Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
9/30/2020

Chapter 40. Game: in General

4VAC15-40-10. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 1, eff. March 15, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997.

4VAC15-40-20. Archery hunting requirements.

A. "Bow and arrow" means a weapon made of a strip of flexible material, which, when bent by drawing a string or cable connecting the two ends, uses the energy stored in the flexible material to propel an arrow.

B. "Crossbow" means a bow and arrow mounted horizontally on a stock having a trigger mechanism to release the string.

C. "Archery equipment" means a bow and arrow or a crossbow.

D. Arrows used for hunting bear, deer, elk, and turkey must have a minimum head width of 7/8 inch in a fixed or expanded position.

E. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, it shall be unlawful to use arrows to which any drug, chemical or toxic substance has been added or arrows with explosive heads at any time for the purpose of hunting wild birds or wild animals.

Statutory Authority

§ 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 2, eff. March 15, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 12, Issue 24, eff. September 18, 1996; Volume 17, Issue 19, eff. July 4, 2001; Volume 21, Issue 23, eff. August 24, 2005; Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-21. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 23, eff. August 24, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-22. Special license for hunting bear.

There shall be a special license to hunt bears that shall be in addition to the state resident license to hunt or state nonresident license to hunt. The fee for the special bear license shall be as specified in 4VAC15-20-65.

Statutory Authority

§ 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-30. Recorded wild animal or wild bird calls or sounds prohibited in taking game; bobcats, coyotes, crows, foxes, and raccoons excepted.

It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take wild animals and wild birds with the exception of bobcats, coyotes, crows, foxes, and raccoons by the use or aid of recorded animal or bird calls or sounds or recorded or electrically amplified imitation of animal or bird calls or sounds; provided, that electronic calls may be used on private lands for hunting bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons with written permission of the landowner and on public lands except where specifically prohibited.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 3, eff. July 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 11, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1995; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 33, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2017.

4VAC15-40-40. Live birds or animals as decoys prohibited.

Game birds and game animals shall not be taken by the use or aid of live birds or animals as decoys.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 4, eff. July 1, 1969; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-50. Poisoning of wild birds and wild animals prohibited; certain control programs excepted.

It shall be unlawful to put out poison at any time for the purpose of killing any wild birds and wild animals, provided that rats and mice may be poisoned on one's own property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the United States Department of Agriculture, or their representatives or cooperators, and those being assisted in a control program authorized by those agencies.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 5, eff. July 1, 1969; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-40-60. Hunting with dogs or possession of weapons in certain locations during closed season.

A. Department-owned and national forest lands statewide. It shall be unlawful to have in possession a firearm or any hunting weapon that is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on all national forest lands statewide and on department-owned lands and on other lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement except during the period when it is lawful to take bear, deer, grouse, pheasant, quail, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl, or migratory gamebirds on these lands.

B. Certain counties. Except as otherwise provided in 4VAC15-40-70, it shall be unlawful to have either a shotgun or a rifle in one's possession when accompanied by a dog in the daytime in the fields, forests or waters of the Counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren, and in the counties east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, except Patrick, at any time except the periods prescribed by law to hunt game birds and animals.

C. Shooting ranges and authorized activities. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the conduct of any activities authorized by the board or the establishment and operation of archery and shooting ranges on the lands described in subsections A and B of this section. The use of firearms or any hunting weapon in such ranges during the closed season period will be restricted to the area within the established range boundaries. Such weapons shall be required to be unloaded and cased or dismantled in all areas other than the range boundaries. The use of firearms or any hunting weapon during the closed hunting period in such ranges shall be restricted to target shooting only, and no birds or animals shall be molested.

D. It shall be unlawful to chase with a dog or train dogs on national forest lands or department-owned lands except during authorized hunting, chase, or training seasons that specifically permit these activities on these lands or during raccoon hound field trials on these lands between September 1 and March 31, both dates inclusive, that are sanctioned by bona fide national kennel clubs and authorized by permits issued by the department or the U.S. Forest Service.

E. It shall be unlawful to possess or transport any loaded firearm or loaded hunting weapon in or on any vehicle at any time on national forest lands or department-owned lands.

F. 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 authorized and official duties, nor shall it prohibit 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.

