Rules and Regulations

Virginia Hunter Education Requirements

You are required to complete hunter education before buying a hunting license if:

  • you are 12–15 years of age, or
  • you have not previously purchased a regular hunting license.

This requirement shall not apply to persons while on horseback hunting foxes with hounds but without firearms.

Virginia Online-Only Hunter Education for Students 18+ in Age

Virginia now offers an online-only option for those students who are 18 years and older. If you are 18+ and a resident of Virginia, you can now take this option which became available on September 1, 2013. You can complete all the required hunter education training online, and then purchase your hunting license online from the VA DGIF.

Apprentice License

An apprentice license can be purchased by a new hunter before successfully completing the Department's hunter education course. However, apprentice hunters are reminded they still have to comply with this education requirement before legally purchasing a state resident or non-resident basic hunting license.

Completion of the hunter education course can take place at any point during the two-year period.

Doing so will provide the apprentice with necessary proof of course passage to purchase the basic hunting license and continue hunting once the "test drive" period is over.

More information can be found here.

Virginia Hunting License

Virginia hunting licenses are issued by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. There are different licenses offered, depending on the species you wish to hunt, and whether you are a Virginia resident. Fees for hunting licenses also vary. Contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for more information on hunting licenses.

Virginia Hunting Licenses

Hunter Orange Requirement

When hunting any species during the firearms deer season and youth deer day, every hunter (see exceptions below), or persons accompanying a hunter, shall wear a blaze orange hat or blaze orange upper body clothing that is visible from 360 degrees or display at least 100 square inches of solid blaze orange material at shoulder level within body reach and visible from 360 degrees. Hats may have a bill or brim color or design other than solid blaze orange. Hats shall not be in "camo" style, since the latter is designated to prevent visibility. A logo, which does not detract from visibility, may be worn on a blaze orange hat.

Hunters using ground (pop-up, chair, box, etc.) or tree stand blinds that conceal them from view must display a minimum of 100 square inches of blaze orange, visible from 360 degrees, on the OUTSIDE of such blinds. This blaze orange is in addition to any worn on the hunter's person. Exceptions:

  • Blaze orange is not required of waterfowl hunters, dove hunters, individuals participating in hunting dog field trials, and fox hunters on horseback without firearms.
  • Hunters hunting with archery tackle during an open firearms deer season, in areas where the discharge of firearms is prohibited by state law or local ordinance, are exempt from the blaze orange requirement.
  • Blaze orange is not required during the muzzleloading deer season(s).

For a more complete listing of Virginia’s hunting license laws, hunting regulations, or hunter education requirements, please consult the Virginia Hunting Regulations, available directly from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or on their website at www.dgif.virginia.gov.