Urban Archery Season

September 3 -30, 2016 and January 8 through March 26, 2017, within the incorporated limits of the cities of Chesapeake (except on Department-owned lands), Colonial Heights, Danville, Emporia, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Galax, Hopewell, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Poquoson, Radford, Richmond, Staunton, Suffolk, and Winchester; and, in the towns of Altavista, Amherst, Bedford, Blacksburg, Blackstone, Chatham, Christiansburg, Farmville, Front Royal, Halifax, Hurt, Independence, Irvington, Kenbridge, Pearisburg, Pulaski, Richlands, Rocky Mount, Saltville, Smithfield, Stuart, Tazewell, West Point, and Wytheville; and, in the counties of Chesterfield, Fairfax, James City, Roanoke (except on National Forest and Department-owned lands), and York. Front Royal is a new participant for the 2016-2017 season. NOTE: Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties have antlerless deer hunting seasons during the same dates as the urban archery season (see Deer Seasons).

This page is organized into the following sections below:

  1. General restrictions for all participating localities,
  2. Restrictions and other information specific to each participating locality,
  3. Background information about the urban archery season.

General Information (for all localities)

  • In addition to the Urban Archery Deer Season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the Early Archery Deer Season, the Firearms Deer Season, and the Late Archery Deer Season (where applicable). In other words, from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January. See “Seasons and Bag Limits”.
  • An archery license is required to hunt with archery tackle during the Urban Archery Deer Seasons, the Early Archery Deer Season, or the Late Archery Deer Season. See “License Requirements“.
  • Crossbows are defined by law as a type of bow and are therefore legal during all archery deer seasons.
  • All other normal deer regulations, including bag limits and tagging/checking requirements, apply during the Urban Archery Deer Seasons, including Earn-A-Buck and antler point restrictions, where applicable. See “Seasons and Bag Limits”.
  • The season bag limit for deer cannot be exceeded unless bonus deer permits are purchased. See “Bonus Deer Permits“.
  • Deer must be checked by calling 1-866-GOT-GAME, online, or at a big game check station.
  • Only antlerless deer may be taken during the Urban Archery Deer Seasons (see dates above). Antlerless deer include does, button bucks, and bucks that have shed their antlers.
  • Antlerless deer may also be taken on any day during the Early Archery Deer Season and the Late Archery Deer Season.
  • Antlerless deer may also be taken on any day during the Firearms Deer Season except in the City of Chesapeake, Chesterfield County, and Suffolk (east of the Dismal Swamp line), where antlerless deer can be taken only on the prescribed firearms deer season either-sex hunting days.
  • Antlered deer (bucks with antlers visible above the hairline) may not be taken during the Urban Archery Season but may be taken on any day during the Early Archery Deer Season, the Late Archery Deer Season, and during the Firearms Deer Season (i.e., during the “normal” deer seasons, from October through early January).
  • Deer hunting is permitted on Sundays in Virginia under the following circumstances (Code of Virginia §29.1-521):
    • During designated deer seasons.
    • On private property with written permission from the landowner.  The written permission should state that Sunday hunting privileges are included.
    • Sunday deer hunting is not allowed on public property.
    • It is illegal to hunt within 200 yards of a house of worship or other building physically associated with a house of worship on Sunday.
  • Lists of properties available for hunting are not maintained by the Virginia Department of Game of Inland Fisheries or local governments. To find available properties, visit with or contact local landowners, deer hunters, archery clubs, or check stations. Hunters in Fairfax County may wish to contact Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia, Inc. or visit the Fairfax County Archery Program web page.
  • Hunters must obtain permission from the landowner and must also obtain permission to pursue or retrieve deer from neighboring landowners. Due to the small size of parcels and proximity of residences, the hunter or the owner of the hunted property is encouraged to notify adjacent property owners or tenants in advance.
  • Hunters must abide by all applicable sections of the Virginia State Code, Virginia Hunting Regulations, and local ordinances. See local restrictions in the next section below.

