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Deer Hunting Regulations and Seasons

General Information

Bag Limits

East of the Blue Ridge (except on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties):

The bag limit for deer shall be two a day, six a license year. Of the six-deer limit, no more than three may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exceptions below).

Exceptions
  • The daily bag limit for deer shall be unlimited in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and in all cities and towns east of the Blue Ridge except in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. However, no more than three antlered deer may be killed in a license year.
  • Only one deer per day may be taken on National Forest lands and Department-owned and Department-managed lands east of the Blue Ridge.

West of the Blue Ridge and on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties:

The bag limit for deer shall be two a day and five a license year. Of the five-deer limit, no more than two may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exceptions below).

Exceptions
  • The daily bag limit for deer shall be unlimited in all cities and towns west of the Blue Ridge. However, no more than two antlered deer may be taken in a license year.
  • Only one deer per day may be taken on National Forest lands and Department-owned and Department-managed lands west of the Blue Ridge.
  • If a deer hunter kills two antlered bucks in a license year in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, or Rockbridge County, at least one of the bucks must have at least four antler points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.
  • Only one elk per day may be taken statewide.

Bag Limit Exceptions

  • Deer hunters, including those exempt from purchasing a license, on private land and authorized public lands may take more than the license-year bag limit of antlerless deer by using bonus deer permits or special deer permits (DCAP, DMAP, and DPOP).
  • DCAP, DMAP, and DPOP deer tags do not count against the daily or season bag limit.

Antlered and Antlerless Deer

Deer Tags

  • Either-sex deer tags (commonly called “buck” tags) may be used on antlered or antlerless deer.
  • Antlerless-only deer tags (commonly called “doe” tags) may only be used on antlerless deer.

Antlered Deer

  • Antlered deer must have antlers visible above the hairline.
  • An antlered deer must be tagged with an either-sex deer tag.

Antlerless Deer

  • Antlerless deer may only be taken during designated either-sex deer hunting days during the archery season(s), muzzleloading season(s), and firearms season(s). Youth deer hunters, see Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend and Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation provisions.
  • Antlerless deer (does, button bucks, and shedantlered bucks) may be tagged with an antlerless-only deer tag or an either-sex deer tag.
  • Button bucks, male fawns approximately six months old, are considered antlerless deer. The hair covered bumps on a button buck’s head are not antlers. They are the pedicels from which the antlers will grow the next year.
  • Antlered deer that have shed their antlers, usually in late December or early January, are also considered antlerless deer.

Antler Point Restrictions

Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge Counties

If a deer hunter kills two antlered bucks in a license year, at least one of the bucks must have at least four antler points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers (in each of the counties listed above).

Wildlife Management Areas

Antler point restrictions (APRs) are in effect on the Parkers Branch Tract of the Big Woods WMA and Featherfin WMA. Antlered deer must have at least four antler points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers to be legally harvested. See informational kiosks at these locations for specific details and APR boundaries.

Earn a Buck (EAB)

Deer taken in one EAB county, city, or town do not “carry over” to any other EAB county, city, or town. Each county, city, or town is its own separate management unit with regards to EAB.

Private lands in Accomack, Albemarle, Amherst (west of Rt. 29), Bedford, Carroll, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Floyd, Franklin, Frederick, Greene, Grayson, Hanover, Henrico, Madison, Montgomery, Orange, Prince George, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Rockingham (east of Rts. 613 and 731), Shenandoah, Stafford, Warren, and Wythe counties

Within a license year and within each individual county listed above, before you can take a second antlered deer on private lands in that county (your second buck), you must have taken at least one antlerless deer on private lands in that county. Furthermore, in those counties listed above east of the Blue Ridge Mountains where it is legal to harvest a third antlered deer, before you can take a third antlered deer on private lands in that county (your third buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer on private lands in that county.

Example – Within a license year, before you can take a second antlered deer on private lands in Albemarle County (your second buck), you must have taken at least one antlerless deer on private lands in Albemarle County. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer on private lands in Albemarle County (your third buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer on private lands in Albemarle County.

Private lands in James City and York counties

Within a license year and within each individual county listed above, before you can take a second antlered deer on private lands in that county (your second buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer on private lands in that county. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer on private lands in that county (your third buck), you must have taken at least three antlerless deer on private lands in that county.

