You could be anxiously anticipating the Virginia Deer Season in 2023 if you like hunting or being outside. It’s important to keep up with the most recent rules and information for this year’s hunting season since there are many different hunting opportunities and locales. We will provide an overview of the Virginia Deer Season for 2023 on this page, including key dates, bag restrictions, rules, and any exceptions or extra hunting possibilities. So let’s get started with everything you need to know for a productive and fun deer hunting season in Virginia. So get your gear, get ready to explore the woods, and let’s get started!
Virginia Deer Season 2023
Virginia’s deer hunting season is a favorite time of year for hunters of all ages and abilities. Early November through the end of December marks the start of the hunting season. The longest season is the archery one, lasting from September through January. There are rules requiring hunters to wear blaze orange apparel during the gun season and have a valid hunting license and deer tag, and bag limits vary based on the kind of hunting.
Archery SeasonDatesAllowed Deer Early Archery SeasonOctober 1 – November 18Either sex Late Archery SeasonsDecember 4 – January 7Either sex December 1 – January 7 December 18 – January 7 Urban Archery Deer SeasonsSeptember 3 – September 30Antlerless only Urban Archery Deer SeasonsJanuary 8 – March 26, 2023Antlerless only NOVA Late Archery SeasonMarch 27 – April 30, 2023Antlerless only
Muzzleloader Deer Season NameDatesEither-sex Deer Hunting Days Early Muzzleloader SeasonNovember 5 through November 18November 5 through November 18 Late Muzzleloader Season (East)December 17 through January 7December 17 through January 7 January 2 through January 7 7-Jan Late Muzzleloader Season (West)December 17 through January 7December 17 through January 7 January 2 through January 7 7-Jan
Firearms Deer Seasons
Firearms Deer SeasonDates Firearms Deer SeasonsNov. 19 – Dec. 3 Nov. 19 – Dec. 3 Nov. 26, Dec. 2-3 Nov. 19 – Jan. 7 (full season) Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Jan. 2 – Jan. 7 Nov. 26, Nov. 28 – Dec. 3 Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 5 – Dec. 17 Oct. 8, 15, Nov. 18 – Nov. 30 Nov. 19 – Dec. 17 Nov. 19 – Dec. 17 (full season) Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 – Jan. 7 Nov. 19 – Dec. 3 Early and Late Antlerless Only Firearms Deer SeasonsEarly: September 3 through September 30 Late: January 8, 2023 through March 26, 2023
Note: You may check the dwr.virginia.gov website for the season regions for the aforementioned hunting dates.
VA Deer Bag Limits
LocationDaily Bag LimitLicense Year Bag LimitAntlered Deer LimitAntlerless Deer LimitOther Limitations East of Blue Ridge (except on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties)263At least 3On National Forest areas and Department-owned and -managed lands, no more than 1 deer each day. Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and in all cities and towns east of the Blue Ridge except in the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia BeachUnlimitedNo more than 3 antlered deer in a license year-On National Forest areas and Department-owned and -managed lands, no more than 1 deer each day. West of Blue Ridge and on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties252At least 3On National Forest areas and Department-owned and -managed lands, no more than 1 deer each day. All cities and towns west of the Blue RidgeUnlimitedMaximum 2 antlered deer in a license year-On National Forest areas and Department-owned and -managed lands, no more than 1 deer each day. Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, or Rockbridge County-23 with at least 1 buck having 4 antler points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlersOn National Forest areas and Department-owned and -managed lands, no more than 1 deer each day. Statewide Elk Hunting1 elk per day-
VA Deer Licenses
License TypeAgeFees Resident Sportsman’s License16 and older$100.00 Resident Youth Combination Hunting License12 to 15$16.00 Resident Hunting License* 1-year license16 and older$23.00 2-year license16 and older$44.00 3-year license16 and older$65.00 4-year license16 and older$86.00 Resident Senior Citizen Hunting License$9.00 Resident County or City Hunting License16 and older$16.00 Nonresident Youth Combination Hunting LicenseUnder age 16$31.00 Additional Requirements (may be required with a resident hunting license) Resident Deer License$23.00 Resident Junior Deer License12 to 15$8.50 Nonresident Deer License Valid July 1 through June 30 Age 16 and older$86.00 Age 12 to 15$16.00 Under age 12$13.00
Virginia requires a hunting license and a deer/turkey license from July 1 to June 30 to hunt deer. National Forest, State Forest Use, and Bonus Deer Permits may also be needed.