Local Urban Archery Restrictions

Please also see “General Information (for all localities)” above

Altavista

  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is prohibited within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling.
  • No hunting on private property without written permission from the landowner which must be carried on the person at all times when hunting.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from elevated stands.
  • Hunters must register and sign a release at Town Hall, with the Town Manager or designee, to hunt on Town-owned property.
  • Hunters, while hunting on Town owned property, are required to have a safety harness on at all times while in a tree stand.

Amherst

  • No special restrictions.

Town of Bedford

  • Hunting with bow and arrow is permitted on any parcel which consists of three (3) acres or more, or parcels with concurrent boundaries which in combination equals three acres or more.
  • The property owner must obtain an annual Urban Archery permit from the Bedford Police Department.
  • It is unlawful to hunt except from a stand elevated a minimum of twelve (12) feet above the ground.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, or public place, or towards any building or dwelling in such a manner that the arrow may strike it.
  • A hunter discharging a bow shall use reasonable care to ensure the arrow does not cross any property line and enter any property on which the hunter does not have permission to hunt. The discharge of an arrow across or over the boundaries of a property for which no permission has been given by the property owner shall create a rebuttable presumption that the use of the bow and arrow was not conducted with reasonable care.
  • Discharge of an arrow is permitted only in order to take a deer. No discharge of an arrow shall be made toward any animal other than a deer.
  • The hunter is responsible for the disposition of the deer carcass.
  • The hunter must obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting and shall carry a copy of the written permission at all times while hunting.
  • If a deer which has been shot with an arrow leaves the property on which the hunter has permission to hunt, the hunter shall obtain permission from any property owner over which he/she must travel to retrieve the deer.
  • It shall be unlawful to carry firearms while hunting with bow and arrow during the special archery seasons, except as allowed under state law.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the City by use of dog or dogs.
  • Earn A Buck rules are in effect. Antlerless deer killed during urban archery season count toward Earn A Buck.

Blacksburg

  • Archery equipment can only be used for hunting.
  • During seasons declared by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, archery hunting is permitted in the Agricultural and Forestal District, and the Rural Residential I zoning district on any lot of three (3) acres or more. Archery hunting is prohibited in all other zoning districts at all times.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from a stand elevated at least ten (10) feet from the ground.
  • No person shall discharge a bow within one hundred (100) yards of a dwelling, sidewalk, street, or roadway.
  • Hunters must get permission to hunt from individual property owners.
  • Please consult Blacksburg Town Code § 14-110.5 for complete details on Blacksburg’s hunting ordinance. A link to the Blacksburg Town Code is available at www.blacksburg.gov.

Blackstone

  • The discharge of archery equipment for the taking of deer is restricted to private property of three (3) acres or more, with written permission from the property owners.
  • Persons engaged in the taking of deer with archery equipment shall carry written permission from the property owner with him/her at all times.
  • Deer hunting and the discharge of archery equipment for the taking of deer are prohibited on town property.
  • The discharge of archery equipment for the taking of deer shall only be from stands elevated 10 feet or more above the level of surrounding land. The discharge of archery equipment by property owners in the Residential-Suburban District may be from elevated locations and elevated heights that are approved by the Town Manager.
  • No person shall discharge a bow within 100 yards of any dwelling, building, street, sidewalk, alley or roadway.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley roadway, public land or public place, or above or toward any structure or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • The hunter shall obtain permission to pursue a wounded deer upon the land of neighboring landowners.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the Town limits by use of a dog or dogs.
  • Deer carcasses must be disposed of promptly.