Example – Within a license year, before you can take a second antlered deer on private lands in James City County (your second buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer on private lands in James City County. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer on private lands in James City County (your third buck), you must have taken at least three antlerless deer on private lands in James City County.

Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William (except on Department of Defense lands) counties

Within a license year and within each individual county listed above, before you can take a second antlered deer in that county (your second buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer in that county. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer in that county (your third buck), you must have taken at least three antlerless deer in that county.

Example – Within a license year, before you can take a second antlered deer in Fairfax County (your second buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer in Fairfax County. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer in Fairfax County (your third buck), you must have taken at least three antlerless deer in Fairfax County.

Cities and Towns

EAB does not apply to the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

Within a license year and within any city or town, before you can take a second antlered deer in that city or town (your second buck), you must have taken at least one antlerless deer in that city or town. Furthermore, in those cities and towns east of the Blue Ridge Mountains where it is legal to harvest a third antlered deer, before you can take a third antlered deer in that city or town (your third buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer in that city or town.

Example – Within a license year, before you can take a second antlered deer in the City of Lynchburg (your second buck), you must have taken at least one antlerless deer in the City of Lynchburg. Furthermore, before you can take a third antlered deer in the City of Lynchburg (your third buck), you must have taken at least two antlerless deer in the City of Lynchburg.

Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend

Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend questions and answers can be found at: www.virginiawildlife.gov/youth/hunting/

September 25 and 26

  • Statewide (Sunday hunting on private lands only).
  • Resident and nonresident youth hunters 15 years of age and under or holders of a valid apprentice hunting license, when in compliance with all applicable laws and licenses, may hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18 who has a valid Virginia hunting license or is exempt from purchasing a hunting license. Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses (unless exempt from purchasing a license).
  • Deer of either sex may be taken.
  • Antlerless deer taken on the youth and apprentice deer hunting weekend are in addition to an antlerless deer taken under the youth and apprentice antlerless deer regulation and on either-sex deer hunting days.
  • Deer harvested by youth or apprentice hunters count against their daily and season bag limit.
  • Blaze colored requirements and exceptions for firearms deer season are in effect.
  • Deer hunting with dogs is prohibited, except that tracking dogs are allowed (see Hunting with Dogs).
  • Adult hunters accompanying youth or apprentice deer hunters:
    • do not need a deer/turkey license on this weekend.
    • shall not carry or discharge a weapon.
    • shall maintain close visual and verbal contact with, provide adequate direction to, and can immediately assume control of the firearm.
  • Unless specified above, all other normal firearm deer regulations apply (e.g., daily and season bag limits, tagging and reporting, EAB, antler point restrictions, etc.).

Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation

Resident or nonresident deer hunters 15 years of age and under and holders of a valid apprentice hunting license may take one antlerless deer per license year on days other than designated either-sex deer hunting days during the muzzleloading season(s) or the firearms season(s) in all counties. This regulation applies to all private and public lands (National Forest, State Forests, WMAs, etc.) statewide. This regulation is in addition to either-sex deer hunting days. For example, if a youth or apprentice deer hunter killed one or more antlerless deer on designated either-sex deer hunting days, he or she could still take one antlerless deer on a day not designated an either-sex deer hunting day.

Archery Deer Seasons

Early Archery Season

October 2 through November 12: Statewide.

Late Archery Seasons

November 28 through January 1:

  • In all areas west of the Blue Ridge unless noted below. Season Exception: Clarke and Floyd counties and on private lands in Frederick County.

November 29 through January 1:

  • On all National Forest and Department-owned lands west of the Blue Ridge.
  • On the C. F. Phelps WMA.
  • On National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford and Nelson counties.

December 1 through January 1:

  • In the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), and Virginia Beach.

December 12 through January 1:

  • In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Amherst (west of Route 29), Bedford, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Nelson (west of Route 151), and Patrick.

Archery Either-Sex Deer Hunting

Deer of either sex may be taken full season during the early and late archery deer seasons, including the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), and Virginia Beach.

Urban Archery Deer Seasons

During these seasons only antlerless deer may be taken.

