loaded Crossbow

Defined as a crossbow that is cocked and has either a bolt or arrow engaged or partially engaged on the shooting rail or track of the crossbow, or with a “trackless crossbow” when the crossbow is cocked and a bolt or arrow is nocked.

Loaded Muzzleloader

A muzzleloading firearm is considered “loaded” when the muzzleloader is capped, or has a charged pan, or has a primer or battery installed in the firearm.

Loaded Firearm

Defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip and is engaged or partially engaged in a firearm.

Nonmigratory Game Birds

Nonmigratory game bird means grouse, pheasant, bobwhite quail, and turkey.

Migratory Game Birds

Migratory game birds means species of waterfowl (ducks, geese, brant, swans and mergansers) and webless species (coots, doves, gallinules, moorhens, rails, snipe, and woodcock).

Nuisance Species

The following animals: house mouse, Norway rat, black rat, coyote, groundhog, nutria, feral hog, European starling, English sparrow, mute swan, and pigeon (rock dove) are designated as nuisance species and may be taken at any time by use of a firearm or other weapon (unless prohibited by local ordinances, see Local Firearms Ordinances) and on some public lands during certain time periods (see National Forest-Game Department Regulations, Public Ranges on WMAs & National Forests).

Other Wildlife

It is unlawful to take, possess, transport, release, or sell all other wildlife species not classified as game, furbearer, or nuisance, unless otherwise specifically permitted by law or regulation.

Route 29 Line/Amherst County

The Route 29 “line” in Amherst County is defined as Business U.S. 29 from the James River to its intersection with U.S. 29 just south of the town of Amherst continuing north on U.S. 29 to the Tye River.

Hunting Weapon

Is any weapon allowable for hunting as defined in 29.1-519 of the Code of Virginia.

East & West of the Blue Ridge

Counties colored blue are west of the Blue Ridge and those counties in white are east of the Blue Ridge.


Virginia Wildlife Crime Line

Since its inception in October 1986, the Virginia Wildlife Crime Line has become a valuable tool in the enforcement of the Commonwealth’s game, fish, and boat laws. As awareness of this program increases, so do the number of calls to report violations. The program has generated thousands of reported wildlife crime tips that have resulted in over a thousand arrests and over $80,000 in approved rewards. Reward payments are approved and funded through the Virginia Sportsman Reward Fund, Inc. Their mission is to promote the enforcement of hunting, fishing, and boating laws in Virginia by supporting the Wildlife Crime Line in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. You can help support this effort by sending a tax-deductible donation to: Virginia Wildlife Crime Line, P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228-0778.

Report a Wildlife Crime

If you know someone who kills wildlife out of season or over the game limit, help the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries catch the individual and stop others from following that path. If you observe a violation, call the toll-free Virginia Wildlife Crime Line number at (800) 237-5712 or e-mail wildcrime@dgif.virginia.gov.