G. Meaning of "possession" of any hunting weapon and definition of "loaded crossbow," "loaded arrowgun," "loaded muzzleloader," and "loaded firearm." For the purpose of this section, the word "possession" shall include having any firearm or weapon used for hunting in or on one's person, vehicle, or conveyance. For the purpose of this section, a "loaded firearm" means a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip when such magazine or clip is engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a "loaded muzzleloader" will include a muzzleloading rifle, pistol, or shotgun that is capped, has a charged pan, or has a primer or battery installed in the muzzleloader. A "loaded crossbow" means a crossbow that is cocked and has either a bolt or arrow engaged or partially engaged on the shooting rail or track of the crossbow, or with a "trackless crossbow" when the crossbow is cocked and a bolt or arrow is nocked. "Loaded arrowgun" means an arrowgun that has an arrow or bolt inserted on the arrow rest or in the barrel. "Hunting weapon" means any weapon allowable for hunting as defined in § 29.1-519 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 6, eff. July 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 22, eff. August 26, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997; Volume 13, Issue 26, eff. September 15, 1997; Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-70. Open dog training season.

A. Private lands and certain military areas. It shall be lawful to train dogs during daylight hours on squirrels and nonmigratory game birds on private lands, and on rabbits and nonmigratory game birds on Fort A. P. Hill, Fort Pickett, and Quantico Marine Reservation. Participants in this dog training season shall not have any weapons other than starter pistols in their possession, must comply with all regulations and laws pertaining to hunting, and no game shall be taken; provided, however, that weapons may be in possession on private lands when training dogs on captive raised and properly marked mallards and pigeons so that they may be immediately shot or recovered.

B. It shall be lawful to train dogs on rabbits on private lands from 1/2 hour before sunrise to midnight.

C. Designated portions of certain department-owned lands. It shall be lawful to train dogs on quail on designated portions of the Amelia Wildlife Management Area, Cavalier Wildlife Management Area, Chester F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area, Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area, Mattaponi Wildlife Management Area, and White Oak Mountain Wildlife Management Area from September 1 to the day prior to the opening date of the quail hunting season, both dates inclusive. Participants in this dog training season shall not have any weapons other than starter pistols in their possession, shall not release pen-raised birds, must comply with all regulations and laws pertaining to hunting, and no game shall be taken.

D. Designated department-owned lands. It shall be lawful to train dogs during daylight hours on rabbits and nonmigratory game birds on the Weston Wildlife Management Area from September 1 to March 31, both dates inclusive. Participants in this dog training season shall not have any weapons other than starter pistols in their possession, shall not release pen-raised birds, must comply with all regulations and laws pertaining to hunting, and no game shall be taken.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 6-1, eff. July 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 22, eff. August 26, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 11, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-80. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 7, eff. July 1, 1977; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1995.

4VAC15-40-90. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 8, eff. July 1, 1977; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997.

4VAC15-40-100. Hog Island Wildlife Management Area; waterfowl refuge established.

Hog Island, in Surry County, and all of the waters of the James River within a radius of 1,000 yards contiguous to that is hereby declared a waterfowl refuge for the purpose of developing a feeding and resting area for such birds.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 9, eff. July 1, 1977; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-110. Hog Island Wildlife Management Area; hunting, trapping, etc., prohibited; exception.

It shall be unlawful to hunt, shoot, kill, trap or molest or attempt to hunt, shoot, kill, trap or molest at any time any waterfowl including ducks, geese, brant, or coot, or to hunt, shoot, kill, trap, molest, or attempt to hunt, shoot, kill, trap, or molest any other birds or animals on or in the area described in 4VAC15-40-100 of this chapter, except at designated times from waterfowl blinds established by the department, provided that the department may, when deemed necessary for the better development of said refuge, remove by trapping or otherwise any birds or animals as would not be beneficial to the purposes for which such refuge is established.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 10, eff. July 1, 1973; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-120. Hog Island Wildlife Management Area; possession of loaded gun prohibited; exception.

It shall be unlawful to have in possession at any time a gun which is not unloaded and cased or dismantled on that portion of the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area bordering on the James River and lying north of the Surry Nuclear Power Plant, except while hunting deer or waterfowl in conformity with a special permit issued by the department.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 11, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-130. Disturbing waterfowl adjacent to Lands End Waterfowl Management Area.

It shall be unlawful to hunt, pursue, or disturb waterfowl in the public waters within 1,000 yards adjacent to the Lands End Waterfowl Management Area located adjacent to the Rappahannock River in King George County, provided that this section shall not abridge the privileges prescribed for landowners, and their lessees and permittees, in §§ 29.1-344 and 29.1-347 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 12, eff. July 1, 1967; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-40-140. Hunting, etc., prohibited on Buggs Island and certain waters of the Gaston Reservoir.

