Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 29.1. Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Boating
Chapter 1. Administration of Wildlife Resources
11/26/2020

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 29.1-100. Definitions.

As used in and for the purposes of this title only, or in any of the regulations of the Board, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

"Bag or creel limit" means the quantity of game, fish or fur-bearing animals that may be taken, caught, or possessed during a period fixed by the Board.

"Board" means the Board of Wildlife Resources.

"Closed season" means that period of time fixed by the Board during which wild animals, birds or fish may not be taken, captured, killed, pursued, hunted, trapped or possessed.

"Conservation police officers" means supervising officers, and regular and special conservation police officers.

"Department" means the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Wildlife Resources.

"Firearm" means any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of a combustible material.

"Fishing" means taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to take, capture or kill any fish in and upon the inland waters of this Commonwealth.

"Fur-bearing animals" includes beaver, bobcat, fisher, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, skunk, and weasel.

"Game" means wild animals and wild birds that are commonly hunted for sport or food.

"Game animals" means deer (including all Cervidae), bear, rabbit, fox, squirrel, bobcat and raccoon.

"Game fish" means trout (including all Salmonidae), all of the sunfish family (including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass, rock bass, bream, bluegill and crappie), walleye or pike perch, white bass, chain pickerel or jackfish, muskellunge, and northern pike, wherever such fish are found in the waters of this Commonwealth and rockfish or striped bass where found above tidewaters or in streams which are blocked from access from tidewaters by dams.

"Hunting and trapping" includes the act of or the attempted act of taking, hunting, trapping, pursuing, chasing, shooting, snaring or netting birds or animals, and assisting any person who is hunting, trapping or attempting to do so regardless of whether birds or animals are actually taken; however, when hunting and trapping are allowed, reference is made to such acts as being conducted by lawful means and in a lawful manner. The Board of Wildlife Resources may authorize by regulation the pursuing or chasing of wild birds or wild animals during any closed hunting season where persons have no intent to take such birds or animals.

"Lawful," "by law," or "law" means the statutes of this Commonwealth or regulations adopted by the Board which the Director is empowered to enforce.

"Migratory game birds" means doves, ducks, brant, geese, swan, coot, gallinules, sora and other rails, snipe, woodcock and other species of birds on which open hunting seasons are set by federal regulations.

"Muzzleloader" means any firearm described in subdivision 3 of the definition of antique firearm in § 18.2-308.2:2.

"Muzzleloading pistol" means a muzzleloader originally designed, made or intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand and that is loaded from the muzzle or forward end of the cylinder.

"Muzzleloading rifle" means a muzzleloader firing a single projectile that is loaded along with the propellant from the muzzle of the gun.

"Muzzleloading shotgun" means a muzzleloader with a smooth bore firing multiple projectiles that are loaded along with the propellant from the muzzle of the gun.

"Nonmigratory game birds" means grouse, bobwhite quail, turkey and all species of birds introduced into the Commonwealth by the Board.

"Nuisance species" means blackbirds, coyotes, crows, cowbirds, feral swine, grackles, English sparrows, starlings, or those species designated as such by regulations of the Board, and those species found committing or about to commit depredation upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, wildlife, livestock or other property or when concentrated in numbers and manners as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. However, the term nuisance does not include (i) animals designated as endangered or threatened pursuant to §§ 29.1-563, 29.1-564, and 29.1-566, (ii) animals classified as game or fur-bearing animals, and (iii) those species protected by state or federal law.

"Open season" means that period of time fixed by the Board during which wild animals, wild birds and fish may be taken, captured, killed, pursued, trapped or possessed.

"Pistol" means a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having one or more chambers as an integral part of or permanently aligned with the bore and a short stock at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore that is designed to be gripped by one hand.

"Possession" means the exercise of control of any wild animal, wild bird, fish or fur-bearing animal, or any part of the carcass thereof.

"Properly licensed person" means a person who, while engaged in hunting, fishing or trapping, or in any other activity permitted under this title, in and upon the lands and inland waters of this Commonwealth, has upon his person all the licenses, permits and stamps required by law.

"Regulation" means a regulation duly adopted by the Board pursuant to the authority vested by the provisions of this title.

"Revolver" means a projectile weapon of the pistol type, having a breechloading chambered cylinder arranged so that the cocking of the hammer or movement of the trigger rotates it and brings the next cartridge in line with the barrel for firing.

"Rifle" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

"Shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore or rifled shotgun barrel either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.

"Transportation" means the transportation, either upon the person or by any other means, of any wild animal or wild bird or fish.

"Wildlife" means all species of wild animals, wild birds and freshwater fish in the public waters of this Commonwealth.

1952, c. 573, § 29-131; 1952, c. 608, § 29-2.1; 1962, c. 469; 1974, c. 302; 1979, c. 264; 1984, c. 199; 1987, cc. 134, 488; 1990, c. 371; 2002, c. 157; 2012, cc. 247, 603; 2015, c. 618; 2017, c. 161; 2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-100.1. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries continued as Department of Wildlife Resources.

The Department of Wildlife Resources, formerly known as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, is continued, and wherever "Department of Game and Inland Fisheries" is used in this Code, it shall mean the Department of Wildlife Resources. The Board of Wildlife Resources, formerly known as the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, is continued, and wherever "Board of Game and Inland Fisheries" is used in this Code, it shall mean the Board of Wildlife Resources.

2020, c. 958.

§ 29.1-101. Game Protection Fund.

The amount received by the State Treasurer from the collection of admittance, parking, or other use fees, the sale of hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, revenue generated from the sales and use tax pursuant to subsection E of § 58.1-638, and such other items as may accrue to the Board shall be set aside and shall constitute the Game Protection Fund. The income and principal of this Fund, including any unexpended balance, shall be a separate fund in the state treasury and shall only be used for the payment of the salaries, allowances, wages, and expenses incident to carrying out the provisions of the hunting, trapping and inland fish laws and for no other purpose, except as provided in §§ 29.1-101.01, 29.1-701, subdivision B 1 of 58.1-344.3, and 58.1-1410.

Code 1950, § 29-20; 1979, c. 264; 1981, c. 204; 1987, c. 488; 1991, c. 70; 1998, c. 320; 2003, c. 562; 2005, cc. 860, 889.

§ 29.1-101.01. Capital Improvement Fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special, nonreverting fund to be known as the Capital Improvement Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall consist of those funds that may be so designated by the Board and any gifts, grants, and contributions from any person, foundation, or other legal entity. In addition, the Board may transfer to this Fund an amount equal to fifty percent or less of the revenue generated annually from the sales and use tax which has been deposited in the Game Protection Fund pursuant to subsection E of § 58.1-638. The income and principal in the Fund shall be used only for the purchase, construction, maintenance, or repair of capital assets of the Department.

The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys received shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on the moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to the Fund. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund, except as provided in subsection E of § 58.1-638.

1998, c. 320.

§ 29.1-101.1. Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund.

There is hereby established in the state treasury a special fund to be designated the "Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund." This fund shall consist of proceeds from the sale of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses as provided in § 29.1-302.1 and any gifts, grants and contributions which are specifically designated for inclusion in the Fund.

The income and principal of this Fund shall be used only for the purposes of administering the lifetime hunting and fishing license program and supporting the wildlife conservation programs of the Department.

The Board shall serve as trustee of the Fund and these funds shall be withdrawn and expended for the purposes stated in this section by order of the Board. The State Treasurer shall be custodian of the funds. No part of such Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

1987, c. 95, § 29-20.1; 2020, c. 958.