Chatham

  • No person shall discharge a bow from over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, near primary or secondary highways, roadway, near a school and town parks within the Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Except for target shooting, no person shall discharge a bow within one hundred (100) yards of an occupied dwelling, sidewalk, street, or roadway.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from a stand elevated at least ten (10) feet off the ground.
  • The hunter must obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting and shall carry a copy of the written permission at all times while hunting.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the Town by use of dog or dogs.
  • Deer carcasses shall be disposed of promptly; this disposal is the sole responsibility of the hunter.
  • Hunters must register with the Chatham Town Police to hunt on Town property.
  • Hunters, while hunting on Town property, are required to have a safety harness on at all times while in a tree stand.

Chesapeake

  • No person shall shoot an arrow from a bow in a manner that can be reasonably expected to result in the arrow impacting or crossing property of another without permission from the owner or tenant of such property.
  • The urban archery season is not open on Department-owned lands.
  • During the Firearms Deer Season, antlerless deer can only be taken on either-sex days. See “Seasons and Bag Limits”.

Chesterfield County

  • Except for target shooting, no person shall shoot an arrow from any bow within the county within 150 feet of a (i) business establishment; (ii) public building; (iii) public gathering; (iv) public meeting place; or (v) dwelling of another, except that the 150-foot limitation shall not apply if the dwelling owner or occupant has given permission. This limitation also shall not apply to shooting an arrow from a bow for the killing of deer on a kill permit (Code of Virginia § 29.1-529) on land of at least two acres that is zoned for agricultural use.
  • No person shall shoot a bow at or upon the property of another without the permission of the owner of the property.
  • For purposes of this section, “bow” includes all compound bows, crossbows, longbows and recurve bows having a peak draw weight of ten pounds or more.
  • During the Firearms Deer Season, antlerless deer can only be taken on either-sex days. See “Seasons and Bag Limits”.

Christiansburg

  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is restricted to land consisting of three (3) acres or more.
  • Hunters must register with the Christiansburg Police Department to hunt on town property.
  • Hunters must carry written permission from individual property owners to hunt.
  • Agreement must be made between the participant and landowner in reference to field dress.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Except for target shooting or by a property owner on their own property, archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated stand with a minimum height of 12 (twelve) feet.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses appropriately. Carcasses should be double bagged and will be taken by the local landfills.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the Town by use of dog or dogs.
  • Urban Archery Season is restricted to hunting antlerless deer only.

Colonial Heights

  • No hunting is permitted on City property.
  • Hunters must gain permission to hunt from property owners.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season and the general firearms deer season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Danville

  • Any person discharging a bow must carry written permission from the property owner(s).
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over, or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • No person shall discharge a bow unless from an elevated position of at least ten (10) feet above the ground.

Emporia

  • No special restrictions.

Fairfax County

  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season and the general firearms deer season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January), and the late special antlerless archery season (i.e., from the Monday following the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in April).
  • Hunters must gain written permission for posted property and verbal for un-posted property.
  • It shall be unlawful to discharge an 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, fee holder, or tenant.
  • Earn A Buck rules are in effect. Antlerless deer killed during urban archery season count toward Earn A Buck.

Farmville

  • Hunters must gain written permission for posted property and verbal for un-posted property.
  • It shall be unlawful to discharge an 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, fee holder, or tenant.

City of Franklin

  • No special restrictions.

Fredericksburg

  • No hunting is permitted on city property within the city limits.

Front Royal

 

  • Approval from landowner(s) of a total aggregate, contiguous area of one-half (1/2) acres at minimum is required to conduct archery hunting.
  • Any person discharging archery equipment shall, at all times while engaged in such activity, have in their possession written permission from the landowner(s) to discharge such weapon on the private property.
  • No person shall discharge archery equipment from, over, or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public place within the Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • No person shall discharge archery equipment unless from an elevated position of at least ten (10) feet above the surrounding terrain. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within one hundred (100) feet of any dwelling except with written consent of the owner of said structure.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within one hundred (100) feet of any school property line. Use of archery equipment on school property for school sanctioned activities shall be excluded from this restriction.
  • Any person discharging archery equipment shall use reasonable care to ensure the arrow does not cross any property line and enter any property on which the hunter does not have permission to hunt.
  • The hunter is responsible for the disposition of the animal carcass to the local/regional landfill. Carcasses shall be double bagged. Field dressing of the animal shall be by agreement between the landowner and the hunter. No field dressing of the animal shall occur on Town owned property without express written permission from the Town Manager or designee.
  • No person shall hunt within the Town limits by use of dog or dogs.
  • Earn A Buck rules are in effect. Antlerless deer killed during urban archery season count toward Earn A Buck.

