New Hunting Laws Passed in Virginia 2015/16

New Hunting Laws Passed in Virginia 2015/16

Beginning June 1, 2015; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) passed a couple new laws that directly affect deer and bear hunting for the 2015/16 hunting season. One new law is geared to “supposedly” help reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) throughout the state of Virginia while the other increases the price of your hunting tags. Virginia also passed some other beneficial laws in helping the continuation of hunter success and correcting some language with a few laws to clarify wording and understanding.

 

New Deer Hunting Law:

Virginia’s deer population was hit hard last year with Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) also known as Blue Tongue Disease. EHD is not contagious at all; in fact, it is spread by a biting midge (fly) which is completely out of our control. CWD on the other hand is something that we as hunters and conservationists can help prevent.

Virginia’s new law Administrative Code of Virginia 4VAC15-90-293 E., which passed with 9-0 vote, states; “No person shall for the purposes of taking or attempting to take, attracting, or scouting any wild animal in Virginia possess or use any substance or material that contains or purports to contain any excretion collected from a cervid, including feces, urine, blood, gland oil, or other bodily fluid.” Essentially, this means that you cannot use any natural substances obtained or collected from live recently killed deer. This includes; any oil from glands, the tarsal glands, deer urine. This law also prohibits other naturally acquired scents or scents derived from the natural source. The law, which is open for interpretation, is still vague and unclear as this new law may include the prohibition of urine collected from any deer that you as a hunter harvested. However, you may still use artificial scents and cover scents, synthetic urine, and other animal urine that provides a cover scent.

The passing of this new law has come with some praise and backlash. Some see it as a good thing while others deem it as an intrusion from the government on limiting what we can and cannot do in the woods. Question usually remains; will stores continue to sell it? Answer: Absolutely! Companies want your money, so you better believe they are going to sell it. Example: they continue to sell Deer Corn through the hunting season, even though it is illegal to bait deer during the hunting season in Virginia and in some parts it is illegal all year round.

Does this new law really going to make a difference with regards to CWD? This is yet to be determined but for everyone that hunts in Virginia, we need to do our best to help mitigate the spread of CWD. We, as hunters, definitely do not like being told what we can and cannot do especially when it comes to hunting traditions and the way we have always done things. Sometimes it is not always what we want but what is best for the continuation of hunting in Virginia and for the deer population.

If you want to learn more about CWD or EHD, please stay tuned to Chasinwhitetails.com as we will cover this more in-depth in the coming future.

 

New Bear Hunting Law:   **UPDATED** See below

Virginia also passed a new law, with a 5-4 vote, removing the Black Bear tag from the Virginia’s big game hunting license effective 2015/16 hunting season. If you would like to hunt Black Bear in Virginia as a resident, the fee will now be $25 ($20).

This law came with a lot of backlash especially from all the hunters that sent VDGIF their input regarding what, as hunters, we want. With a close vote of 5-4 for the removal of the Bear tag from the big game license, it just goes to show how close it really was. Personally, I am not sure why this was pushed so hard. There are more Bears in VA than there ever has been in recent history, especially west of the Blue Ridge. I believe that this will eliminate your average hunter from having the opportunity to harvest a bear, knowing full well that most hunters won’t spend an extra $25 ($20) on a separate tag when or if they ever see a bear while hunting. Essentially, this new law, which I believe, has removed the opportunity of any VA hunter from ever killing a bear legally in the Commonwealth.

What this new law will do will increase the Bear population drastically. With the abundance of black bears already, this will mean more and more reduction in fawn and turkey poults survivability. Just a week ago, a large Black Bear was struck by a vehicle in Centreville, VA which is a heavily populated city with hardly any wooded areas. Now, with the removal from big game license, the bear population will only increase.

