If you answer “yes” to the following questions, you are ready to become part of the volunteer team at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources!
- Do you love the outdoors?
- Do you want to give back to Virginia’s wildlife and fisheries resources?
- Do you enjoy new challenges and want to share your interests with others?
- Do you want to make a difference?
Available Volunteer Programs
- Complementary Work Force Program
- Hunter Education Volunteer Instructors
- Hunting Mentor
- Boating Safety Education Volunteer Instructors
- Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Complementary Work Force Program
Mission Forward, Mission Minded
Help our conservation police officers, biologists, and other professional staff at DWR fulfill our mission to manage the Commonwealth’s wildlife and inland fish resources, promote safety, and provide opportunities for all to enjoy wildlife, fish, boating and related outdoor recreation.
We now have opportunities for the public to join us as volunteers in our new Complementary Work Force Program. If you are interested in devoting your time and talents, you can apply here, or contact our Volunteer Administrator via email at DGIFVolunteers@dwr.virginia.gov.
Learn More About CWF
Hunter Education Volunteer Instructors
Hunter Education volunteers are committed to training the next generation to be safe, knowledgeable and ethical participants in an enduring Virginia tradition. Many have had enjoyable hunting experiences and now say that they want to “give something back.” If this describes you, apply here or contact us via email: HunterEd@dgif.virginia.gov. Learn more »
Becoming a DWR Hunting Mentor is a great way to help new adult hunters and give back by passing your knowledge and experience to the next generation. Mentors serve a critical role by being a trusted resource who provides new hunters with vital information, skills development opportunities and hunting experiences in the field. Mentors should be prepared to reliably communicate with new hunters and facilitate safe hunting activities that are focused on learning. Anyone that is new to hunting has different needs but it should be the goal of the mentor to understand what they are and provide the right information and experiences to help them overcome their barriers.
Being a Hunting Mentor has some great benefits too. We can connect you directly with new hunters who are ready to learn and we are securing exclusive land access opportunities for mentor/mentees to use for free!
To qualify as a mentor, you must:
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Proof of a completed hunter education course.
- Proof of a current and valid Virginia hunting license.
- Minimum of 5 years of hunting experience.
- Attend a mandatory training session with VDWR staff.
- Possess the skills, knowledge, temperament and teaching ability to be an effective mentor.
For questions, please contact us at Edward.Herndon@dwr.virginia.gov.
Boating Safety Education Volunteer Instructors
Boating Safety Education volunteers are committed to training Virginia boaters to be safe and knowledgeable on Virginia’s waters. Many are well seasoned boaters and want to “give something back.” If this describes you, apply here or contact us via email: BoatSafety@dgif.virginia.gov to obtain information on upcoming instructor training opportunities.
Virginia Master Naturalist Program
The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service. The process for becoming a certified Virginia Master Naturalist typically takes 6 to 12 months. One starts by completing a 40-hour basic training course offered by a local chapter of the program. An additional 8 hours of advanced training is also required. An important part of the certification process is the required 40 hours of volunteer service annually. All service projects must be approved by the chapter, meet the mission of the program, and be of public benefit rather than personal gain. Volunteer opportunities range from education-related outreach to data collection and citizen-science projects to more labor-intensive stewardship efforts. Those interested in becoming a Master Naturalist, can check the program web site: virginiamasternaturalist.org for more information and click on the “Chapters” link for the location of existing chapters. Questions should be directed to the VMN program office, email@example.com, 434-872-4587.