The Radford Hunt: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Radford Hunt?

You can apply for the Radford Hunt at Go Outdoors Virginia.

  1. Online (Available July 1, 2018)
  2. Phone and mail-in applications are no longer being accepted for any of the Department’s Quota Hunts

What is the deadline for my application?

Your application must be received on or before July 31, 2018 to be included in the drawing.

Can I use last year’s application to apply for the hunt?

No. You must use the 2017 hunt application.

What are the 2018 hunting season dates for the Radford Hunts?

  • October 13: Archery, antlerless only
  • October 20: Archery, either-sex
  • November 7: Shotgun, antlerless only (This is a special DPOP hunt, essentially the same as our regular season hunts)
  • November 14: Shotgun antlerless only (This is a special DPOP hunt, essentially the same as our regular season hunts)
  • November 17: Shotgun, either-sex
  • November 24: Shotgun, either- sex
  • November 28: Shotgun, either- sex
  • December 1: Shotgun, antlerless only

How many applications does DGIF receive for the Radford hunts?

Between about 1,000 and 1,300.

How many hunters are drawn for the bow hunts?

50 for each hunt.

How many hunters are drawn for the gun hunts?

30 for each hunt.

Do I have to have a Hunter Safety Course in order to shotgun hunt at Radford?

Yes. Starting in 2008 the Department of Defense requires that anyone shotgun hunting on the facility must have taken a Hunter Safety Class at some time in the past.

Does the Radford Arsenal require hunters who are drawn in to submit a Background Check?

Yes. Any Virginia resident who is drawn to hunt at the Radford Arsenal must submit a criminal background check from the Virginia State Police. If you are not a Virginia resident you must submit a criminal background check from the State Police in your state of residence. If the State Police in your state of residence do not conduct state-wide criminal background checks please contact Radford Security at 540-731-5787.  Only those who are drawn to hunt are required to have a check performed and submitted to Radford Security. If you are drawn for the hunt, you will receive information about obtaining a background check in the hunt packet that will be provided to you. You do not need to have a check performed in order to apply for the hunt.

Department of the Army Security Statement: You may be prohibited from hunting on the Radford Army Ammunition Plant if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Recent conviction of other types of misdemeanors may also disqualify you from hunting on the installation depending on the nature of the misdemeanor conviction. For further information on Radford Security Policy Only contact 540-731-5787.

Do I have to participate in a doe hunt before I am allowed to apply for a buck hunt?

Yes. Hunters must alternate between antlerless (doe) and either-sex (buck) hunts. Your first hunt must be antlerless. Once you have participated in an antlerless hunt the next hunt you are qualified to apply for is an either-sex (buck) hunt. Once you have hunted an either-sex hunt, your next hunt must be antlerless again, and so on.

How does the “point system” for the computer drawing work?

Each year a hunter applies he/she is awarded one point. Points accumulate until a hunter is drawn to participate in a hunt. Once a hunter has participated in a hunt his/her points roll back to zero and the point accumulation process begins again with the next year’s application.

Why do you use a point system?

Each year about 1,300 hunters put in for the Radford hunt. Using a point system ensures that each hunter who continues to apply will eventually get to hunt. The computer draws from those applicants who have the highest number of points first. Using a point system takes most of the “luck” factor out of the system.

Can I apply to hunt with a buddy?

Yes, you can apply with a co-applicant on the same application. When applying with a co-applicant for an either-sex hunt, BOTH applicants’ most recent hunt must have been for antlerless deer. When applying with a co-applicant for any hunt, standing for the drawing will be based on whichever of the two applicants has the lower number of points.

How long does it take to get into a hunt?

It varies depending on how many applicants we get in a given year.

Can I choose my own hunting date?

No. Hunters are assigned hunting dates by computer drawing.

What if I cannot hunt on the day I am picked for?

Please contact the VDGIF Blacksburg office at (540) 961-8304 as soon as possible.

Can I use a portable tree stand?

Portable tree stands may be used during archery hunts only. Portable stands used during archery hunts must be placed within 50 yards of the permanent stand the hunter is assigned to. Screw in tree steps may be used for portable bow stands.

How do I get to Gate 20?

Successful applicants will be notified by mail and will receive a map to Gate 20.

Can I bring in a two-way radio to talk to my buddy?


Can I bring in a cellular phone?


Can I bring in a camera?


Can I bring a video camera?


Can I bring a rangefinder?

Yes. You are encouraged to use a rangefinder.

Can I bring a chemical hand warmer?

Yes, you can bring chemical hand warmers. However, no spark or flame producing hand warmers are allowed.

Can I hunt in the same stand as my hunting buddy/son/wife/husband/daughter?

No. Each hunter is assigned his or her own stand. Only one hunter may occupy a stand. However, hunters under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult in the same stand. The adult must possess a valid hunting license.

What time is check in?

Check in is at 4:30 am at Gate 20.

What is the bag limit?

The bag limit is one deer per day.

Do I have to use a buck tag off my license?

Yes. If you kill a buck you must use a buck tag off your license.

Do I have to use a doe tag off my license?

No. Special doe tags (DMAP) will be provided for antlerless deer killed.

What are the antler criteria for shooting a buck?

Quality deer rules require that bucks harvested must have a 15.5-inch or greater maximum outside spread.

What time is the hunt over?

Hunters will be picked up at their stands by 4:00 pm.

Can I leave early?

Yes. You can make arrangements to leave early on the day of your hunt.

Can I scout the area before the hunt?

No. The RAAP is a restricted entry area and hunters may enter the facility only on the day of their hunt.

What kind of skills test do bow hunters have to take?

Bow hunters must pass a skills test in order to hunt. Applicants who are drawn to bow hunt will be notified by mail regarding locations where skills tests will be offered. Hunters must be able to shoot 2 of 3 arrows into a 9-inch target at 20 and 30 yards in order to qualify.

Can I go out of the facility during my hunt and then come back in and continue hunting?


Are crossbows allowed?

Yes, crossbows are allowed.

Can I hunt with a rifle?

No. Gun hunters must use a 20 gauge or larger shotgun. Shotgun slugs are the only ammunition allowed for gun hunters.

Can my shotgun have a scope on it?

Yes. We encourage hunters to use a scope on their shotgun.