I know that I personally do a lot of deer hunting with my children, and if a bear was to happen by with my child in the stand, I would want him to have the opportunity to shoot one. I just don’t feel that having to spend an extra $25 ($20) on a bear tag with chance that I may never even see one but “a just in case I do tag” is a little ridiculous. Here is a suggestion; how about VDGIF offer an additional bear tag for the $25 ($20)! This will help increase revenue for the state if those that only hunt bear would like to do, plus it will allow the average deer hunter the opportunity of a lifetime if a bear did come by to harvest one. This is just my opinion!

Other Laws Passed:

Some other changes in laws include the removal of certain words along with the adding more commonly known wording to address questions such as; “bow and arrow hunting” now states “Archery Hunting”. Other changes include; addressing the Youth and Apprentice Hunter Deer Hunting Day to now states the “Weekend”, this is due to the change last year of allowing Sunday Hunting in VA. Elk hunting is now a continuous closed season for all counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are few other minor changes as well. If you would like more information about what these and the other changes are, please visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

 

What are your thoughts or ideas on these new laws? Let me know by Facebook, Twitter, or comment here!

 

References: http://register.dls.virginia.gov/details.aspx?id=4948

Some information contained in this article was obtain from Dana Horrocks at http://virginiahuntingblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/deer-scents-now-illegal-in-virginia.html

 

**Update:  The Bear big game tag now only cost $20 for VA residents. They past an amendment to lower it by $5.  There was a push to lower it to $10 for 2016 but that did not go through.  This does mean that they can raise it at any time or lower it at any time. Non-Resident fee will $150 for the Bear tag.

This Post Has 106 Comments

  1. Virginia is very crooked in there laws which have absolutely no concern for game management . Hounds shouldn’t be retrievable without the landowner present and they should have two weeks to respond . I moved to ohio fir thus reason.
    ●It should be illegal to lease land to an individual for the purpose of selling a hunting permit.
    ●The hunters are allowed too many buck tags which hurts the population because the extra buck tags just do says it’s alright to kill a little buck because I got another tag
    ● they plan the gun season during the rut and there are way to many young bucks killed .
    ● other than during archery you have to wait till doe day to take a doe when with the purchase of a die tag you should be able to take a die anytime during the hunting season.
    ● Bear check in and chasing should require GPS tracking data maps turned in fir each bear taken. If they love to do it they will have to do the appropriate paperwork for the va game commission to properly identify what area the bear was taken and if there’s a landowner dispute it woukd be properly handled.
    ● I know for certain some if these folks responsible for pushing these laws through are doing so to make there hunting easier not for the management. The don’t want deer hunters to take there bear.

    ● Don’t kill bear and leave it lay . Catch the dogs and haul everyone you find off to the pound . Take the tracking collar off and hang it in a tree. Chasing bear till there exhausted is not humane in its self. I’m not scared of a single no good for nothing bear hound hunter. There just to dumb to hunt without a dog.

    1. On private lands, you can basically take as many doe as you want. Only the NF and WMAS have specific doe days. 3 buck tags for which 1 has to be east of the blue ridge. If I tag out I can purchase bonus doe tags.

      1. Anybody can set in a stand and shoot a bear a man that has dogs and takes care of his dogs those dogs are like family to him if a man was ever to harm my dogs or take the collars of and take them to the pound now that’s inhuman us as bear hunters a doing a good deed some do it for the dogs others do it for the kill they ever take away bear hunting in va the bear will be the least of the problem there will be so many dogs that are shoot or dropped off so for you that are crying about bear hunter just remember u are the ones that are inhuman if that ever stop the hunting with dogs its on your Constance

    2. Sir ,

      You are so wrong in so many ways and your grammar sucks. Hunting with hounds is a tradition that will NEVER die. I’m sorry that a handful of people have become over obsessed with big deer horns. Besides there is a whole world of deer in this state that can be enjoyed by all in any manner that they prefer chase their quarry. You have six weeks of primitive weapons season before dog season ever opens. I am kind of confused how an avid bowhunter hasn’t filled their tags before a dog has ever been turned loose. The bottom line is Virginia is hound country and it sounds like you made the right move by going to Ohio.