It shall be unlawful to hunt or have in one's possession a loaded gun on Buggs Island or to shoot over or have a loaded gun upon the water on Gaston Reservoir (Roanoke River) from a point beginning at High Rock and extending to the John H. Kerr Dam.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 13, eff. July 1, 1967; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-150. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 14, eff. July 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 19, eff. July 4, 2001.

4VAC15-40-160. Molesting, damaging, removing, or disturbing traps prohibited; release of game from lawful traps prohibited.

It shall be unlawful to willfully molest, damage or remove any trap, or any lawfully caught bird or animal therefrom, or in any way disturb traps or snares legally set by another person.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 15, eff. July 1, 1983; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-170. Marking of traps by person setting.

Any person setting or in possession of a steel foothold or body gripping trap or snare shall have it marked by means of a nonferrous metal tag bearing the name and address of the trapper or an identification number issued by the department. This requirement shall not apply to landowners on their own land, nor to a bona fide tenant or lessee within the bounds of land rented or leased by him, nor to anyone transporting any such trap from its place of purchase.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 16, eff. July 1, 1982; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009.

4VAC15-40-180. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 17, eff. July 1, 1982; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997.

4VAC15-40-190. Restricted use of body-gripping traps in excess of 7-1/2 inches.

The use of body-gripping traps with a jaw spread in excess of 7-1/2 inches is prohibited except when such traps are at least half submerged by water.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 18, eff. July 1, 1982; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 24, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2008.

4VAC15-40-195. Visiting traps, generally; visiting completely submerged, body-gripping traps; use of remote trap check systems.

A. Except as provided in subsections B and C of this section, it shall be unlawful to fail to visit all traps once each day and remove all animals caught.

B. Body-gripping traps that are completely submerged by water must be visited at least once every 72 hours.

C. Remote trap checking systems may be used in lieu of a physical trap visit when such systems (i) have a control unit that reports trap status to a centralized application database at least once every 24 hours; (ii) have notification alarms that report trap closures and system health issues within one hour of detection via email and text-based messaging systems; and (iii) have on-demand control unit testing capabilities for determining trap status, signal strength, and battery condition via remote system check-in. If the control unit reports a trap closure, the user is required to physically visit the trap within 24 hours of the time the trap was reported closed. If the control unit fails to report its current status within a 24-hour check-in period or reports a system health issue, the user is required to physically check the trap within 24 hours of the last time an open trap signal was received.

Statutory Authority

§ 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-200. Restricted use of above ground body-gripping traps in excess of five inches.

It shall be unlawful to set above the ground any body-gripping trap with a jaw spread in excess of five inches when using any bait, lure, or scent; provided, that baited body gripping traps with a jaw spread up to 7-1/2 inches may be used when the trap is within an enclosure with openings no greater than 60 square inches and the trap trigger is recessed at least 12 inches from all openings; provided further that such traps must be staked to prevent them from turning over and may only be used on private lands with written permission of the landowner.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 19, eff. July 1, 1978; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011.

4VAC15-40-210. Restricted use of certain steel foothold traps.

It shall be unlawful to set on land any steel foothold trap with teeth set upon the jaws or with a maximum inside jaw spread exceeding 6-1/2 inches measured perpendicular to the hinges.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 20, eff. July 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 24, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2009.

4VAC15-40-220. Use of deadfalls prohibited; restricted use of snares.

It shall be unlawful to trap, or attempt to trap, on land any wild bird or wild animal with any deadfall or snare; provided, that snares with loops no more than 12 inches in diameter and with the bottom of the snare loop set not to exceed 12 inches above ground level may be used with the written permission of the landowner. Snares with the top of the snare loop set higher than 12 inches above ground level must include a single-piece lock that is not power assisted, a cable stop that prevents the snare loop from closing smaller than 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and a break-away device that has been tested to break or disassemble at no more than 285 pounds pull.

Statutory Authority

§ 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 21, eff. July 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-221. Restricted use of traps near exposed carcasses and animal parts.

It shall be unlawful to intentionally set foothold traps, body-gripping traps, or snares within 50 feet of an animal carcass, or parts thereof, unless the carcass, or parts thereof, are completely covered at the time the trap is set or visited. For the purposes of this section, "completely covered" shall be defined as not being visible from above. Provided further, a "carcass" shall be defined as the body, portions of the body, meat, organs, or viscera of any animal, including fish. Feathers (including those with attached skin or entire bird wings), hair (with or without skin or hide), and bones that include no attached meat, organs, or viscera are excluded from this definition.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-40-225. Killing of animals captured in live traps permitted.

