Hunting opportunities range from open hunting in designated areas to managed deer hunts where individuals participate through a reservation or lottery system. Managed deer hunts are a tool in DCR's overall deer management program. Specific sites that offer hunting may change from year to year. Participating hunters are asked to support our efforts by following each hunt's harvest guidelines. Details about hunting opportunities are listed below and in this grid. Except where noted below, all hunts are filled by reservation.
Hunters may reserve a preferred hunt day and, at some sites, even a preferred stand or zone. There's a reservation fee of $15 per day, and there may be limits to the number of reservations allowed per call. The fee is non-refundable. Proof of hunter education certification and required licenses must be presented at check-in. Reservation hunts are handled by the Virginia State Parks Customer Service Center, 1-800-933-PARK. Reservations may be made as few as two days before the hunt day desired assuming payment can be made at the time of the reservation and space is still available. See this grid to determine the date on which the center begins accepting reservations for the given reservation hunt.
Designated areas within the following parks are open to hunting throughout the hunting season. Statewide regulations apply. Contact the individual park for more information.
Shenandoah River will hold a youth muzzleloader hunt on Nov. 14. Natural Tunnel will hold a Youth Muzzleloader hunt on Nov. 19.
To take part, those 12 to 17 years of age must follow the same process used for our other hunts. Note that young people 16 to 17 years old may hunt alone, but those 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult who has a valid hunter safety certification.
Widewater State Park, currently under development, located in Stafford County, will host a shotgun (slugs only) hunt on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Ten stands will be available for reservation beginning Oct. 7. As with other state park reservation hunts, there's a reservation fee of $15 per day, and there may be limits to the number of reservations allowed per call. The fee is non-refundable. This hunt also requires special qualification prior to the hunt. Proof of hunter education certification, required licenses and range qualification card must be presented at check-in. Call 1-800-933-7275 to reserve. For more details on this hunt, call 757-730-8281.
This workshop and hunt are for those ages 12 through 17. It will be held in conjunction with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries staff on Dec. 9-10. It includes a Friday evening seminar on deer biology and management, a session on hunting safety and ethics and muzzleloader safety, and a Saturday guided hunt. Participants must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult and meet all hunter education and licensing requirements. For more information and to register, contact Tracy Howard, 540-731-3639, Tracey.Howard@radford.va.gov.
This hunt is run along with the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The legal harvest (using shotguns) applies to deer and feral hogs. Hunt dates are Oct. 24-25. Lottery applications will be accepted July 1 through Aug. 19. There are application and hunting fees. Visit www.vaquotahunts.com or call 877-VAHUNTS for application and lottery information.
This hunt is run along with the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge. Hunt dates are Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 with a bonus hunt day on Dec. 13 for only qualified hunters. . Applications will be accepted from Aug. 1 to Sept. 19. All hunters selected to take part must attend an orientation session and show proof of qualification. There are application and hunt fees. Call 703-490-4979 or visit the refuge's website for more information and applications. The application deadline is Sept. 17.
Archery and crossbow hunts, held in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will be held on Oct. 29 and from Oct. 31 through Nov. 5 (no hunt on Sunday). Hunting will be allowed on designated lands at the park, which is in James City County. Successful adult applicants must bring along one licensed youth guest hunter, age 12-15. Youth hunters also may apply but must bring along a licensed adult hunter as a guest. Application information and lottery information is available online. The application deadline is Sept. 30.
Chippokes Plantation State Park will host a traditional hunt Dec. 3 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is an old-fashioned hunt featuring three traditional meals, a blessing of the hounds, rides to and from hunt stands and a butchering service. The fee is $325 each for adults or those 16 and older with a separate stand. For those 12 to 17 years old, it's $200 per person with a paying adult as a non-hunting companion (which is $50). Call 1-800-933-7275 (PARK) to reserve a spot. Reservations for next year's hunt will be taken starting on Jan. 2. Once paid for, reservations are nonrefundable and cannot be transferred.
There will be three hunts tailored for those with disabilities. On Nov. 7, Shenandoah River hosts a muzzleloader deer hunt. Lake Anna hosts a muzzleloader hunt on Nov. 9, and Staunton River hosts a general firearms hunt on Nov. 19. Contact Robin Clark at 434-249-6154, email email@example.com or visit this site for details. The application deadline is Sept. 30.
DCR also holds hunts at several Natural Area Preserves. To learn about and apply for these hunts, please visit this site.
The Fairy Stone Quality Deer Management Area (QDMA) is a cooperative effort between the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philpott Reservoir to manage for 'bigger' bucks on 4,600 acres. In the QDMA, it is illegal to harvest an antlered deer unless the deer has at least four antler points, each greater than one inch in length, on either the right or left antler.
Virginia State Parks also provides comfortable and economical overnight accommodations, with housekeeping cabins and campsites ranging from primitive sites to sites with electric and water hookups. Accommodations are available at many sites during part of the hunting season.
To make hunting reservations, as well as to make reservations for overnight accommodations in Virginia State Parks, call 800-933-7275 (PARK). Click here to learn about park cabins, camping and lodges.
Reservations may be made up to two days prior to the requested day of the hunt, provided payment can be made at the time of reservation, and that space is available.
To reserve a space in a reservation hunt, call the State Parks Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK. All hunts have special regulations. Contact the individual park or the Customer Service Center to obtain the hunt specific rules. Reservation hunts have distinct dates on which reservations will be taken.