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Elk Landowner License Program

Program Overview

The Elk Landowner License Program (ELLP) intent is to partner with landowners within the Elk Management Zone (Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise Counties) to open access for hunting elk on private property while allowing enrolled landowners to earn a Special Elk Hunting License that can be utilized on their property. Program requirements are authorized under 4VAC15-90-540.

Landowner Requirements

  • Submit an application for enrollment in the ELLP to DWR by July 15
  • Only a single application is allowed per license year per landowner
  • Make sure applications are 100% complete and emailed to or mailed to Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Attn: Tom Hampton, 1796 Highway 16, Marion, VA 24354.
  • Landowners can limit access to certain areas of the property where public access is not desired. Areas of limited access must be outlined in the initial application. Enrollment in the ELLP does not preclude or limit in any way the landowner from allowing other hunting or hunters on the property.
  • Enrolled properties cannot subdivide contiguous properties under the same ownership into multiple, smaller parcels for the purposes of this program.
  • Applications will be reviewed and property enrollment decisions will be based on elk presence/usage during the previous 12-18 months, size of property in conjunction with adjacent enrolled properties to ensure hunters have sufficient acreage over which to pursue elk, and habitat and access features that enhance the attractiveness of the property for elk or improve hunter access (i.e. parking areas, trails, etc) to enrolled lands.

Earning License Points

  • For every year that a property is enrolled in the ELLP that landowner will receive 1 license point
  • License points are not transferable, except if the property is inherited from parents, grandparents or children, resident or non-resident

Earning a Special Elk Hunting License

  • After accruing a minimum of 5 license points, the landowner may enter the landowner elk hunting lottery (i.e., random draw)
  • The number of special elk hunting licenses available in the landowner lottery will be contingent on elk population status and overall number of elk license allocations for a given year
  • Landowners do not have to enter the lottery during the same year that they reach 5 license points. Entering the lottery is solely up to the landowner whenever they have reached a minimum of 5 license points.
  • Landowners who enter the lottery during any given year and are not selected to receive a special elk hunting license will have a higher chance of being selected during subsequent years
    • Every point a landowner accrues past the 5-point minimum will increase their odds in the landowner lottery. For example, a landowner with 5 points will be entered in the lottery once, a landowner with 6 points will be entered in the lottery 2 times, a landowner with 7 points will be entered in the lottery 3 times, etc.
    • Landowners will lose all accrued points once they are selected to receive a special elk hunting license through the landowner elk hunting lottery
  • Landowner cannot pool points earned on separately enrolled properties

Landowner License Program — Special Elk Hunting License

  • A special elk hunting license awarded through the ELLP shall only be used on the landowner’s property enrolled in the program
  • A landowner may transfer, but not sell, the special elk hunting license to any person eligible to hunt in Virginia
  • A landowner shall not charge a fee for hunters to hunt elk on properties enrolled in the Landowner License Program except:
    • A landowner shall not be prohibited from charging a fee for access to a hunter that is utilizing a special elk hunting license, earned through the ELLP and transferred from that landowner
  • Landowners or their transferees shall comply with all of the requirements established in 4VAC15-90-510, 4VAC15-90-520, 4VAC15-90-540, and Virginia Code § 29.1-305.01.
    • Landowners that fail to comply with ELLP requirements may forfeit any accrued license points and may not be eligible to accrue new license points

Application Forms

Choose the Appropriate Application Form (Word Document) Below: