The July 2015 - June 2016 Hunting & Trapping Regulations will be available online as of Friday, July 10.


  • Elk of either sex, antlered or antlerless, may be taken during any open deer season using weapons legal for deer during that season, except that elk season is closed in the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise.
  • The taking of an elk counts toward the hunter's daily and license year bag limit for deer.
  • Licenses, tag validation, and checking requirements for elk are the same as for deer.
  • It is unlawful to destroy the identity (sex) of any harvested elk until checked. Elk may be dismembered to pack it out from the place of kill. The identity of the sex and all parts of the carcass must be present when the elk is checked.

Successful hunters, upon checking an elk, must contact the Department at (804) 367-0044 to schedule the collection of biological samples for disease testing as part of an ongoing elk restoration program in southwest Virginia. This number is intended only to make arrangements to obtain tissue samples from harvested elk. No other game checking or other wildlife issues will be answered using this number. For general wildlife questions, call (804) 367-1000 during regular business hours.

Elk Restoration

The Department has released a small number of elk in Buchanan County, part of a three-county elk restoration area comprised of Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties. Elk hunting is not permitted within the three county elk restoration area.