It shall be lawful to kill wild animals legally captured in live traps using any humane method of dispatch not specifically prohibited by law.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2017.

4VAC15-40-230. Dates for setting traps in water.

It shall be lawful to set traps in water from December 1 through the last day of February, both dates inclusive, and at any time within the incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York, except as otherwise specifically provided by department permit or by local ordinances pursuant to § 29.1-526 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 22, eff. July 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2003.

4VAC15-40-240. Animal population control.

Whenever biological evidence suggests that populations of game animals or fur-bearing animals may exceed or threaten to exceed the carrying capacity of a specified range, or whenever population reduction of a species is necessary to manage for another wildlife species, or whenever the health or general condition of a species indicates the need for population reduction, or whenever the threat of human public health and safety or significant economic loss indicates the need for population reduction, the director is authorized to issue special permits to obtain the desired reduction by licensed hunters or licensed trappers on areas prescribed by department wildlife biologists. Designated game species or fur-bearing species may be taken in excess of the general bag limits, during closed seasons, and with any type of lawful weapon, as defined in § 29.1-519 of the Code of Virginia and in board regulation, on special permits issued under this section under such conditions as may be prescribed by the director.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 23, eff. September 15, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 1997; Volume 15, Issue 19, eff. July 7, 1999; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-40-250. Wanton waste.

No person shall kill or cripple and knowingly allow any nonmigratory game bird or game animal to be wasted without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the animal and retain it in their possession. Nothing in this section shall permit a person to trespass or violate any state, federal, city or county law, ordinance or regulation.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 24, eff. August 26, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995.

4VAC15-40-260. Sunday hunting on controlled shooting areas.

A. Except as otherwise provided in the sections appearing in this chapter, it shall be lawful to hunt pen-raised game birds seven days a week as provided by § 29.1-514 of the Code of Virginia. The length of the hunting season on such preserves and the size of the bag limit shall be in accordance with rules of the board. For the purpose of this chapter, controlled shooting areas shall be defined as licensed shooting preserves.

B. It shall be unlawful to hunt pen-raised game birds on Sunday on controlled shooting areas in Augusta County or in any county or city which prohibits Sunday operation by ordinance.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 25, eff. August 26, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 23, eff. September 9, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 9, eff. February 22, 1995; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013.

4VAC15-40-270. Sale of unclaimed taxidermy specimens by licensed taxidermists.

Unclaimed mounted native wildlife specimens or their processed hides, when taken in accordance with the provisions of law and regulations, may be sold by a Virginia licensed taxidermist with the exception of migratory waterfowl, migratory birds, and state and federally listed threatened and endangered species.

A mount or processed hide shall be considered unclaimed if it has been left in a taxidermy place of business for more than 30 days beyond the period the mount was to remain on the premises pursuant to a contract. This contract must inform the owner of the possibility of such sale. After the 30-day period a notice by registered or certified mail with a return receipt requested must be mailed to the owner of record, instructing the owner to reclaim the mount within 15 days of the notice. This notice shall identify the species and the date it was received, set forth the location of the taxidermist facility where it is held, and inform the owner of his rights to reclaim the mount with 15 days of this notice after payment of the specified costs. This notice shall state that the failure of the owner to reclaim the mount or hide within this 15-day timeframe may result in the sale of the unclaimed mount or hide.

If a mount or hide is not claimed after the return of a signed certified receipt and within the 15-day period, then the taxidermist may sell the mount for an amount not to exceed the remainder of the amount of the original invoice plus reasonable administrative and storage costs. Within seven days of the sale of any unclaimed mount the taxidermist shall notify the department in writing of the name, telephone number, and address of the purchaser, invoice price, species sold, taxidermist, and previous owners' name, telephone number, and address. Upon receipt of such paperwork for a bear mount or hide, a conservation police officer will review the paperwork and will provide the purchaser a form that will remain with the mount.

For the purposes of this section, "mount" means the processed hide, pelt, or skin of an animal affixed to a form for display. A processed hide, pelt, or skin is one that has been tanned, cured, chemically preserved, or converted to any usable form beyond initial cleaning, stretching, and drying by the taxidermist or the taxidermist's agent. Nothing in this section shall permit the sale of skulls, claws, teeth, unprocessed hides, or any other parts of a bear that are not a legitimate part of the mount.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 26, eff. February 22, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-275. Sale of furbearer, coyote, and nutria pelts, carcasses, and parts.

