Hunting License Requirements
Depending on the type of game you are hunting, there are different hunting license requirements for hunters. The minimum age for hunting may be lower in some states than others. Regardless of the age limit, it is important to become familiar with the laws surrounding hunting. A hunting license can be purchased for both residents and non-residents. However, hunters may not trespass onto private land with their hunting license.
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Hunters are encouraged to take a hunter education course. The course teaches hunters the rules of the land, how to identify wildlife, and how to use proper equipment. In addition, hunters who have completed a Hunter Education Course may purchase a hunting license with proof of their completion. Hunter Education courses are available for all nationalities, races, genders, and age groups.
Hunters may take the course with their parents or guardians. The course requires a written test and a field session. If the student passes the field session, the student may then receive a Hunter Education Certificate, which is valid for life.
Hunters are required to wear hunter-orange clothing when hunting. They also must be in good physical shape. Those who are under 10 years old may not take the course, but they may purchase an apprentice-designated hunting license. The apprentice-designated license holder must be supervised by an adult. An adult who supervises an apprentice-designated hunter must provide adequate direction and maintain close visual contact. The adult who supervises the apprentice hunter must have a valid Virginia hunting license. Those who take the course must also pass a bow proficiency test and receive a certificate of completion.
Young hunters are not permitted to hunt from tree stands or tree stands. They are required to remain on the ground and wear fluorescent clothing. Those under 14 years old are also required to be accompanied by a licensed adult.
The minimum age for hunting deer with a gun has been reduced from 16 to 13 years old. The new law requires hunters aged 12 and 13 to be accompanied by a licensed adult who has at least three years of hunting experience. However, the legislation does not require trailhead signs warning hikers of hunters.
Hunters are also permitted to hunt deer with a crossbow. The crossbow license is issued free to youth hunters aged 12 and 13 who have completed a hunter education course. Hunting with a crossbow is separate from the regular gun season.
Hunters may also participate in the Take a Kid Hunting Program. This program was established to provide a quality hunting experience for youth hunters. Young hunters who are aged 11-13 must attend an in-person field day and pass a written exam. They must also carry a Field Day Voucher with them. Young hunters must also be wearing fluorescent clothing. The arrows used in the Take a Kid Hunting Program are not to have a tip that is more than 7/8 inches wide.
Hunters are encouraged to be courteous to other hunters, hikers, and wildlife. They should wear appropriate ammunition, use wildlife identification guides, and maintain their equipment in good working order.