      Regards,

      BEIGH EM UP KENNELS, Southside VA

      P.S.- It is also HIGHLY illegal to tamper with any persons tracking equipment or hounds.

    3. This is to all you hound hunter haters .Any time you want to go an see how easy or in human that hound hunting for bear is strap your boots on an lets go.I’m more than Positive that you will change your tune after the first hour or two.And for those that don’t like the retrieval law I shore like to beat your door down at 2 in the morning an ask if I can get my dog .when I could quietly an respectfully do it with out weakening you up in the a.m

  2. The hound hunters are the reason for the change in bear hunting a shame I respect there ways with the hounds but that is there choice to use them because of there expense now we all get short changed . As far as deer hunting hard to believe a natural sent would be a problem . Going to get worse as so many consider hunting a sport which it is not it is feeding the family’s balancing nature .leave nature alone

  3. VDGIF and VA government officials are completely clueless about wildlife management. Ask any hunter that hunts the Jefferson National Forest and you would get the same replies. Deer numbers have fallen to drastically low numbers while coyote and bear populations have soared. How many fawns do you see annually in the forest now? I agree with giving an extra bear tag to raise money, but not after all that is what all these officials are after anyway. I do not agree however with making hunters buy their first bear tag separate from a big game stamp. If so why did the price of the big game stamp not lower? Not only are they after money, but easy money they don’t have to work for. The state would make plenty of money on the timber industry if they would select cut the forest and would improve the habitat at the same time but that would require some work on their part. I also wish VA would implement a forked horn rule in all Public Lands in the Commonwealth to help the whitetail population rebuild.

    1. I do not agree that va.& vdgif are clueless about wildlife management,they cater too much to public opinion. They are another branch of political government. There has been nothing done for the hunter who buys his license each year for ten years. but everything has been given to private land owners who do not purchase a license. try hunting on public land near private land with their feeders going year round. if you hunt behind the red paint,you hunt.

  4. This New Bear Law is crazy!!!! This is why we don’t have enough hunters now because of the additional fees added . This is only gonna increase the Bear numbers . I for one will not support giving another fee to kill a Bear! Hunters with kids barely can afford taking them out now. Let the bear numbers increase and watch another type disease move in like our over populated deer . This just don’t make since ! ! !

  5. Well I think ill just hunt on my own property at my house and quit buying a hunting license all together. Its ridiculous to have to pay extra for a bear tag and its ridiculous the amout of doe days in my county. They wonder why there is a decline in kills, one is the high price license and the other is all the laws. Make a license one price give us our tags and let us kill when we see one. Instead of well if I want meat I better kill this small one cause I may not see another one.

  6. The VDGIF suck. There just like the politicians catering to special interest groups. There trout stocking is a joke!! I have bought my last trout stamp unless things drastically change. They say they dont have the resources but all the conservation officers drive $60,000 plus Tahoes. Whats wrong with the Impalas & LTDs they drove years ago. I know they need some 4wds but all of them dont need them. They traded trout to KY for Ellk that our license money paid for but none of us license holders will ever get to hunt. We have no say so on what they decide. I would like to see nobody buy a hunting or fishing license until they start listening to the sportsman because there all about revenue & they could give a rats ass about our game & fish.

    1. How does it fill to be invaded and made to pay some assholes that do nothing. Angry Indian
      Trail

  7. the state wants to make more money on bear the bear hunters love it they do not like no one to kill a bear but them the bear tear up farmers corn fields peoples fruit trees but the bear hunters are happy we will have more bear know the farmers and public will pay the price

  8. These new laws are ridiculous! Do any of the people who write these regulations actually hunt? It should not cost a state resident $100 to hunt each year. All the state is interested in is money and we don’t see anything in return for it. Trout stocking, deer management, and now bear management is a joke in Virginia. Hunting is supposed to be protected by the state constitution but, what good is the protection if you can’t afford to legally enjoy it!