Galax

  • Deer hunting and/or the discharge of archery equipment on City property are prohibited.
  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is prohibited within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling.
  • Hunting with bow and arrow is permitted on any residentially zoned parcel which consists of three (3) acres or more, or parcels with concurrent boundaries which in combination equals three acres or more. Archery hunting is prohibited in all other zoning districts at all times. A zoning map can be found at www.galaxva.com by selecting the “Galax Map” link at the top of the webpage and then selecting “Layers” at the top of the map. Check the “Zoning” box and the map will show all zoning districts.
  • It is unlawful to hunt except from a stand elevated a minimum of twelve (12) feet above the ground. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, or public place, or towards any building or dwelling in such a manner that the arrow may strike it.
  • A hunter discharging a bow shall use reasonable care to ensure the arrow does not cross any property line and enter any property on which the hunter does not have permission to hunt. The discharge of an arrow across or over the boundaries of a property for which no permission has been given by the property owner shall create a rebuttable presumption that the use of the bow and arrow was not conducted with reasonable care.
  • Discharge of an arrow is permitted only in order to take a deer. No discharge of an arrow shall be made toward any animal other than a deer.
  • The hunter is responsible for the disposition of the deer carcass to the local regional landfill. Carcasses shall be double bagged. Field dressing of deer shall be by agreement between the landowner and hunter.
  • The hunter must obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting and shall carry a copy of the written permission at all times while hunting.
  • If a deer which has been shot with an arrow leaves the property on which the hunter has permission to hunt, the hunter shall obtain permission from any property owner over which he/she must travel to retrieve the deer.
  • It shall be unlawful to carry firearms while hunting with bow and arrow during the special archery seasons, except as allowed under state law.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the City by use of dog or dogs.

Town of Halifax

  • The landowner is required to obtain an annual permit from the Halifax Police Department in order to discharge archery equipment for this purpose.
  • Persons discharging a bow must have written permission from the landowner.
  • Discharge of a bow shall be from an elevated position at least 12 feet above the ground.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within the town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it, nor shall a person discharge a bow over or across private property of another without permission.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the town by use of dog or dogs.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses appropriately.

Hopewell

  • Discharge of a bow is permitted only on a) city property designated by the city manager as an “archery area” and /or b) any private property containing at least ¾ of an acre of land.
  • Private property on which archery hunting occurs must be registered with the Hopewell Police Department.
  • Written permission from the property owner must be carried while hunting.
  • Discharge of a bow is permitted only from a stand elevated at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • It is unlawful to hunt within 30 yards of a dwelling, sidewalk, street or roadway.
  • No person shall hunt or traverse an area with bow and arrow that is within 100 yards of the property line of a public school or a city park except in those areas specifically designated as archery areas.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the city limits by use of a dog or dogs.

Hurt

  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is prohibited within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling.
  • No hunting on private property without written permission from the landowner which must be carried on the person at all times when hunting.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from elevated stands.
  • Hunters must register and sign a release at Town Hall, with the Town Manager or designee, to hunt on Town-owned property.
  • Hunters, while hunting on Town owned property, are required to have a safety harness on at all times while in a tree stand.

Independence

  • No special restrictions.

Irvington

  • No special restrictions.

James City County

  • No special restrictions.
  • To locate public land available for hunting, please click here.

