The use of drones for locating or scouting wildlife during any open season now includes a same-day prohibition for hunting on the property where the drone was used. See General Hunting Information.
The Department has transitioned completely to electronic reporting and will no longer distribute paper check books. All deer, bear, turkey, elk, and bobcat hunters, including those hunters exempt from purchasing a license, must report their harvests through the Department’s telephone reporting system (1-866-GOTGAME or 1-866-468-4263) or over the Internet at www.dwr.virginia.gov. Licensed hunters have a third reporting option and may use eNotch on the Department’s free Go Outdoors Virginia mobile phone application. See Tag Validation & Checking Requirements.
Daily bag limit is now unlimited in all cities and towns that allow deer hunting (except in the Cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach). See Deer Hunting Regulations.
The bag limit is one deer per day on National Forest, department-owned, and department-managed lands. See Deer Hunting Regulations.
Earn-A-Buck was implemented on private lands in Accomack, Amherst (west of Route 29), Carroll, Greene, Madison, Orange, Prince George, Rockingham (east of Routes 613 and 731), Stafford, and Wythe counties. See Deer Hunting Earn A Buck
The city of Bristol and the town of Scottsville have been added to the Urban Archery Deer Seasons. See Deer Hunting Seasons.
Muzzleloading either-sex deer hunting days were increased on private lands in Augusta and Dickenson counties;
The minimum muzzleloading rifle caliber was reduced from .45 to .40 caliber and muzzleloading rifles must still fire a single bullet or saboted bullet (.35 caliber or larger);
The definition of a muzzleloading rifle was changed so that only the projectile must be loaded from the muzzle of the gun.
Early and late antlerless only firearms deer seasons have been established in Clarke County and on private lands in Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties. See Deer Hunting Firearms Seasons.
An early antlerless only firearms deer season has been established on private lands in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock counties. See Deer Hunting Firearms Seasons.
Firearm either-sex deer hunting days have been increased in Charles City, Chesterfield, Fluvanna (except Hardware River WMA), Goochland, King and Queen, King William, New Kent, Page (private lands), Powhatan (except Powhatan WMA), on private lands west of Routes 613 and 731 in Rockingham, and Spotsylvania counties (except Oakley Forest WMA). Additionally, either-sex deer hunting days have been increased on the G.R. Thompson and White Oak Mountain WMA’s and reduced on the C.F Phelps, Oakley Forest, and Rapidan WMAs. See Deer Hunting Firearms Seasons.
Virginia’s first elk hunting season within the Elk Management Zone will occur in 2022. Interested individuals can apply for a special elk hunting license for the Elk Management Zone beginning February 2022. Further information will be posted on the Department’s website by December 2021.
Following the discovery of CWD in Montgomery County earlier this year, a new Disease Management Area (DMA3) has been established in Floyd, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties. See Deer Hunting CWD.
A year-round deer feeding prohibition was established in Bland, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke, and Wythe counties and the cities of Radford, Roanoke, and Salem due to the detection of CWD in Montgomery County. See Deer Hunting CWD.
Deer carcass movement restrictions among disease management areas have been relaxed in some situations. See Deer Hunting CWD.
Spring turkey hunting hours are now one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, statewide, the last 3 weeks of the season. See Turkey Hunting Regulations.
In an effort to prevent the arrival and spread of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Serotype 2 (RHDV2), rabbit carcass disposal and importation regulations have been established for all wild rabbits harvested within Virginia or in another state. See Small Game Hunting Regulations.
Class I and Class II electric power-assist bicycles may be used on department-owned lands. See Public Hunting Lands.
Tree stands which are not permanently affixed to the tree may be placed on department-owned lands beginning September 15th but must be removed by January 31st of the following year. See Public Hunting Lands.
The maximum foot loop size for snares has been changed from 12 inches diameter to 38 inches in circumference. See Furbear Trapping Regulations.