  9. VA DGIF HAS LOST THEIR “F” MINDS, WE CAN THANK TERRY “F ing” McCALIF THE WORST “F” GOVERNOR VIRGINIA HAS EVER HAD TIME TO BOYCOTT THIS HUNTING SEASON LET BREAK THE STATE NOW!!!!!!!

  10. There are a lot laws that are put in place for no purpose. Reading all the above comments it is clear we all feel the same way on issues. Most concerning is the diseases that have impacted only a few counties in the North Western part of the state. CWD was transported or carried in by another animal. Hemorrhagic caused by a might. Just like west Nile. So why are we paying more for in state licenses? What would be an affect if my club didnt pay land leases to the timber companies we use. would it hurt there bottom line. How about all the hunt clubs in Virginia, If we all did this. We could all just hunt public land and see what happens. Then.It would be a nightmare I’m sure I am a vet Retired Navy and have hunted in Va.for over thirty years. There has been alot of changes good and bad.The best was adding extra tags to the license and having only one Bow fee. My club Is a DMAP and QDM club and we encourage our young hunters to harvest any deer that is legal. just my thought.

  11. I’m a 46 year old hunter with 38 years of hunting exp. from Rockingham County
    Well I don’t care for this extra amount to get a bear tag. Now I will pay the amount as I can afford it. But there are a lot of people that either won’t or can’t afford it.
    There are to many freakin’ bear already.
    When I was young I used to not see any bear. But I would see ten to twenty deer a day.
    Now i usually see one or two bear a week and maybe one or two deer a day.
    The bear population and the coyote population is just killing our deer population. This bear tag increase was not needed. As it will just over populate us with bear, that is if it isn’t already.
    I have to give it up to the bear hunters as they don’t shoot every bear they tree. They are more picky in my area then they use to be. They have increased the bear population by doing this. Now it’s up to us whitetail hunters to do the same. Quit shooting every deer that moves and it would be nice if the VGIF would pass stricter minimum point laws on antlers.
    Also I have a major problem with this call when you get home to check it in.
    I personally know there are tons of people that don’t call their kill in.

  12. My family has hunted in Highland County since the 60’s, my brother and I started in the early 80’s. We own a small piece of land where our camp is but we always hunted Jack mountain or up on the Allegheny, all government land. In the last 15 years the deer population on these lands has dropped to almost nothing. It got so bad we abandoned public land and now pay to hunt on a private piece outside McDowell. Even there the deer are not plentiful but we do see them more often than not. the black bear theses days are everywhere . We used to see one every couple years but now we see them every week. Between the bear and the coyote the deer aren’t given much of a chance. As the deer go, so go the hunters. There used to be standing room only at High’s before the sun came up but these days it’s almost empty. The hunters that spent their money in the stores and hotel are gone from Highland and aren’t coming back. I live in Rockingham county with my wife and kids but still hunt across the mountain because it isn’t all about hunting or kill but more about family and tradition.

    The folks running the VGIF don’t appear to have sportsman forefront in their thoughts. The laws get more and more difficult to understand and follow, almost like their purpose is to generate revenue for the state by violations. The only positive change I’ve seen in the last so many years is being able to hunt on Sundays. That actually helps the working man. Many of the other changes seem to run counter to improving hunting in Virginia.

    I’ve always been a law abiding hunter, never hunting out of season or after dark, always making sure to have the right licensing for me and my son. It continues to get more expensive to hunt, especially now that I have a 14 year old son. When he hits 16 it will cost us over $200 to be properly licensed, even more now if we want to hunt bear as well. The ridiculous laws and high license costs are driving people out of hunting and I wonder if that isn’t exactly what they are trying to do. The VGIF used to be made up of outdoorsmen and hunters but these days it’s anti-gunners and tree huggers.