Kenbridge

  • No person shall discharge a bow unless from an elevated treestand position of at least ten (10) feet above the ground. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such a platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. All treestands utilized for hunting deer must be removed from the subject property from April 1 until September 1 of each year.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land within the town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses appropriately.
  • Hunters must carry written permission from the landowner to hunt.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the town by use of dog or dogs.
  • Any person violating these provisions shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Lexington

  • The landowner(s) must apply for a free annual permit from the Lexington Police Department Special Enforcement Officer to have their property included in this program.
  • Hunting is restricted to land that is one or more acres which is either owned or leased with permission from the landlord. Properties may be aggregated to meet the acreage requirement.
  • Hunting shall be from an elevated tree stand only with a minimum height of 12 feet.
  • There shall be no hunting within 100 yards of a dwelling, street, sidewalk, alley, public land or public place.
  • No hunter shall discharge a bow over any street, sidewalk, alley, public land or public place.
  • Hunters shall be responsible for disposing of deer carcasses appropriately.
  • The hunter shall obtain permission to track or retrieve a deer from the land of neighboring landowners.
  • When hunting, all hunters must have in their possession written permission from the landowner.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the city limits by use of a dog or dogs.

Lynchburg

  • A city ordinance prohibits discharge of a bow or other weapons except on properties where the owners have been issued a kill permit, shotgun discharge permit, or bow discharge permit. The landowner – not the hunter – must annually apply for the appropriate permit.
  • A permit may be issued to the landowner if the Chief Animal Warden deems the property safe for the discharge of archery equipment or shotguns. No acreage minimums are required for issuance of bow permits. A shotgun discharge permit requires 25 acres or more.
  • When hunting, all hunters must have in their possession written permission from the landowner and a copy of the hunting permit issued to the landowner by the city.
  • There shall be no hunting on any city owned property.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated tree stand located at least twelve (12) feet above the ground on approved properties.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within the city limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • No person shall hunt deer in the city by use of dog or dogs.

Martinsville

  • Hunters must obtain written permission from the property owner.
  • No firearms other than a bow and arrow may be in the hunter’s possession.
  • Discharge of an arrow is permitted only in order to take a deer. No discharge of an arrow shall be made toward any person, any animal other than a deer, any structure or any vehicle in such a manner as the arrow may strike such person, animal, structure or vehicle, nor shall a discharge be made in such a manner that the arrow may strike in any roadway.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from temporary platforms elevated at least seven feet above the ground. Any disabled hunter unable to hunt from such a platform must comply with all regulations established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
  • No pursuit of an injured or wounded deer shall be permitted upon the land of neighboring landowners unless the hunter has first obtained permission from that landowner. No field dressing of deer shall be permitted without the permission of the landowner.

Pearisburg

  • No person shall discharge a bow within 100 yards of a dwelling, over or across a sidewalk, street, or roadway within the Town limits.
  • Hunters must get and carry written permission to hunt from individual property owners.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses appropriately. No field dressing of deer shall be permitted without the permission of the landowner.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated tree stand located at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is restricted to land consisting of 2 acres or more that is approved by the Town Manager and the Chief of Police.
  • No hunting is permitted on Town property.

Poquoson

  • No special restrictions.

Town of Pulaski

  • No hunting on Town property.
  • Hunters must carry written permission from individual property owners to hunt.
  • Agreement must be made between the participant and the landowner in reference to field dress.
  • No person may discharge a bow within 100 yards of any dwelling, building, street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, public land or public place within Town limits. Bows may be discharged within 100 yards of any dwelling only with the written permission of the landowner to be carried by the hunter as noted above.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated stand with a minimum height of twelve (12) feet.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses appropriately. Carcasses should be double bagged and will be taken by the local landfills.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the Town by use of dog or dogs.