September 4 through October 1 and January 2, 2022 through March 27, 2022

  • Within the incorporated limits of the cities of Charlottesville, Chesapeake (except on Department-owned lands), Colonial Heights, Danville, Emporia, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Galax, Hopewell, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Poquoson, Radford, Richmond, Staunton, Suffolk, and Winchester; and in the towns of Altavista, Amherst, Bedford, Blacksburg, Blackstone, Boones Mill, Buchanan, Chatham, Christiansburg, Farmville, Front Royal, Halifax, Hillsville, Hurt, Independence, Irvington, Kenbridge, Lebanon, Pearisburg, Pulaski, Richlands, Rocky Mount, Saltville, Scottsville, Smithfield, Stuart, Tazewell, Victoria, West Point, and Wytheville; and in the counties of Chesterfield, Fairfax, James City, Prince William (except DOD land), Roanoke (except on National Forest and Department-owned lands), Stafford, and York.
  • Archery or crossbow deer hunters hunting during the early urban archery deer season are required to wear blaze color on the Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend. See exceptions to the blaze color requirement.
  • Lists of properties available for hunting are not maintained by the Department or local governments.
  • Go to the Urban Archery Season page for local restrictions and other urban archery information.
  • All other “normal” deer regulations apply (e.g., daily and season bag limits, tagging and reporting, DMAP, DCAP, EAB, antler point restrictions, etc.).

NOVA Late Archery Season

During this season only antlerless deer may be taken.

March 28, 2022 through April 24, 2022:

  • In Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William (except on Department-owned lands) counties (including the cities and towns within).

Legal Methods and Restrictions During Archery Deer Seasons

Special restrictions may apply during this season. See Legal Use of Firearms and Archery Tackle and Local Firearms Ordinances for details.

  • Archery tackle.
  • Persons with a disability that prevents them from drawing a bow or crossbow may hunt with an arrowgun during the special archery season provided they have in possession an authorization form provided by the Department that has been completed by their physician.
  • Broadhead widths must be at least 7/8-inch wide or expand upon impact to 7/8-inch.
  • It is unlawful to use explosive head arrows or arrows to which any drug, chemical, or toxic substance has been added.
  • It is unlawful to use dogs, except that dogs may be used to track wounded or dead deer (see Hunting with Dogs).
  • It is unlawful to have a firearm in possession except that a muzzleloading firearm, as defined in the muzzleloader deer seasons section, may also be in possession when and where there is an overlap with a muzzleloading deer season where deer hunting with a rifle or muzzleloading firearm is permitted. (See exception for valid concealed handgun permit holders.)

Muzzleloader Deer Seasons

In all areas where hunting with a muzzleloading rifle is permitted.

Note: Deer hunters west of the Blue Ridge Mountains may take their season limit of two antlered deer during the early muzzleloading season. In designated areas, EAB regulations would apply.

Muzzleloader deer hunters and persons accompanying a muzzleloader deer hunter shall wear a blaze color, except when physically located in a tree stand or other stationary hunting location.

Early Muzzleloader Season

October 30 through November 12:

There is no early muzzleloader season in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), or Virginia Beach since it occurs during the general firearms season.

Antlered deer may be taken every day of the season. Antlerless deer may only be taken on the designated either-sex deer hunting days listed below.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days East of the Blue Ridge:

October 30 through November 12 (full season):

In all areas (including Merrimac Farm WMA and Occoneechee State Park) unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 6: On State Forest lands, State Park lands (except Occoneechee State Park), Department-owned lands (except Merrimac Farm WMA), and Philpott Reservoir.
  • Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days: On National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days West of the Blue Ridge:

October 30 through November 12 (full season):

On private lands in Augusta, Botetourt, Carroll, Clarke, Floyd, Frederick, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockingham (east of Route 613 and 731), Scott, Shenandoah, Warren and Wythe counties.

November 6:

On private lands in Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Craig, Dickenson, Giles, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Smyth and Washington counties, and on the Highland WMA.

Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days:

  • On all National Forest and Department-owned lands in all counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains (except the Highland WMA).
  • In Buchanan, Lee, Rockingham (west of Routes 613 and 731), Russell, Tazewell, and Wise counties.
  • On Channels State Forest, Grayson Highlands State Park, Hungry Mother State Park, PALS (Public Access Lands for Sportsmen) in Dickenson County, and Flannagan Reservoir.
  • Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

Late Muzzleloader Season East of the Blue Ridge

December 11 through January 1:

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Amherst (west of Route 29), Bedford, Franklin, Henry, Nelson (west of Route 151), and Patrick, and in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), and Virginia Beach.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days East of the Blue Ridge:

December 11 through January 1 (full season):

In the counties of Amherst (west of Route 29 except on National Forest lands), Bedford (except on National Forest lands), Franklin, Henry, Nelson (west of Route 151 except on National Forest lands), and Patrick.