It shall be unlawful to buy, sell, barter, traffic or trade in, bargain for, or solicit for purchase raw pelts and unskinned carcasses of fur-bearing animals defined in § 29.1-100 of the Code of Virginia, coyotes, and nutria without having first obtained a fur dealer permit in accordance with §§ 29.1-400 through 29.1-407 of the Code of Virginia, except that a permit shall not be required of:

1. Any hunter or trapper, or any person lawfully engaged in the business of fur farming, to sell or dispose of legally taken or possessed raw pelts and unskinned carcasses of fur-bearing animals, coyotes, and nutria at any time.

2. Any person to purchase legally taken or possessed raw pelts or unskinned carcasses of fur-bearing animals, coyotes, and nutria at any time if the pelts are to be tanned or used in taxidermy mounts for personal use and not for resale, trade, or other commercial purposes.

3. Any person to buy or sell at any time pelts that are not defined as being raw, skinned carcasses, taxidermy mounts, or any other parts of legally taken and possessed fur-bearing animals, coyotes, and nutria. Such parts shall include skulls, teeth, claws, bones, glands, and secretions. For the purposes of this section, "raw pelt" means any pelt with its hair or fur intact that has not been tanned, cured, chemically preserved, or converted to any usable form beyond initial cleaning, stretching, and drying. Salt-cured and sun-cured pelts shall be considered raw pelts.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 24 eff. August 1, 2017; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-276. Sale of small game animals and parts.

It shall be lawful for any person to purchase or sell skins, pelts, skulls, bones, teeth, claws, feet, tails, hair, feathers, taxidermy mounts, and other nonmeat parts of legally taken and possessed rabbits, squirrels, bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse, and pheasants.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-280. Department-owned, controlled, or managed lands; annual permit for hunting on lands managed by the department.

A. The open seasons for hunting and trapping, as well as hours, methods of taking, and bag limits for department-owned or department-controlled lands, or lands managed by the department under cooperative agreement, shall conform to the regulations of the board unless excepted by posted rules established by the director or his designee. Such posted rules shall be displayed at each recognized entrance to the land where the posted rules are in effect.

B. Department-owned lands shall be open to the public for wildlife observation and for hunting, fishing, trapping, and boating (as prescribed by 4VAC15-320-100) under the regulations of the board. Other activities deemed appropriate by the director or his designee may be allowed by posted rules, by written authorization from the director or his designee, or by special permit.

C. No person shall hunt on lands managed by the department through a lease agreement or other similar memorandum of agreement where the department issues an annual hunting permit without having purchased a valid annual hunting permit. The annual hunting permit shall be in addition to the required licenses to hunt, and the cost of such permit shall be the same as the cost of the annual state resident hunting license in § 29.1-303 of the Code of Virginia.

D. Activities that are not generally or specifically authorized in accordance with subsections A through C of this section are prohibited and shall constitute a violation of this regulation.

Statutory Authority

§ 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-02-1 § 27, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 19, eff. July 7, 1999; Volume 17, Issue 19, eff. July 4, 2001; Volume 21, Issue 1, eff. October 20, 2004; Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-40-281. Unauthorized feeding of bear, deer, or turkey on national forest lands and department-owned lands.

It shall be unlawful to place or direct the placement of, deposit, distribute, or scatter food or salt capable of attracting or being eaten by bear, deer or turkey on national forest lands or on department-owned lands without the written authorization of the Director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or his designee. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the disposal of food in trash receptacles provided by the U.S. Forest Service on national forest lands or by the department on department-owned lands.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 19, eff. July 7, 1999.

4VAC15-40-282. Unauthorized feeding of bear.

It shall be unlawful for any person as defined in § 1-230 of the Code of Virginia to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances to feed or attract bear. Nor, upon notification by department personnel, shall any person continue to place, distribute, or allow the placement of any food, mineral, carrion, trash, or similar substances for any purpose if the placement of these materials results in the presence of bear. After such notification, such person shall be in violation of this section if the placing, distribution, or presence of such food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances continues. This section shall not apply to wildlife management activities conducted or authorized by the department.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011.

4VAC15-40-283. Unlawful to chase, hunt or train from a baited site.