Radford

  • Discharge of archery equipment within city limits is only permitted for hunting.
  • On private property, discharge of archery equipment is restricted to parcels at least six (6) acres in size where permission has been obtained from the landowner.
  • On city property, hunting is restricted to lands specifically identified on a map available from the Assistant City Manager, subject to written permission from the city.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated tree stand located at least ten (10) feet above the ground.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 100 feet of any highway, alley, roadway, sidewalk, or designated foot trail.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 300 feet of any residence.
  • Arrows may not be shot in the direction of an occupied dwelling, highway, alley, roadway, sidewalk, or designated foot trail.

Richlands

  • Only antlerless deer may be taken during the Urban Archery Season.
  • Hunters must obtain and carry written permission from individual property owners to hunt.
  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is restricted to land consisting of five (5) acres or more that is approved by the Chief of Police.
  • Agreement must be made between the participant and landowner in reference to field dress.
  • Except for target shooting, no person shall discharge a bow within 100 yards of dwellings.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated stand with a minimum height of 10 (ten) feet.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.

City of Richmond

  • No hunting is permitted on City property.
  • Hunters must gain permission to hunt from property owners.
  • This season does not authorize the use of firearms for hunting deer within the City.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge arrows from a bow or crossbow in any street or public alley of the City.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge an arrow at or upon the property of another without permission.

Roanoke County

  • Written permission from individual property owners must be in possession when discharging a bow.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, near primary or secondary highways, roadway, or public land or public place or near a school and county/town/regional parks within the County limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • No person may discharge a bow unless from an elevated position of at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in hunting with a bow or to discharge arrows from bows within 100 yards of a dwelling house or occupied building not his or her own.
  • The urban archery season is not open on National Forests or Department-owned lands.
  • Earn A Buck rules are in effect. Antlerless deer killed during urban archery season count toward Earn A Buck.

Rocky Mount

  • Hunting is restricted to parcels of private property where written permission has been obtained from the landowner.
  • Hunting is prohibited on school or church property.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is permitted only for the taking of deer.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated tree stand located at least ten (10) feet above the ground.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 100 feet of any highway, street, alley, roadway, sidewalk, or designated foot trail.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 300 feet of any residence.
  • Arrows may not be shot in the direction of any residence, highway, street, alley, roadway, sidewalk, or designated foot trail.
  • Firearms cannot be used or carried while deer hunting.

Saltville

  • To hunt on town property, a hunter must sign a waiver obtainable at the town manager’s office.

Smithfield

  • Hunting can only occur in certain zones, so please check with the town GIS office or the Police Department.
  • Hunting is restricted to parcels of private property where written permission has been obtained from the landowner.
  • Hunting is prohibited on school or church property and within 100 feet thereof.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is permitted only for the taking of deer.
  • Archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated tree stand located at least ten (10) feet above the ground.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 100 feet of any highway, street, alley, roadway, sidewalk, or designated foot trail.
  • Discharge of archery equipment is not permitted within 100 feet of any residence except with written consent of the owner of said residence.
  • Arrows may not be shot in a manner that would cause them to strike an unintended target.
  • Firearms cannot be used or carried while deer hunting.

Staunton

  • When hunting, all hunters must have in their possession valid written permission from the landowner.
  • Agreement must be made in writing between the hunter and landowner in reference to field dress.
  • Deer carcasses shall be disposed of immediately.
  • No hunting is allowed on city property.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within the City limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it or endanger life or property nor shall a person discharge a bow over or across the private property of another without prior permission.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the city by use of dog or dogs.

Stuart

  • No special restrictions.

Suffolk

  • No special restrictions.
  • During the Firearms Deer Season, antlerless deer can only be taken on either-sex days, which may differ east and west of the Dismal Swamp line. See “Seasons and Bag Limits”.

Town of Tazewell

  • The owner of the property to be hunted, which must be at least 5 acres, shall apply for a permit from the Chief of Police.
  • Hunters shall keep a copy of the permit on their person when hunting an approved property.
  • It is unlawful to hunt except from a stand elevated a minimum of twelve (12) feet above the ground.
  • It is unlawful to hunt within one hundred (100) yards of any school or residence property.