December 27 through January 1:

In the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), and Virginia Beach.

January 1:

On National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties.

Late Muzzleloader Season West of the Blue Ridge

December 11 through January 1:

In all areas west of the Blue Ridge unless noted in the season exception below.

Season Exception:

  • There is no late muzzleloader season in Clarke County and on private lands in Frederick County since it occurs during the general firearms season.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days West of the Blue Ridge:

December 11 through January 1 (full season):

On private lands in Augusta, Botetourt, Carroll, Floyd, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockingham (east of Routes 613 and 731), Shenandoah, Warren, and Wythe counties.

December 27 through January 1

On private lands in Bland, Craig, Giles, Page, Rockbridge, Scott, Smyth and Washington counties.

January 1:

  • In Alleghany, Bath, Dickenson, Highland, Lee, Rockingham (west of Routes 613 and 731), Russell, Tazewell, and Wise counties.
  • On all National Forest and Departmentowned lands in all counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • On Channels State Forest, Grayson Highlands State Park, and Hungry Mother State Park.

Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days:

  • In Buchanan County. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

Legal Methods and Restrictions During Muzzleloading Deer Seasons

Special restrictions apply to specific firearms use during this season. See Legal Use of Firearms and Archery Tackle and Local Firearms Ordinances for details.

  • Muzzleloading guns that can be used during these deer seasons include:
    • Single shot muzzleloading rifles .40 caliber or larger, firing a single projectile or sabot (with a .35 caliber or larger projectile) where the projectile is loaded from the muzzle;
    • Muzzleloading shotguns (one or more barrels) not larger than 10 gauge where the projectiles are loaded from the muzzle;
    • Muzzleloading pistols (one or more barrels) .45 caliber or larger, firing a single projectile or sabot (with a .35 caliber or larger projectile) per barrel where the propellant and projectile are loaded from the muzzle;
    • Muzzleloading revolvers .45 caliber or larger, firing a single projectile or sabot (with a .35 caliber or larger projectile) per cylinder where the propellant and projectile are loaded from the forward end of the cylinder.
  • Flintlock, percussion, or electronic ignitions are permitted.
  • It is unlawful to have in immediate possession any firearm other than a muzzleloading firearm while hunting with a muzzleloader. (See exception for valid concealed handgun permit holders.)
  • Smokeless powder is allowed in muzzleloading firearms designed for it. Never use smokeless powder in a muzzleloading firearm that is not specifically designed for it.
  • Scopes are permitted.
  • For the purposes of transportation in a vehicle, muzzleloading firearms are considered “unloaded” when all powder has been removed from the flashpan, or the percussion cap, primer, or battery has been removed from the firearm.
  • Pneumatic arrowguns are allowed.
  • It is unlawful to hunt deer with dogs, except that dogs may be used to track wounded or dead deer (see Hunting with Dogs).
  • It is lawful to carry archery tackle when and where there is an overlap with a deer archery and deer muzzleloader season.

Muzzleloader Either-Sex Deer Hunting for Incorporated Cities and Towns

  • Deer of either sex may be taken full season during the muzzleloader seasons within the incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth that allows muzzleloading deer hunting (except in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) and only with the weapons (archery tackle and/or muzzleloaders) authorized by each individual city or town.
  • Earn a buck applies to all cities and towns except Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

Firearms Deer Seasons

 

Antlered deer may be taken every day of the season. Antlerless deer may only be taken on designated either-sex deer hunting days. Special Youth and Apprentice Deer Regulation applies statewide.

* Denotes Earn a Buck (EAB) County

November 13 through 27

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Augusta, Botetourt, Carroll*, Craig, Giles, Grayson*, Page, Roanoke*, Rockingham*, Shenandoah*, Smyth, Warren*, and Wythe*.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 13 through 27 (full season): In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and November 27: On National Forest and Department-owned lands in Carroll, Craig, and Wythe counties and on National Forest lands in Giles County and on private land west of Rts. 613 and 731 in Rockingham County.
  • November 27: On National Forest and Department-owned lands in Augusta, Botetourt, Roanoke, and Smyth counties and on National Forest lands in Grayson, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties, Hungry Mother State Park, and on portions of Grayson Highlands State Park.

