Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
1/26/2020

Chapter 270. Game: Firearms

4VAC15-270-10. Size rifles for hunting bear and deer.

It shall be unlawful to use a rifle of a caliber less than 23 for the hunting or killing of bear and deer.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 1, eff. October 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-270-20. Rifles prohibited in hunting bear and deer in certain counties and cities.

Except as otherwise provided in 4VAC15-270-30 of this chapter or by local ordinance, it shall be unlawful to use a rifle of any caliber for the hunting of bear and deer in the counties of Chesterfield, Isle of Wight, New Kent, Southampton and Sussex and in the City of Chesapeake ; however, nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of muzzleloading guns, as described in 4VAC15-90-80 F, for hunting deer during the late special muzzleloading deer season in the City of Chesapeake.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501 and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 2, eff. October 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 22, eff. August 26, 1993; Volume 17, Issue 19, eff. July 4, 2001; Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009.

4VAC15-270-30. Use of rifles for hunting and killing big game in Dismal Swamp.

Notwithstanding the provisions of 4VAC15-270-20 of this chapter, it shall be lawful to use rifles for the hunting and killing of big game in that part of Dismal Swamp in the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk located as much as 100 yards from any railroad or public highway when the rifle is used on a stand elevated not less than 15 feet above the ground.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 3.

4VAC15-270-40. Shooting or carrying rifle or pistol over public inland waters.

It shall be unlawful to shoot a rifle or pistol at wild birds or animals on or over the public inland waters of this Commonwealth; provided, however that licensed trappers may shoot a .22 caliber rimfire rifle or pistol on or over public inland waters for the purpose of dispatching a trapped animal. It shall be unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or pistol on a boat or other floating device on the public inland waters for the purpose of hunting wild birds and wild animals; provided, however, that unloaded rifles or pistols may be transported by boat from one point to another. Nothing in this regulation applies to department personnel conducting wildlife management activities on the public waters of the Commonwealth.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 4; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. July 1, 2008.

4VAC15-270-50. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 5; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 24, eff. July 8, 2008.

4VAC15-270-60. Use of firearms loaded with slugs and discharge of firearms near boardwalk or nature trail on Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area.

A. It shall be unlawful to possess outside of a vehicle, or shoot or hunt with a rifle, muzzleloader, pistol or shotgun loaded with slugs, or to possess shotgun slugs, on Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area in Isle of Wight County. In addition, it shall be unlawful to discharge any firearm within 100 yards of the boardwalk or nature trail on Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area.

B. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the possession, transport and use of loaded firearms by employees of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries while engaged in the performance of their duties, nor shall it prohibit the possession and transport of loaded concealed handguns where the individual possesses a concealed handgun permit as defined in § 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501 and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 6, eff. July 1, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 19, eff. July 7, 1999.

4VAC15-270-70. Use of shotguns with rifled barrels.

Where the use of shotguns with slugs is permitted, shotguns with barrels that are partially or entirely rifled may be used unless otherwise prohibited by local ordinance.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501, 29.1-502 and 29.1-701 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-25 § 7, eff. July 1, 1989.

4VAC15-270-80. Shotgun shell capacity for nonmigratory game, crows, and migratory game birds.

A. It shall be lawful to hunt nonmigratory game and crows with unplugged shotguns.

B. It shall be unlawful to hunt migratory game birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined, unless otherwise authorized by the director and consistent with applicable federal regulations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-501 and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. October 26, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009.

4VAC15-270-90. Model ordinances related to hunting with firearms for counties and cities.

Per the provisions of § 29.1-528 A of the Code of Virginia, the following model ordinances related to hunting with firearms may be adopted by counties and cities. In accordance with § 29.1-528 B of the Code of Virginia, no such ordinance shall be enforceable unless the governing body of the locality notifies the director by registered mail prior to May 1 of the year in which the ordinance is to take effect.

Model Ordinance 1:

It shall be unlawful to hunt with a rifle larger than .22 caliber rim fire.

Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 2:

It shall be unlawful to hunt with a rifle larger than .22 caliber rim fire, except rifles of a larger caliber may be used for hunting groundhogs and coyotes between March 1 - August 31. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 3:

It shall be unlawful to hunt with a rifle larger than .22 caliber rim fire, except rifles of a larger caliber may be used to hunt from a stand elevated at least 10 feet from the ground. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 4:

Muzzleloading rifles may only be used to hunt from a stand elevated at least 10 feet from the ground. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 5:

Muzzleloading rifles firing a single projectile may not be used to hunt between April 1 - May 31. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 6:

It shall be unlawful to hunt with shotguns loaded with slugs. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 7:

It shall be unlawful to engage in hunting with a firearm within the right-of-way of any primary or secondary highway. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 8:

It shall be unlawful to engage in hunting with a firearm within 100 yards of any primary or secondary highway. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-270-95. Model ordinances related to archery deer hunting.

Pursuant to § 29.1-528.1 A of the Code of Virginia, the following model ordinances related to hunting deer with bow and arrow (including crossbows) may be adopted by those counties and cities where there is an overabundance of the deer population, which is creating conflicts between humans and deer, including safety hazards to motorists. In accordance with § 29.1-528.1 B of the Code of Virginia, no such ordinance shall be enforceable unless the governing body of the locality notifies the director by registered mail prior to May 1 of the year in which the ordinance is to take effect.

Model Ordinance 1:

The times at which hunting shall commence and end each day shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 29.1-520 of the Code of Virginia.

Model Ordinance 2:

The number of deer that can be taken shall be in accordance with bag limits established by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries pursuant to §§ 29.1-501 and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Model Ordinance 3:

No person shall discharge a bow and arrow from, over, or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Model Ordinance 4:

It shall be unlawful to discharge a bow and arrow in a manner that can be reasonably expected to result in the impact of the arrow upon the property of another without permission from the owner or tenant of such property. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, 29.1-502, and 29.1-528.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011.

4VAC15-270-96. Pneumatic rifles permitted for hunting deer; prohibited for hunting bear and elk.

Pneumatic (air or gas) rifles must be .35 caliber or larger for the hunting or killing of deer. Pneumatic rifles are prohibited for the hunting or killing of bear and elk.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2017.



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