West Point

  • No special restrictions.

Winchester

  • Discharge of a bow is permitted only on land that is five (5) acres or more of continuous area, approved by the City Manager and the Chief of Police.
  • The landowner(s) must apply for an annual permit from the City Manager to use their property for purpose of discharging archery equipment and have identified their properties as such by signage approved by the Chief of Police.
  • Any person discharging a bow shall, at all times, while engaged in such activity, have in his possession written permission from the landowner(s) to discharge such a weapon on his premises.
  • Discharge of a bow must be done from an elevated stand with a minimum height of ten (10) feet.
  • No person shall discharge a bow within one hundred (100) yards of any dwelling, building, street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, public land or public place within City limits.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over, or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, or public land or public place within City limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • No person shall hunt deer within the City limits by use of a dog or dogs.
  • Deer carcasses must be disposed of appropriately.
  • The hunter and the landowner(s) shall agree in reference to field dress.
  • Earn A Buck rules are in effect. Antlerless deer killed during urban archery season count toward Earn A Buck.

Wytheville

  • Hunters must carry written permission from individual property owners to hunt.
  • No person shall discharge a bow from, over or across any street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, public land or public place within Town limits or toward any building or dwelling in such a manner that an arrow may strike it.
  • Hunters must dispose of deer carcasses immediately and appropriately.

York County

  • No special restrictions.

Background Information

Human-deer conflicts are increasing in urban areas throughout the Commonwealth. Numerous cities, towns, and urbanized counties have requested assistance regarding damage caused by deer to vehicles and personal property. Residential, commercial, and industrial development has altered the landscape of Virginia. In many cases, more favorable habitat conditions for white-tailed deer populations have resulted, and deer populations have flourished. Additionally, many jurisdictions have enacted local ordinances to prohibit the discharge of firearms. This creates large tracts of land that act as refuges (sanctuaries) for unregulated growth of deer populations.

The objective of the urban archery season is to reduce human/deer conflicts in urban areas by concentrating archery-hunting pressure in urban/suburban areas. Archery deer hunting is an effective, quiet method for harvesting deer in urban settings. The concept is modeled after a successful urban archery season initiated several years ago in West Virginia. Additionally, urban archery seasons have been used as an effective deer management option for numerous years in several Midwestern states.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries established an urban archery season during 2002 to assist towns and cities across the Commonwealth with urban deer management issues. The urban archery season gives localities a means to reduce deer populations within their limits while at the same time providing hunting recreation. The regulation that establishes this season is permissive, and the season is available to every incorporated city and town in Virginia and to every county with a human population density of 300 persons per square mile or more. Therefore, the season is only “open” in those towns, cities, and counties that requested to participate in writing.

Any locality participating in the urban archery season will remain in the program until it notifies the Department otherwise. Any city, town, or county no longer participating in this season shall submit by certified letter to the department prior to April 1 notice of its intent not to participate in the special urban archery season. On the other hand, a locality that is not currently participating, but wishes to do so, shall submit by certified letter to the department prior to April 1 notice of its intent to participate in the urban archery season.

To make this season a success, urban archery deer hunters are asked to be extra careful regarding safety, to respect the property rights of all landowners, and to report any questionable behavior or violations they may witness. Because many urban archers may be hunting on small acreages and/or near dwellings, they are reminded to pay close attention to property lines and to notify adjacent landowners or tenants as a courtesy before they hunt. State law does not allow a hunter to follow a wounded animal on to another person’s property without the landowners’ permission.

We as an agency are very pleased with this season that provides a permissive proactive approach for urban deer management to local governments. Hunters or citizens who have questions or comments about the urban archery season are asked to call Nelson Lafon, Deer Project Coordinator, at nelson.lafon@dgif.virginia.gov or (540) 569-0023.