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Game Bird Hunting

Game Bird Hunting

Contact Information

Commonwealth of Virginia

Glenn Youngkin, Governor

Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources

Travis Voyles

Department of Wildlife Resources

Ryan J. Brown, Executive Director

Members of the Board

Tom Sadler, Chair, Verona

Jon Cooper, Vice-Chair, Botetourt

Leon Boyd, Vansant

Catherine H. Claiborne, Richmond

John W. Daniel II, Richmond

Michael Formica, McLean

Tammy Jo Franklin, Big Stone Gap

Mamie A. Parker, Ph.D., Dulles

George J. Terwilliger III, Delaplane

Brian Vincent, Farmville

G.K. Washington, Dillwyn

Mission Statement

Conserve and manage wildlife populations and habitat for the benefit of present and future generations. Connect people to Virginia’s outdoors through boating, education, fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing and other wildlife-related activities. Protect people and property by promoting safe outdoor experiences and managing human-wildlife conflicts.

The Department of Wildlife Resources shall afford to all persons an equal access to Department programs and facilities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or veteran’s status. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility, please write to: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Attn: Executive Director’s Office, 7870 Villa Park Dr, Suite 400, P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228.

Virginia map of regions.


7870 Villa Park Drive, Suite 400

Henrico, VA 23228

(804) 367-1000; (804) 367-1278 V/TDD

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 90778

Henrico, VA 23228-0778

Boating Registration/License Fees

(804) 367-1000

Note: The Headquarters Office is the only Department location where visitors may title/register a boat. These services are not available at the Regional Offices.

Additional Contacts

Report Wildlife Violations Only

(800) 237-5712

Email: [email protected]

Text DWRTIP plus your tip to 847411

Boating Registration/

License Fees

(804) 367-1000

Quota Hunts

Virginia Department of Forestry

Headquarters: (434) 977-6555

State Forests: (804) 492-4121

Department of Conservation and Recreation Reservation Center

(800) 933-7275

USDA Wildlife Services

(804) 739-7739

U. S. Forest Service Supervisor George Washington and Jefferson National Forest

(540) 265-5100 or (888) 265-0019

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(Federal wildlife inquiries only)

(804) 771-2883; (804) 771-2280

Regional Offices

Region 1

3801 John Tyler Memorial Hwy.

Charles City, VA 23030

(804) 829-6580

Region 2

1132 Thomas Jefferson Road

Forest, VA 24551-9223

(434) 525-7522

Region 3

1796 Highway Sixteen

Marion, VA 24354

(276) 783-4860

Region 4

P.O. Box 996, 517 Lee Highway

Verona, VA 24482

(540) 248-9360

1320 Belman Road

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

(540) 899-4169

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 Wildlife 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 Wildlife Restoration program. Virginia currently receives approximately $20.4 million each year from this program, which funds a large portion of the Department’s habitat management and wildlife population research projects.

Sportsmen: Boat Smart, Wear Your Life Jacket

Wearing a life jacket may save your life. It is estimated that 80 percent of boating-related drownings could have been prevented had the victim been wearing a life jacket.

The newest type of life jacket, the manual or automatic inflatable, is lightweight and comfortable. They are versatile enough to be worn at any time of the year, and fit easily over a hunting coat or sweater.

Safety Tips

  • Check the weather before leaving.
  • Wear a life jacket or float coat.
  • Remain seated and keep weight evenly distributed.
  • Anchor from the bow, never from the stern.
  • Properly load your boat.
  • Stay with your boat if it should capsize.
  • Dress for the water temperature—guard against hypothermia.
  • Leave the alcohol at home.

For more information, contact Boating Education at: [email protected].

