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Sunday Hunting in Virginia: Frequently Asked Questions

July 2022

Q: Am I allowed to hunt on Sunday in Virginia?

A: Yes. Sunday hunting is allowed on private land with permission from the landowner. In addition, beginning on July 1, 2022, public land management agencies may also allow Sunday hunting on properties under their management. For details on how different public land management agencies are implementing this new Sunday hunting opportunity, contact the specific public land management organization or visit DWR’s website.

Q: Do I still need written permission to hunt on private lands on Sunday?

A: No. The Sunday hunting law was changed to remove the requirement that hunters have specific written permission from private landowners to hunt on Sunday. The general requirement to have written permission from the landowner when hunting posted property remains in effect.

Q: Is hunting deer or bear using a firearm or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs on Sunday allowed?

A: No. Hunting deer or bear using a firearm or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs is prohibited on Sunday. However, tracking dogs maintained and controlled on a lead may be used to retrieve dead or wounded deer or bear. A hunter who is engaged in such tracking may have in their possession a firearm and may use such weapon to humanely kill the wounded bear, deer, or turkey being tracked, including after legal shooting hours. Dogs may be used to pursue wildlife species other than deer and bear on Sunday. See the hunting regulations for season dates for other hunted wildlife species.

Q: When hunting on a Sunday, how far must I be from a house of worship or its associated accessory structures?

A: Hunters must be at least 200 yards from a house of worship or its associated accessory structures when hunting on a Sunday.

Q: Will implementing Sunday hunting on public lands negatively impact hunted wildlife populations?

A: Data collected by DWR since 2014, when Sunday hunting was implemented on private lands, suggest that the addition of Sunday hunting has had no negative impacts on wildlife populations. Likewise, the opening of Sunday hunting on public lands is not expected to negatively impact wildlife species on these lands. The Department will continue to monitor hunted wildlife populations and adjust hunting seasons as needed.

Q: Now that public land management agencies are allowed to permit hunting on Sundays, will other non-hunting activities still be permitted?

A: Yes. This law pertains only to Sunday hunting on public lands and does not prohibit or restrict any other permissible activities on Sundays. Hunters and non-hunters using public lands on Sundays should be aware that other outdoor recreationists may be using the same areas and should exercise appropriate safety measures.

Q: Has the requirement for wearing a blaze color while hunting changed now that Sunday hunting has been allowed on public lands?

A: No. Every hunter, except those exempt by law, or persons accompanying a hunter, shall wear a solid blaze-colored (blaze orange or blaze pink) hat or solid blaze-colored upper-body clothing that is visible from 360 degrees or display at least 100 square inches of solid blaze-colored material at shoulder level within body reach and visible from 360 degrees. We strongly encourage all persons utilizing public lands during the hunting season to wear approved blaze-colored clothing.