Virginia.gov

Urban Archery Season

September 7 through October 4 and January 6 through March 29, 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, Radford, Richmond, Staunton, Suffolk, and Winchester; and, in the towns of Altavista, Amherst, Bedford, Blacksburg, Blackstone, Christiansburg, Farmville, Halifax, Independence, Irvington, Kenbridge, Pearisburg, Pulaski, Richlands, Rocky Mount, Saltville, Smithfield, Stuart, Tazewell, and West Point; and, in the counties of Chesterfield, Fairfax, James City, Roanoke (except on National Forest and Department-owned lands), and York. New participants for the 2013-2014 season include the City of Galax and James City County. NOTE: 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)

  • Only antlerless deer may be taken.
  • 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.
  • Licenses, bag limits, and tagging requirements for the urban archery season are the same as for the other archery seasons in Virginia. You must purchase an archery license to hunt during any special archery season. See "License Requirements".
  • 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, 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.
  • You must obtain permission to hunt from the landowner. You must also obtain permission to pursue or retrieve deer from neighboring landowners. Due to the small size of parcels and proximity of residences, you or the landowner should notify adjacent property owners or tenants, as a courtesy, before hunting.
  • Crossbows are defined by law as a type of bow and are therefore legal during urban archery season. However, to use a crossbow during any special archery season, you must also purchase a crossbow license. See "License Requirements".
  • The season bag limit for deer cannot be exceeded unless bonus deer permits are purchased. See "Bonus Deer Permits".
  • Most localities participating in the urban archery season also allow archery hunting during other traditional deer seasons; i.e., early archery season, general firearms season, and late archery season (see below). Antlered deer may be taken during these traditional seasons, provided that the locality of interest allows archery hunting during these seasons. Remember that only antlerless deer may be taken during the urban archery season.
  • Bucks that drop antlers prior to the conclusion of the urban archery season are considered "antlerless" and may be legally harvested and tagged with an antlerless-only deer tag.
  • Deer must be checked by calling 1-866-GOT-GAME, online, or at a big game check station.

Local Urban Archery Restrictions

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.
  • Hunter's, while hunting on Town owned property, are required to have a safety harness on at all times while in a tree stand.
  • 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).

Amherst

  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e. from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January). Hunters must abide by all applicable sections of the Virginia State Code and Virginia Hunting Regulations (including bag limits and tagging/checking requirements).
  • 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

  • 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).
  • 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.

Chesapeake

  • The urban archery season is not open on Department-owned lands.
  • 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).

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.
  • 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).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season (as set by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries) and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).
  • 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.
  • 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).

Emporia

  • 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).

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).
  • 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.

Farmville

  • 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).
  • 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.

Franklin

  • 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).

Fredericksburg

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

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e. from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Halifax

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).

Independence

  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Irvington

  • 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).

James City 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).

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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January)

Lynchburg

  • A city ordinance prohibits discharge of a bow or other weapon 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.
  • Where property damage from deer is verifiable, a kill permit may be issued to the landowner if the Chief Animal Warden deems the property safe for the discharge of archery equipment or shotguns. Archery hunters wishing to assist must be specifically named on the kill permit. No acreage minimums are required for issuance of kill permits.
  • Where property damage from deer is not verifiable, archery hunting is still an option on properties where the owners have been issued a bow discharge permit or a shotgun discharge permit (25 or more acres).
  • When hunting, all hunters must have in their possession written permission from the landowner.
  • There shall be no hunting on any city 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.
  • 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).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).
  • 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

  • In addition to the Urban Archery Season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Sunday in January).
  • 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.

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.
  • In addition to the Urban Archery Season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season (as set by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries) and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Sunday in January).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

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.
  • 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).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).
  • The urban archery season is not open on National Forests or Department-owner lands.

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Saltville

  • To hunt on town property, a hunter must sign a waiver obtainable at the town manager's office.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

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.
  • 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).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Stuart

  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

Suffolk

  • 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).

Tazewell

  • Archery deer hunting in Tazewell is restricted to the urban archery season.
  • Hunters must receive written permission from the property owner.
  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is prohibited within 500 yards of a school or dwelling.
  • Except for target shooting, discharge of archery equipment is restricted to land that is a minimum of 10 (ten) acres.
  • Except for target shooting, archery equipment can only be discharged from an elevated stand with a minimum height of 12 feet.

West Point

  • 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).

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.
  • In addition to the urban archery season, archery deer hunting is also allowed during the early archery season, the general firearms deer season, and during the late archery season (i.e., from the first Saturday in October through the first Saturday in January).

York

  • 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).

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 during, 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.