November 13 through 27

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Lee, Rockbridge, Russell, and Tazewell.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20, 26, and 27: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 27: On Department-owned lands in Russell County and on National Forest and Department-owned lands in Rockbridge and Tazewell counties and on the Channels State Forest.
  • Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days: On National Forest lands in Lee County. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

November 13 through January 1

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Accomack*, Albemarle*, Arlington*, Campbell (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Charles City, Clarke*, Culpeper* (see season exception for C. F. Phelps WMA below), Fairfax*, Fauquier* (see season exception for C. F. Phelps WMA below), Frederick* (see season exception for National Forest lands below), Greene*, Goochland, Hanover*, Henrico*, Isle of Wight, James City*, Loudoun*, Madison*, New Kent, Northampton, Orange*, Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Powhatan, Prince George*, Prince William*, Rappahannock*, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Stafford*, Suffolk (west of the Dismal Swamp line), Surry, Sussex, and York*.

  • In Arlington County*, City of Hampton*, and City of Richmond* (in the City of Richmond: archery only, no special permit is required for archery deer hunting). Note: Local Ordinances prohibit the discharge of firearms in these three areas (see Local Firearms Ordinances).
  • In the City of Lynchburg* (on private lands for which a special permit has been issued by the Chief of Police).
  • In the City of Newport News*: archery only, no special permit is required for archery deer hunting.
  • In Fairfax County*, firearm hunting is restricted by location and parcel size. Contact the Div. of Animal Control, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 for details. No parcel size restrictions exist for archery deer hunting.

Season Exception:

November 13 through 27: On C.F. Phelps WMA and National Forest lands in Frederick County.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 13 through January 1 (full season): In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and 27, and December 20 through January 1: On G.R. Thompson, Oakley Forest, Powhatan, and Rapidan WMAs.
  • November 20: On C.F. Phelps WMA.
  • November 20 and 27 and December 27 through January 1: On the Big Woods WMA (including the Parkers Branch Tract) and Big Woods State Forest.
  • November 27: On National Forest lands in Frederick County.
  • Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days: On the Carlisle and Stewart tracts of the Hog Island WMA, and on the Ragged Island and Chickahominy WMAs. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

November 13 through January 1

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Caroline, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Essex, Gloucester, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Nottoway, and Prince Edward.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20 and 27 and December 27 through January 1: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and 27, and December 4 through January 1: On Featherfin WMA.
  • November 20 and 27: On Appomattox-Buckingham and Prince Edward State Forests.

November 13 through January 1

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Amelia, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Halifax, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20 and 27 and December 20 through January 1: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and 27 and December 27 through January 1: On Amelia WMA.
  • November 20 and 27: On Cumberland State Forest.

(Orange/White Stripes) November 13 through 27:

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Scott and Washington.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20 and November 22 through 27: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 27: On National Forest and Department-owned lands in Washington County and on Channels State Forest.
  • Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days: On National Forest lands in Scott County. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

November 13 through December 11

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Henry and Patrick.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20 and 27 and November 29 through December 11: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and December 6 through 11: On Fairystone Farms and Turkeycock Mountain WMAs, designated areas of Fairystone State Park, and Philpott Reservoir.

October 1 through November 30

In the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), and Virginia Beach.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

October 9 and 16 and November 18 through November 30: In all areas.

November 13 through 27

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

Antlered deer only–no either-sex deer hunting days in all areas. Special Youth and Apprentice Antlerless Deer Regulation applies.

November 13 through December 11

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Amherst* (west of Route 29 except on National Forest lands), Bedford* (except on National Forest lands), Floyd*, Franklin*, Montgomery*, Nelson (west of Route 151, except on National Forest lands), and Pulaski*.

Season Exception:

  • November 13 through 27: On National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, Montgomery, Nelson, and Pulaski counties.

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 13 through December 11 (full season): In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 27: On National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties.
  • November 20 and November 27: On National Forest lands in Montgomery and Pulaski counties.
  • November 20 and December 6 through 11: On Philpott Reservoir and Turkeycock Mountain WMA.