Youth & Veterans Waterfowl Hunting Days

October 21, 2023 and February 3, 2024

Statewide. Open to Youth 15 years of age and under, Military Veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training). Participants may harvest the allowed daily bag limit of ducks (see pg. 13), and other waterfowl, including Atlantic brant, coots, mergansers, gallinules, moorhens, light geese, 2 Canada geese in the Atlantic Population Zone and 5 Canada geese in the Resident Population Zone, and 1 tundra swan (if in possession of a tundra swan permit) on the designated days. Resident youth aged 12–15, nonresident youth age 15 or under, and Veterans need a valid Virginia hunting license, unless license exempt. All hunters participating must be Virginia HIP registered ( All youth must be accompanied and directly supervised by an adult at least 18 years of age or older who has a valid Virginia hunting license (unless license exempt). The accompanying adult cannot hunt ducks (unless they are a Veteran), but may hunt for those species for which there is an open season.

Federal Electronic or “E-Stamp” Duck Stamp Program

A Federal Duck Stamp is required for all persons 16 years and older in order to hunt waterfowl. A convenient online option is available whereby hunters can obtain an E-stamp for $28.00. The E-stamp is valid immediately following the purchase and for up to 45 days. The actual Federal Duck Stamp will be mailed to the customer within 45 days and must be signed and carried thereafter while hunting waterfowl. Waterfowl hunters can still purchase their Federal Duck Stamp at some U.S. Post Offices at a cost of $25.00.

To obtain the Federal Migratory Duck E-Stamp go to the Department’s website ( and click on hunting and fishing licenses or visit one of over 800 license agents throughout the Commonwealth.

Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp

Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana, created his winning submission depicting ringneck ducks, “Dawn’s Early Light,” by studying photos of the species he had taken on his property. Klinefelter’s interest in wildlife came early in life, and has inspired him to enter state waterfowl, game bird, and fish stamp contests for 30 years. “After many hours of different designs, I am pleased that the judges chose my painting as the winner,” said Klinefelter. The piece was judged the winner out of 11 entries from artists spanning the United States. The 2023 Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp theme was canvasbacks, ring-necked ducks, scaup (lesser and greater), scoter, mergansers, and longtail ducks.

For information on ordering the 2023 Virginia Duck Stamp print contact [email protected]

Don’t Forget to Register With HIP

All hunters (whether licensed or license-exempt) who plan to hunt migratory game birds including dove, waterfowl, rail, woodcock, snipe, coots, gallinules, or moorhens, must be registered with the Virginia Harvest Information Program (HIP). A new HIP registration is required on July 1 of each year. Hunters are no longer given a separate HIP number, but confirmation of your HIP registration will be printed on your license, or issued separately for license-exempt hunters. Information obtained from HIP is vital for the management of migratory birds in Virginia. Register for HIP online at or call 888-788-9772.

If you DO NOT hunt the migratory birds noted above, you DO NOT need to register for HIP.

Waterfowl Information

The web is a wonderful tool for waterfowlers. Information on season dates and bag limits can be found along with information on waterfowl population status, habitat conditions, as well as current waterfowl research being conducted in Virginia. Sites we recommend include:

Virginia Department of
Wildlife Resources
Waterfowl Homepage

USFWS and Flyway
Council website

Federal Register Documents

Attention Hunters: Migratory Bird Banding Projects

Wildlife agencies around the country, including the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, capture and leg-band a number of migratory game bird species, including ducks, geese, brant, swans, and doves as part of our annual monitoring programs. Analysis from the recoveries of banded birds provides biologists with important information on bird distribution, harvest rates, and survival. Hunters recovering any banded migratory game bird can keep the band, but remember to report the recovery information. Please note that the toll-free band reporting phone number has been discontinued (even though some bands you recover may still be inscribed with that number). You must now report all bands online at the USGS website, or by sending your information by mail to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708. People that call the toll-free number will be directed to report their bird bands using the REPORTBAND website or by mail. After reporting the band you will receive a “Certificate of Appreciation” that includes information about where and when the bird was banded. For more information on the banding projects or other Department migratory bird programs, visit our website at

Please help us help you manage migratory game birds in Virginia by reporting banded birds.

Please report ONLY USFWS bands. Private bands cannot be reported on this website.