Director’s Message

Hunting Regulations Icon Virginia Hunting

You may notice in this edition of the Hunting and Trapping in Virginia Digest that our agency’s name and logo have changed. While we have been known for many years as the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), effective July 1, 2020, we became the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). While this change will help us be more recognizable to all Virginians, we want to assure you that absolutely nothing has changed with respect to our commitment to Virginia’s sportsmen and sportswomen and the species that we appreciate and pursue.

Over the last 104 years, the agency’s full scope of responsibilities has changed, as has Virginia’s public. While we began as purely a game management agency, today we are a comprehensive wildlife management agency, providing services to all Virginians and promoting all of our wildlife and its habitats. All of these efforts have been achieved through the contributions of our hunters, anglers, and trappers for the benefit of all.

We remain firm in our commitment to those who have historically made our work possible. Additionally, we also want to welcome and enhance relationships with other wildlife enthusiasts to further enhance our efforts. This best lays a groundwork for the future of the management of all of our wildlife and habitats, and will bring to the table other interests to add to the support that you have historically provided. We will remain the stewards of Virginia’s game populations and make sure that hunters, anglers, and trappers are able to enjoy excellent sporting opportunities across the Commonwealth. We’re also committed, as are many of you, to continuing our mission to educate and encourage new generations of sportsmen and sportswomen to participate in hunting, fishing, boating, and recreational shooting opportunities that we have been so fortunate to enjoy.

It may take a while to get used to our new name and the DWR acronym, but we think it will be well worth it in the long term to better reach all of Virginia’s current and future wildlife enthusiasts and to ensure full and continued support for the species that we honor and enjoy. Thank you for all of your support for this agency and of our wildlife; we could not do what we do without each of you!

Ryan Brown, Executive Director, DWR

Virginia’s Wildlife Restoration Program and You

Hunters and trappers create many opportunities for Virginians to enjoy exceptional hunting, trapping, and wildlife watching. Through the Federal Assistance in Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration program, you help the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources make wildlife-oriented outdoor recreation even better each time you buy a firearm, ammunition, or a hunting or trapping license.

When you buy hunting-related equipment, a portion of the excise tax levied on the manufacturer goes to the Federal Assistance in Wildlife Restoration program. Virginia currently receives approximately $12 million each year from this program, which funds a large portion of the Department’s habitat management and wildlife population research projects.