Virginia Deer season

John Lewis

2024 Virginia Deer Season New Hunting Dates & Rules!

deer season, virginia

This comprehensive guide covers 2024 schedule for deer activities in Virginia. Everything from important dates and bag restrictions to permit requirements and major rule changes is here. Grab your binoculars, sharpen your broadheads, and get ready to discreetly stalk the perfect buck or doe!

Key Hunting Dates for the 2024 Virginia Deer Season


  • General: September 2nd through October 6th, 2024 (Statewide)
  • Urban Archery: January 7th, 2024 through March 31st, 2024 (Incorporated limits of specific cities and towns; see regulations for details)


  • Early Antlerless-Only: October 28th through November 2nd, 2024 (Limited permits required; specific counties listed in regulations)
  • Any-Weapon: November 4th through November 9th, 2024 (Statewide)
  • Late Antlerless-Only: November 25th through December 2nd, 2024 (Several counties; see regulations for details)
  • Muzzleloader: December 2nd through December 7th, 2024 (Limited permits required; specific counties listed in regulations)

Bag Limits

  • Archery: Two, with only one buck permitted.
  • Firearm: Four, with only two bucks permitted.

Rule Changes and Regulations: Stay Informed

  • Increased Firearm days in Roanoke County: Good news for Roanoke County hunters! The private land firearm season has been extended from two to four weeks, offering more opportunities to bag your buck within the scenic landscapes of the region.
  • Early and Late Antlerless-Only: Several counties, including Bedford and York, introduce new early and late antlerless-only firearm seasons. These focused hunts provide targeted opportunities for doe management and population control.
  • Urban Archery Game Expansion: The urban archery expands to include the towns of Winchester, Altavista, Blacksburg, Boones Mill, Buchanan, Chatham, Christiansburg, Farmville, Front Royal, and Saltville. This opens up exciting possibilities for urban hunters seeking close-to-home deer encounters.
  • Deer Attractants: Attractants must be removed from hunting areas by September 1st.

Remember These Rules and Regulations

  • A valid Virginia hunting license is required, along with any applicable special tags or stamps.
  • Fluorescent orange clothing is required during all firearms period. Details on the amount of orange can be found in the regulations guide.
  • Using dogs for pursuing deer is prohibited in Virginia when utilizing firearms for game. However, there are specific archery periods during which dogs can be employed for tracking deer.
  • Sunday hunting is prohibited in Virginia, except on private lands with written permission on Sundays authorized by local ordinances.
  • Safety zones around occupied buildings and structures must be observed.
  • Reporting the harvest is required within 24 hours of kill.

Beyond the Basics: Tips for a Successful Hunt

  • Do your research: Familiarize yourself with the regulations, terrain, and deer behavior in your chosen hunting unit.
  • Scout the area: Locate potential deer feeding grounds, bedding areas, and travel routes.
  • Practice your skills: Hone your marksmanship and learn proper field dressing techniques.
  • Dress for the weather: Layer up for changing temperatures and wear comfortable, waterproof clothing.
  • Respect the land and wildlife: Follow ethical hunting practices and leave no trace behind.

Archery: Precision and Patience

  • Gear Up: Ensure your bow is sighted in and arrows are razor-sharp. Consider investing in a rangefinder for accurate distance estimation.
  • Camouflage is Key: Blend into the environment with natural, scent-free camo clothing and avoid making unnecessary noise.
  • Tree Stand Strategies: If using a tree stand, choose a safe location with clear shooting lanes and practice proper entry and exit techniques.
  • Ground Blinds: Ground blinds offer excellent concealment for ambush tactics. Place them near deer trails or feeding areas and be patient.
  • Stalking Skills: Master the art of silent stalking for close encounters. Utilize wind direction and natural cover to your advantage.

Firearm: Efficiency and Opportunity

The firearm days allows for quicker action and potentially higher bag limits. Here are some key considerations:

  • Caliber Choice: Select a suitable caliber based on the anticipated range and size of your target deer. Popular options include .30-06, .270 Winchester, and .7mm Remington Magnum.
  • Sighting In: Ensure your rifle is zeroed at your preferred hunting distance. Practice different shooting positions and scenarios beforehand.
  • Safety First: Always follow safe firearm handling practices. Wear hunter orange for visibility, be aware of your surroundings, and double-check your target before firing.
  • Driving Deer: Enhance your likelihood of success by employing legal methods such as still movement and collaboratively driving game with fellow enthusiasts.
  • Public Land Opportunities: Public hunting lands offer vast areas to explore. Research available options and obtain any necessary permits before venturing out.

Antlerless-Only and Muzzleloader: Targeted Opportunities

These specialized period offer unique experiences and contribute to herd management. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Early Antlerless-Only: Secure your permits early for this limited-draw, targeting antlerless deer. Focus on areas with high deer populations and utilize effective attractants if permitted.
  • Late Antlerless-Only: This duration provides another chance to harvest does and alleviate deer pressure on specific units. Utilize similar strategies as the early season and pay attention to local regulations.
  • Muzzleloader: Experience the nostalgia and challenge of muzzleloader hunting. Familiarize yourself with loading and firing procedures, choose the right powder and projectile combination, and practice at shorter distances for ethical harvests.

Which Deer Season in Virginia is Right for You?

Virginia offers several seasonal and method-based activities for enthusiasts. A few ideas to consider:


  • Schedule: Early September through early January
  • Methods allowed: Vertical bow, crossbow, muzzleloader
  • Great for hunters who prefer stalking game at close distances


  • September 21, 2024
  • Special day for young hunters ages 15 and under
  • Helps introduce youth to hunting in safe, mentored environment


  • Schedule: Early November through early January
  • Muzzleloading firearms only
  • Unique challenge and experience of using traditional equipment

General Firearms

  • Dates: Mid November through early January
  • Most popular, highest participation
  • Allows rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders

Resources for Virginia Deer Hunters

John Lewis
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