    I may just stage my own little protest and stop buying a hunting license all together. Maybe we should start a movement of protest and get everyone on-board. If everyone chose not to buy a license this year maybe these folks would listen. Probably not, I guess.

  13. I hunt on family owned property and the National forest and some private farms,VDGIF has just proved to me that I will hunt on Family owned and quit buying any lic…you are not a user friendly state anymore ,the gov.is throwing fees out on everything,I gave up my Plumbing lic after 30 yrs because they wanted me to take a 3 hr test pay $100,and $200 for lic,then this yr my Doctor says he aint doing CDL license physicals because the gov wants him to spend $500 to take a course on how to give the physical correctly,and to report how many per month he does,he said it aint worth it to him.so fees fees fees will soon be nobody buying them,it will be cheaper to buy hunting land or hunt on private property and some will just not buy them…BUT LETS LET IMMAGRANTS LOOSE AND NOT LOCKM UP,THATS THE AMERICAN WAY.

  14. we are loosing hunters every year and the reason is no place to hunt,and the cost.where are the days of the beauty of the hunting.i won’t buy the extra tag for bear or archery license and if enough hunters do this AFTER U KEEP RAISING THE FEES and loosing revenue you might stop acting like the FBI.ONE LAST THOUGHT if i pay the state for hunting license it seems the state is claiming OWNERSHIP so in that case when a deer eats my crops or runs into my car what state department do i send the bill to.if illegal to bait why do GAMEWARDENS who own land put feed plots with a elevated stand next to it (oh they can do that) who’s going to tell.how many game wardens drink beer with there buddies then drive home.you high officials should clean your cp-workers habits up first before riding around acting like GOD!

  15. VA like MD has the best politicians money can buy. I have been a non-resident hunter/fisherman since 1970. I was priced out of trout fishing a few years ago. It went to $99 including the national forest stamp. Now priced out of bear hunting. $150 is a non starter. If I had not purchased a lifetime license I would have to just take pictures. If there was andy deer in Bath County to take pictures of.

  16. Love the Western Counties of Va. Love to deer hunt. Not many deer left on public lands. See more bear than deer. Now I have to buy a bear tag. Unreal. So a big game tag is now deer and turkey, I’m not a big turkey hunter and I think I have one day in rifle season to get one. So why do I need a turkey tag. Do away with the big game tag and just buy what you want. Don’t make much sense to me.

  17. Another stupid law that amounts to nothing more than the government in whatever branch that they don’t have to raise taxes, they raise the fees (taxes). I can hear it now, “we cut taxes across the board” but they will not tell you about all the fees as government put on the citizens” Where does all that damn money go? Remember when I think it was Gov. Gilmore (may be wrong) took the monies out of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and used it to so call balance the budget? Same thing is going to happen with the new monies from the bear tags. I have a problem with this but I think the dumbest law that has been passed in recent years was the hunting on Sundays law. Who in their right mind supports such a law. I LOVE to hunt as much as the next guy or gal and I am a private landowner now I have to worry about other hunters hunting my property on Sunday. The day of Sunday is to attend Church if you go and to rest. Yep, I also work 5 days a week and squeezed for hunting time but I do it by scheduling my vacation just for it. What we have at the VDGIF and in the General Assembly is people that ARE NOT listening to people that they work for. I have seen more deer and bear the last 3 years than I have ever seen in my life, hadn’t hit a bear with the truck yet but I sure have hit plenty of deer. There is no shortage of deer or bear, just some lame excuse to pass some stupid law. THE SUNDAY HUNTING LAW NEEDS TO BE REPEALED!!!! What was the name of those wild dogs that the VDGIF implanted in the National Forrest and then they migrated throughout the state? How many pups do they have at once?

    1. Charles is an idiot! Go to church if you so choose, it’s your right. I prefer to pray to the outdoor GODS!! who give you the right to say I can’t hunt on Sunday? you have your beliefs – why can’t the rest of us.

