Virginia.gov

Beaver

  • No Kill Permit required from VDGIF.
  • Landowner may kill or have killed when causing damage.
  • No Sunday hunting or killing is permitted.
  • You must contact the Commonwealth Attorney's office in your county/city for information regarding legal methods of animal removal. Local ordinances are usually more restrictive than state laws.
  • There is a continuous open trapping season in the following localities: Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York Counties.

The beaver is North America's largest rodent. Adult beavers normally weigh 40 to 50 pounds, but exceptionally large animals may weigh up to 80 pounds. They range in length from 35 to 50 inches, including the tail, which normally is about 10 inches long. Beavers today are found throughout North America. Here in Virginia, biologists believe beavers are present in every county. Beavers are important in that they create new habitats that benefit a variety of other animals. Their dams slow the flow of moving waters and allow other wildlife and plant species to colonize this modified ecosystem. Ducks and other waterfowl, as well as many reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic insects, are attracted to beaver ponds. However, the impaired flow and removal by beavers of the woody vegetation along the shoreline can raise the water's temperature and allow more sediment to collect behind the dam. Lower dissolved oxygen levels and higher water temperatures may favor some organisms, but at the expense of others (e.g., trout and aquatic insects dependent upon cool, flowing waters). Physical damage caused by beavers in the Southeast is estimated in the millions of dollars annually. Examples of this damage include timber and agricultural crop loss, damage to roads, septic systems and other property by flooding, and destruction of ornamental plants used in landscaping.

One way to discourage a beaver is by wrapping trees in chicken wire or other heavy metal sheeting or wire. The tree must be wrapped to a height of 4 feet to be effective against a full grown beaver. If this does not solve the problem, landowners, or their agents, may destroy beavers which are causing damage by any lawful method without obtaining a kill permit.

Moving beavers to other areas is not permitted under Virginia Code.

More information regarding beavers: Human-Wildlife: Beaver