Small Game Hunting Seasons
Legal Methods and Restrictions
- Modern firearms
- Archery tackle (including crossbows)
- Muzzleloading firearms
- Dogs may be used by regulation (see Hunting with Dogs)
August 18 through March 16 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday only.
September 1 through March 9 on National Forest Lands and Department lands (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday only).
- Crows are a federally regulated migratory species; however, no HIP number is required and hunters may use unplugged shotguns to hunt them.
- Electronic calls may be used on private and public lands.
- Continuous open season on private lands.
- Groundhog hunting on National Forest lands and Department lands is permitted from September 1-March 9 and during the spring turkey season.
- Groundhog hunting is permitted during the spring squirrel season only on Department lands that are open for spring squirrel hunting.
- Groundhog hunting is not permitted on National Forest lands during the spring squirrel season.
Pen-raised game birds may be taken on licensed hunting preserves from September 1 through April 30. A list of hunting preserves open to the public may be obtained at the Department's Richmond office or on the Shooting Preserves page on this website. A resident hunting on a licensed hunting preserve is required to have a hunting license. A non-resident is required to have either a nonresident hunting license or a special non-resident hunting (shooting) preserve license which is valid only within the boundaries of licensed hunting preserves.
Also see the Virginia Wildlife magazine article "Upland Game Bird Trail" (PDF).
Three per day.
- October 27 through February 9 west of I-95
- Continuous closed season east of I-95
Quail and Pheasant
- Quail: six per day
- Pheasant: no daily or seasonal bag limit
- November 10 through January 31
- Six per day
- November 3 through February 28
Squirrel (Gray, Red, and Fox*)
* Fox squirrel open only in the counties west of the Blue Ridge and in the counties of Albemarle, Bedford, Culpeper, Fauquier, Franklin, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange, Patrick, Prince William, and Rappahannock during any authorized squirrel season.
- All squirrels combined - six per day.
- Fall Season: September 1 through January 31: statewide
- Spring Season: June 1 through
- Closed on National Forest Lands
Gray and red squirrels may be harvested statewide, unless otherwise posted, and on the following wildlife management areas: Amelia, Big Survey, Big Woods, Briery Creek, Cavalier, Chickahominy, Dick Cross, Fairystone (including Fairystone State Park and Philpott Reservoir), Featherfin, Gathright, Goshen, Hardware River, Havens, Highland, Hog Island (Carlisle Tract only), Horsepen, James River, Lake Robertson, Little North Mountain, Mattaponi, Merrimac Farm, Pettigrew, Phelps, Powhatan (including the Goochland Tract), Rapidan, Short Hills, Stewarts Creek, G. Richard Thompson, Turkeycock Mountain, and White Oak Mountain.
Fox squirrels may be harvested on all lands, unless otherwise posted, in all counties with an open fox squirrel season during the regular squirrel season and on the following wildlife management areas: Big Survey, Gathright, Goshen, Havens, Highland, Lake Robertson, Little North Mountain, Merrimac Farm, Phelps, Rapidan, Short Hills, Stewarts Creek, and G. Richard Thompson.
Dogs may be used to hunt squirrels during the spring season.