  18. Well VA needs to change the deer hunting season or bag limit for sure. as for the xtra for a bear tag its just another way for VA to collect more money for doing nothing to conserve the wildlife, they just want money. I hunt in another state you buy your license and then your deer or turkey tag and then you get to hunt any weapon or season no more needed. VA just keeps breaking it down to produce more money and for what surely they dont need a raise because its not going to improve our hunting. whats wrong with the state trying to obtain more hunting areas to increase more areas for us to hunt, cut down on damage permits or charge for those for each animal harvested due to crop damage.

  19. The number 1 law that needs to be changed. NO USE OF DOGS for bear or deer hunting! 90% of those so called “hunters” couldn’t kill a deer or bear without a dog! Dogs should be legal for rabbits and waterfowl ONLY!! Since that doesn’t seem likely to happen with all the lousy “dog clubs”, the laws need to change so you CANNOT come on MY land to get YOUR DOG! How can that even be legal??? I bought this land and you can walk all over it because you can’t control your dogs? I control them when they come on MY LAND! I won’t kill your dog mind you, but you WILL never get them back or your collars. I drive them 25 miles away and turn em loose! I carry magnets to shut of the tracking portion and throw the collars in the water. WE are a growing number – WE the landowners are putting our money together and going to Richmond – NO DOGS = more deer and BIGGER Bucks because the “Dog Clubs” kill everything that comes by and half of em just get crippled anyway. This IS NOT FAIR CHASE nor is it HUNTING! I scout, plant food plots, hang stands, scout some more and actually HUNT the animals, for all you so called Hunters, try it – be a REAL hunter for once! Dear VDGIF PLEASE eliminate ALL use of dogs for BEAR & DEER, Yes, I GLADLY & PROUDLY paid the extra $20 for a bear tag, because I don’t find $20 for 200lbs of meat expensive at all… Not to mention $20 is a small price to pay for PROUDLY HUNTING and taking such a magnificent animal. Don’t blame VDGIF, all they did is listen to the DOG HUNTERS. Time to start listening to the LANDOWNERS!!
    If you are a landowner and allow dog hunting, you’re wasting valuable resources on a bunch of no hunting – non fair chase – usually law breaking group of lead throwers.

  20. The best way to deal with the way va. Is treating us hunters,do not buy any hunting license at all starting next year go to another state to hunt then watch them squirm. I will be goin to w.wv and Ohio u can use all the lures and corn products u want.

    1. You are lumping everyone that hunts with dogs into the same group. You have obviously never hunted with dogs.It is very rare that I lose a deer while hunting with dogs. The hunt clubs that hunt with dogs are under far more scrutiny than people like you who are not as visible. Dogs can’t read posted signs. You’re probably one of those idiots who think the deer belong to you. You are also too ignorant to understand that hunting with dogs is a lot more challenging than getting up a tree and waiting for a deer to come by. If hunting with dogs is banned, what do you think the next step will be? They won’t stop there. They will ban all forms of hunting. Deer will also become nocturnal after a certain being hunted and then you’d complain about not seeing deer. The dogs don’t hurt you and someone walking into your land without a firearm to get their dog doesn’t hurt you either. I have hunted with dogs my entire life and I am a very good hunter. If you don’t like people hunting with dogs,go to another stage where it is already illegal. I love all types of hunting, including hunting from a tree stand.You don’t know me or anyone I hunt with,so get off of your high horse and stop judging me. Oh and by the way, tampering with a person’s tracking collar is illegal, so what does that say about you?

      1. Chad,
        Anyone who walks onto private property for any reason Is a thief. Period. What do you call it when a person uses something of another’s without their permission. Theft. Period. You did not pay for it. It is not yours to use. All dogs found on my property are dropped . And there’s not a dam thing you can do about it. I have too many injured livestock to put up with you F-Ing dog hunter. I call the law. I have had them arrested for destruction of property. You will pay and loose your dog. And thank God the law in my county is on my side. I don’t care if what you do on your land . Stay the hell off mine. You guy are using these dogs to push deer off other people’s land. I spent the time on food plots not you. Ban dog hunting. You are not hunter. When you hunt like a Native American, then you are a hunter. Dog hunting came from a bunch of elitist Europeans. I guess that’s what you identify with. If you want to meet me. Come trespassing for any reason. Your dog will be shot. Your firearm will be confiscated, your truck will be impounded and you WILL go to jail. I speak from experience.
        BAN Dog Hunting.