- Virginia hunters need a hunting and archery license to shoot deer with bows. Deer/turkey licenses, National Forest Permits, State Forest Use Permits, and Bonus Deer Permits may be needed.
- Hunting and muzzleloading licenses are needed to hunt deer in Virginia during muzzleloader season. Deer/turkey licenses, National Forest Permits, State Forest Use Permits, and Bonus Deer Permits may be needed. Archery or muzzleloading licenses are not needed for firearms deer season archery or muzzleloading hunting.
- Deer tags indicate the hunted species. Both antlered and antlerless deer may use either-sex deer tags, but only antlerless deer can utilize antlerless-only tags.
- The animal must be marked with an either-sex deer tag and have antlers visible above the hairline to be classified as an antlered deer.
- Antlerless deer may only be hunted on either-sex days in the archery, muzzleloading, and firearms seasons, save for children and apprentice hunters. They do button bucks and shed-antlered bucks. Tags for antlerless deer are either either-sex or antlerless-only. Antlerless deer include antlered deer that have lost their antlers or have antlers below the hairline.
- Virginia resident and nonresident hunting permits are good for one year from purchase, except those valid from July 1 to June 30. These include the Virginia migrating waterfowl conservation stamp, bear, deer/turkey, and package licenses. Lifetime and two-year apprentice hunting permits are available. The Virginia Wildlife website lists hunter education requirements. Hunting licenses and permits cannot be altered, changed, borrowed, or lent.
- Deer hunting east of the Blue Ridge has a two-per-day and six-per-license-year bag limit. Unless otherwise stated, the six-deer quota must include at least three antlerless deer and no more than three antlered deer. Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and all cities and towns east of the Blue Ridge save Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach have no deer bag restriction. A license year may only kill three-antlered deer. One deer per day is allowed on National Forest and Department-owned and managed properties east of the Blue Ridge. Before hunting, no bag limits and other rules to be safe and legal.
- A license year limits the number of antlered bucks killed in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, and Rockbridge counties. In these counties, a hunter must kill two antlered bucks with at least four one-inch antler points on one side.
- Antlered deer must have at least four one-inch antler points on one side to be lawfully taken in the Flippo-Gentry WMA and Featherfin WMA. These kiosks explain APR bounds.
- Bonus Deer Permits last year. Only antlerless deer may utilize these licenses on private and permitted public properties. Bonus Deer Permits are applicable only on authorized either-sex deer hunting days for all archery (including urban archery), muzzleloader, and firearm deer seasons (including early and late antlerless-only). These licenses let hunters capture more antlerless deer without exceeding the daily bag limit. Bonus Deer Permits are invalid in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties and on National Forest and Department-owned property. Hunters may buy unlimited Bonus Deer Permits.
- Tree stand hunting requires a full-body safety harness. Keep tied to the tree when off the ground and limit tether slack to lessen fall injury risk. Plan for emergency self-rescue. Use a haul rope to bring your unloaded rifle or bow into the tree stand. Crossbows may be lifted while cocked, but don’t load them until you’re in the stand and ready to hunt. Maintain manufactured tree stands per manufacturer recommendations. Homemade stands may collapse with time, causing accidents. To guarantee your tree stand is safe, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Even well-used tree stands may need to be fixed and recalled.
- Deers have a two-day and five-license-year bag restriction west of the Blue Ridge and on National Forest properties in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties. Unless otherwise stated, the five-deer limit requires at least three antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer. All cities and municipalities west of the Blue Ridge have an unrestricted daily deer bag limit, but only two antlered deer each license year. National Forest and Department-owned/managed properties west of the Blue Ridge allow one deer per day. If a deer hunter kills two antlered bucks in Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Highland, or Rockbridge County in a license year, at least one must have four antler points, one inch or longer, on one side. One elk per day is allowed statewide.
- Even license-exempt deer hunters have bag limits. Bonus deer permits or DCAP, DMAP, and DPOP permits enable hunters on private and approved public properties to capture more antlerless deer than the license-year bag limit. The daily and season bag limits do not apply to these exceptional deer licenses. Hunters with these special licenses may take more antlerless deer than the bag limit without violating the law.
Questions about the Virginia Deer hunting season