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The natural hunting destination

2015-16 hunts and deer season are done. Check back in August 2016 for 2016-2017 hunts.

2015-2016 hunts at Virginia State Parks

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.

Reservation Hunts

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.

Open Hunting

Designated areas within the following parks are open to hunting throughout the hunting season. Statewide regulations apply. Contact the individual park for more information.

Special Youth Hunts

Shenandoah River will hold a general firearms hunt on Nov. 16. Natural Tunnel will hold a Youth Muzzleloader hunt on Nov. 7.

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.

Douthat State Park Special Hunts

Hunters may register to participate in a muzzleloader hunt Nov. 9–12 and a general firearm hunt on Nov. 16-19. Those interested may reserve slots for part of or the entire hunt period. There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for a hunting slot reservation, and registered hunters must then attend one of two mandatory safety and hunt orientation sessions to obtain a hunter card that is required in order to take part in the hunts. Safety sessions will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. Reservations for this hunt will be taken from Oct. 1-30. Call 540-862-8100 for details.

Claytor Lake Youth Deer-Hunting Workshop

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. 11-12. It includes a Friday evening seminar on deer biology and management, a session on hunting safety and ethics and muzzleloader safety, and a Saturday either-sex 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,

False Cape State Park Deer and Feral Hog Lottery Hunts

This hunt is run in conjunction with the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The legal harvest (using shotguns) applies to deer and feral hogs. Hunt dates are Oct. 26-28. Lottery applications will be accepted July 1 through Aug. 14. Apply online at; by phone at 1-877-VAHUNTS, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., EST; or by completing a paper application available online at or found in the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Hunting publication. There are application and hunt fees.

Mason Neck Deer Hunt

This hunt is run in conjunction with the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Lottery information and applications are available by calling the refuge at 703-490-4979 or online. Hunt dates are Nov. 16, Nov. 20 and Dec. 7. Applications will be accepted from Aug. 1 to Sept. 19. There are application and hunt fees.

Southern Heritage Deer Hunt

Chippokes Plantation State Park will host a traditional hunt Dec. 5 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.

Wheelin' Sportmen Hunts

There will be three hunts especially tailored for those with disabilities. On Nov. 2,, Shenandoah River hosts a muzzleloader deer hunt. Lake Anna hosts a muzzleloader hunt on Nov. 19, and Staunton River hosts a general firearms hunt on Nov. 21. Contact Robin Clark at 434-249-6154, email or visit this site for details.

Hunts at Natural Area Preserves

DCR also holds hunts at several Natural Area Preserves. To learn about and apply for these hunts, please visit this site.

Fairy Stone Quality Deer Management Area

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.

Overnight Accommodations

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.

Virginia State Parks Hunting Rules

  • Hunting and camping is permitted only in designated areas.
  • Virginia game laws apply in all designated hunting areas.
  • Hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of all state park buildings and roads.
  • Lottery and reservation hunts require proof of completion of a hunter safety course.
  • State law requires hunters to wear blaze orange. The minimum required by law is a blaze orange cap or vest; most managed hunts at state parks require a blaze orange vest, at a minimum, which is more than required by state regulations.

Virginia Hunting General Information

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries oversees hunting, fishing and boating activity in the commonwealth. Click here for hunting and trapping regulations and information. Click here to access Find Game and to read about hunts on public land, including state parks.