    2. Yu are one dumb ****er !!! You so much touch one of my dogs you want have to worry about your land lighting can strike at an time an burn you out.Im also a deer hunter and also plant food plots I have over a thousand acres that I hunt both deer an bear .Never has me bear hunting where I deer hunt effected my deer hunting. There has been study’s on that read them .follow a pack of hounds some time you will see its a lot more than sitting in a tree stand waiting on a deer or bear.I buy my license every year to hunt fish an trap add that up .It’s people like you that don’t have a clue on what fair Chase is

  21. since the bear was removed from yhe big game pemit LOWER THE LICENSE i spent 86 dollars on my hunting license and now cant get a bear. bear hunters in my area trespass on land all over and as a trapper well you can see the problem. take 20 dollars off a full permit license that is archery muzzleloader and rifle to make up for lost bear. if it doesnt happen then you know the real reason. PS bear hunters are not kings i do respect there rights as hunters but they need to respect others.

  22. can a convicted felon legally hunt with a black powder in the state of Virginia?.its a non violent felony. any feed back would be greatly appericated…thanks

    1. Josh,

      This has been an issue for many people. After doing some research, you are not allowed to hunt with a muzzleloader. However, I would contact your game warden to find out if anything has changed within the laws or ask for more clarification. Yes, I know that muzzleloader season is different and you can buy one without having to have a background check, but most states consider this a rifle such as Virginia which in turn falls under the firearms section. Some states like Texas and Tennessee allow felons to use muzzleloaders due to their classification as a primitive weapon and not a firearm. I would suggest taking up crossbow or bowhunting. Its challenging and will make you a better hunter. If you have your heart set on hunting with muzzleloader, then you should try to contact the courts or even the governor’s office.

      I would also take time to write a letter to your congressman about this and see what response you will get. Especially if this is a non-violent felony conviction. You can also address (if you have children or spouse) that for protection reasons I would at least like to be able to instruct my children or spouse to learn to defend themselves or hunt using a firearm/muzzleloader . Its just another arguement to add to this grey area. Hope this info helps. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  23. I am a 38 year old who has been in the woods since I was 3. Each season I have bought archery, black powder along with the small/big game licenses. This year I am skipping archery season because of cost and I can guarantee you I will not be buying an extra bear tag. I have never seen a bear in the woods where I live. Now that there is an extra fee I know I won’t get the chance to harvest a bear if I did get lucky enough to see one. Depending on work I may not even buy a black powder license since it’s only 2 weeks and I can’t hunt but a day or two in that time frame. I also feel archery should be 3 weeks and black powder should be 3 weeks since they cost the same amount of money.

    At this point VDGIF, I am basically down to buying just the gun season big game license to hunt deer. I do not have but one place to hunt as it is so I am lucky to get one deer a year on the tiny piece of land I have permission to hunt on. If the costs for licenses keep going up I might just give up all together and just buy my food at the grocery store. Between hunting gear, gas, food and everything else hunters buy during hunting season it might be cheaper to buy it at the store.

    VDGIF please wake up……. you are running all the avid hunters out of this great sport. Slowly but surely I am seeing folks give up and before long you won’t have anyone in the woods to help with conservation. If you think jacking up the cost will help the state you are sadly mistaken because people are getting fed up with it. Before long you won’t have anyone buying hunting licenses so enjoy missing all that revenue VDGIF.