Except as prescribed in subdivision 4 of § 29.1-521 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be unlawful to chase with dogs or hunt with dogs or to attempt to chase or hunt with dogs any wild animal from a baited site or to train dogs on any wild animal from a baited site. Furthermore, it shall be unlawful to place, distribute or maintain bait or salt for any wild animal for the purpose of chasing with dogs, hunting with dogs or the training of dogs. As used in this regulation, bait shall mean any food, grain, or other consumable substance that could serve as a lure or attractant; however, crops grown for normal or accepted agriculture or wildlife management purposes shall not be considered as bait. A baited site will be considered to be baited for 30 days following the complete removal of all such bait or salt.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2003.

4VAC15-40-284. Intentionally crippling or harming game animals prohibited; dislodging an animal from a tree prohibited; and use of radio tracking equipment to aid in the chase, harvest, or capture of wildlife prohibited.

A. No person shall intentionally cripple or otherwise harm any game animal for the intent of continuing a hunt or chase, or for the purpose of training dogs. Upon treeing, baying, or otherwise containing an animal in a manner that offers the animal no avenue of escape, the person or the hunting party shall either (i) harvest the animal if within a legal take season and by using lawful methods of take or (ii) terminate the chase by retrieving the dogs and allowing the animal freedom to escape for the remainder of the same calendar day.

B. It shall be unlawful to dislodge an animal from a tree for the intent of continuing a hunt or chase, or for the purpose of training dogs.

C. It shall be unlawful to use radio tracking equipment, except on dogs, to aid in the chase, harvest or capture of wildlife. No part of this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of radio tracking equipment for wildlife management activities conducted or authorized by the department or for the location or recovery of dogs.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2003.

4VAC15-40-285. Unauthorized feeding of cervids.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to place or distribute food, salt, minerals, or similar substances to feed or attract cervids (i) at any time in the Counties (including the cities and towns within) of Buchanan, Dickenson, Wise, and in any county designated by the department within 25 miles of a confirmed detection of Chronic Wasting Disease; (ii) during any deer or elk season within any county, city, or town that allows deer or elk hunting; and (iii) from September 1 through the first Saturday in January, both dates inclusive, elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

B. Any food, salt, minerals, or similar substances placed or distributed to feed or attract cervids prior to September 1 must be completely removed by September 1, and any area where food, salt, minerals, or similar substances were placed or distributed to feed or attract cervids shall be considered to be baited for 10 days following the complete removal of the items listed in this subsection.

C. Upon written notification by department personnel, no person shall continue to place or distribute any food, salt, mineral, or similar substances for any purpose if the placement of these materials results in the attraction of or feeding of cervids. After such notification, such person shall be in violation of this section if the placing, distribution, or presence of such food, salt, minerals, or similar substances continues.

D. No part of this regulation shall be construed to restrict bona fide agronomic plantings (including wildlife food plots), bona fide distribution of food to livestock, or wildlife management activities conducted or authorized by the department.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.

4VAC15-40-286. Unauthorized feeding of wildlife.

It shall be unlawful for any person as defined in § 1-230 of the Code of Virginia to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances when it attracts any species of wildlife in such numbers or circumstances to cause property damage, endanger any person or wildlife, or create a public health concern. Upon notification by department personnel, any such person shall be in violation of this section if the placing, distribution, or presence of such food, minerals, carrion, trash, or similar substances continues. This section shall not be construed to restrict bona fide agronomic plantings (including wildlife food plots), bona fide distribution of food to livestock, or wildlife management activities conducted or authorized by the department or U.S. government agencies with wildlife management responsibilities.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

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

4VAC15-40-287. Model ordinances related to feeding of deer in cities and towns.

Per the provisions of § 29.1-527.2 of the Code of Virginia, the following model ordinance related to the feeding of deer may be adopted by a city or town. Any city or town must notify the director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries of the adoption of such an ordinance by registered mail.

Model ordinance:

A. Pursuant to § 29.1-527.2 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, salt, minerals, or similar substances to feed or attract deer at any time.

B. No person shall continue to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, salt, minerals, or similar substances for any purpose if the placement of these materials results in the presence of deer.

C. No part of this ordinance shall be construed to restrict agricultural, commercial, noncommercial, or residential plantings (including wildlife food plots); bona fide distribution of food to livestock; or wildlife management activities conducted or authorized by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-527.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2017.

4VAC15-40-300. Falsifying harvest information prohibited.

It shall be unlawful to provide false statements or record false information when tagging, checking, or reporting the harvest of any wild animal to the department, any agent of the department, or any taxidermist.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. August 1, 2019.



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