November 13 through January 1

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Amherst (east of Rt. 29), Campbell (east of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson (east of Rt. 151), and Pittsylvania (east of Norfolk Southern Railroad). Note: Dogs may not be used for deer hunting in Campbell County (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad) and in Pittsylvania County (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad).

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

November 20 and 27, and December 4 through January 1: In all areas unless otherwise noted below.

  • November 20 and 27 and December 20 through January 1: On Hardware River WMA.
  • November 20 and December 27 through January 1: On James River WMA.
  • November 20 and December 30 through January 1: On White Oak Mountain WMA.

November 13 through 27

In the counties (including the cities and towns within) of Alleghany, Bath, Bland, and Highland

Either-sex Deer Hunting Days:

  • November 20 and 27: On all private lands in the counties listed above and on National Forest lands in Bland County and on the Highland WMA.
  • November 27: On National Forest and Department-owned lands in Bath County and on National Forest lands in Alleghany and Highland counties.

Early and Late Antlerless Only Firearms Deer Seasons

During these seasons only antlerless deer may be taken.

  • (Yellow Diamond) Early Season Only: September 4 through October 1
    • On private lands in Culpeper*, Fauquier*, Madison*, Orange*, and Rappahannock* counties.
  • (Black Diamond) Early and Late Seasons: September 4 through October 1; January 2, 2022 through March 27, 2022
    • In the counties (including the towns and cities within) of Arlington*, Fairfax*, Loudoun* and Prince William* (except on Department-owned lands) and on private lands in Clarke*, Frederick*, Shenandoah*, and Warren* counties.

Local firearm ordinances prohibit the discharge of firearms in Arlington County. In Fairfax County*, firearm hunting is restricted by location and parcel size. Contact the Div. of Animal Control, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 for details. No parcel size restrictions exist for archery deer hunting.

All legal deer hunting weapons including bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, pistols, shotguns, and rifles are legal. Local firearm ordinances still apply.

All other “normal” deer regulations apply (e.g., daily and season bag limits, tagging and reporting, DCAP, DMAP, EAB, etc.).

Deer Hunting Information

It is illegal to possess or use deer scents or lures that contain natural deer urine or other bodily fluids while taking, attempting to take, attracting, or scouting wildlife in Virginia.

Firearms Either-sex Deer Hunting For Incorporated Cities and Towns

  • Deer of either sex may be taken full season in the incorporated limits of any city or town in Virginia that allows firearms deer hunting (except in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach), but only with the specific weapons authorized by each individual city or town.
  • Earn a Buck applies to all cities and towns except Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

Legal Methods and Restrictions During Firearms Deer Seasons

Special restrictions apply to specific firearms use during this season. See Legal Use of Firearms and Local Firearms Ordinances for details.

  • Modern firearms
  • Pneumatic arrowguns are allowed
  • Air rifles must be .35 caliber or larger
  • Hunters are allowed to use archery tackle or muzzleloading firearms to deer hunt during the firearms deer season with the following conditions:
    • all hunters are required to comply with the either-sex deer hunting days for the firearms deer season.
    • use of muzzleloading firearms is allowed only if not otherwise restricted.
    • muzzleloader deer hunters must wear blaze color during the firearms deer season.
    • archery deer hunters must wear blaze color during the firearms deer season except when hunting in areas where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.

Dogs May Not Be Used For Deer Hunting

  • West of the Blue Ridge.
  • East of the Blue Ridge in Bedford, Fairfax, Franklin, Henry, Loudoun, Northampton, and Patrick counties, and Amherst (west of Rt. 29), Campbell (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), Nelson (west of Rt. 151), Pittsylvania (west of Norfolk Southern Railroad), and the City of Lynchburg. • On Sunday while in possession of a weapon.
  • When hunting during archery and muzzleloading seasons and on the Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend.
  • On many military areas. Check individual Post regulations.
  • On Amelia, Cavalier, Doe Creek, Featherfin, Mattaponi, Mattaponi Bluffs, Merrimac Farm, Oakley Forest, Parker’s Branch Tract on Big Woods, Pettigrew, C. F. Phelps, G. Richard Thompson, Robert W. Duncan, Tye River Unit of James River, and Ware Creek Wildlife Management Areas.
  • November 13 through 26 in Madison and Greene counties.
  • During an early or late antlerless-only firearms deer season. Tracking Dogs Allowed.

Tracking Dogs

Allowed.