  24. I have four bears on my six acre property! Shenandoah county! That’s a lot of bear if you ask me.
    So, seeing as I am still a relatively new home owner, I am still learning the ropes. I purchased the property August 2014. Do I need to purchase a tag for the bear if I chose to take one on my own property? I feel as though I am not understanding, or maybe misinterpreting the VA hunting guide as far as land owner rights to hunt. And yes. I am allowed to hunt where I live. Four bear on my property!! It’s crazy!!

    1. Thank you for your comment and I can look into this further for you. Also, if you need some help hunting some of those bears, our TV staff for the Heartbeat TV would love to come and hunt the property and film the entire hunt. Let us know and than you again for reaching out to us, we will come back with an answer soon.

    2. As a Virginia land owner you do not need a hunting license to hunt on your own property.

  25. I always bought hunting licenses for my entire family, even when one was away in the military serving in Iraq, or the other away at college and such, because it was “right thing to do” for Va and the sport we love. My return from the State is a Bear tag 20$! Well, I shall not buy another license except for one or two of us who hunt off our property (90 acres Orange County). Will my 650$ protest make a difference…I doubt it.

  26. ban the use of dogs for bear hunting or charge them exta like us to use dogs

  27. Live next to st marys wilderness area and hunt it exclusively, and hard. Last two years I took half of OCt and nov off to hunt. Saw two deer. In over 200 hours on stand, two deer. Saw three adult bear and half dozen cubs. Va is clueless, inept, maybe corrupt. They have ruined the economies of several western counties, no one visits bath or highland to hunt, fish anymore. Dunno what to do, but raise my middle finger not buy licenses of any sort, and look into moving out of this pathetic state.

  28. Stop working your self up about this license. Or that dog hunting or not the Clinton’s are fixing to do away with the second admenment soon anyway!

  29. Interesting blog. This is one of my favorite blog about hunting and I also want you to update more post like this. Thanks for sharing this article.

  30. Dump dog hunting!!! Dogs run deer day and night – no wonder the population is down. This is NOT right plus running dogs on private posted land is not right. Why? They are not hunting the deer. Increasing fees never solves anything.
    Yes, I have seen more bear the last year and fewer deer – last season was terrible then again some dog hunters are not ethical and the law allowing anyone to go on someone else’s posted property is flat out wrong! State WMAs have dog laws and are enforced but not for private land owners. The answer is have a separate dog season and make it illegal to run dogs on posted property. Posted land is just that – KEEP OUT.

  31. I agree with most and disagree with some. I just wanted to but in my 2 cents. I think that the muzzle loader and rifle seasons should be held off till December. Reason being, the rut for the most part is pretty much over by then and it gives the bigger bucks a chance to breed and pass along some better genes. AND I don’t think it would hurt many hunters feelings or freezers to have a 3 point on one side or a 6 point minimum on bucks. My feeling is , I would much rather kill one or two good bucks rather than one or two small ones. If this was on a trial basis for two years and doesnt work then go back to the way it was. Although 4 would be better.

  32. I have been hunting for 35 years never belonged to a hunt club nor driven deer with dogs. I have bagged many deer and turkey. You don’t need dogs!! Only the lazy hunters want dog drives, shooting from road side, and trespassing on private property. I hope to live long enough to see that dogs will be banned in Virginia.

  33. Enforcing Game Laws are Expensive no doubt but 1 VA Resident to Hunt and 1 Big Game License with 2 Tags each for Bear,Deer,Turkey with the option to by more tags depending on wear you hunt was working! All these Licenses to Hunt Archery, Muzzle-loading, Gun Season should be included in Big Game! Been hunting on my own land for deer for years and I don’t need license to hunt your own land but think its a shame that Outdoorsmen with kids struggle to take their kids Hunting and fishing due to the ridiculous prices to hunt! Who is killing the diseased animals?? Hunters !! So if you cant afford the License either your going to Hunt illegally or you just don’t go! VDGIF just keeps shooting them selves in the feet jacking up Fees to Hunt and Fish!!!

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