Virginia, located on the East Coast of the United States, is famous for its plentiful wildlife, drawing hunters across the country. The state's varied terrain, including mountains and coastlines, makes it a prime location for turkey hunting.

With a thriving turkey population and over 2 million acres of public hunting land, Virginia offers the perfect setting for an exciting turkey hunting season. During the 2023-2024 fall turkey hunting season in Virginia, a grand total of 1,443 wild turkeys were successfully harvested.

Here, we have summarized the season dates, regulations and license information in one place that can help you prepare for the upcoming turkey season in 2024. Keep reading!

When Is Virginia Turkey Season?

The Virginia turkey season starts in April and ends in January of the next year. It is divided into 4 different seasons, and each of them has their own limits and rules.

Seasons Dates Bag Limits
Youth and Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunting Weekend April 6 and 7 One turkey (bearded only)
Spring Turkey Season April 13 to 28;
April 29 to May 18
One turkey per day (bearded only)
Archery Turkey Season October 7 to November 17 One turkey (either sex)
Youth and Apprentice Fall Turkey Hunting Weekend October 14 and 15 One turkey (either sex)
Fall Firearms Turkey Season October 21 to November 3, and November 23 One turkey (either sex),no more than two in the Fall
  • October 21 to November 3, November 22, 23;
  • December 4 to December 30;
  • January 13 to 27
  • October 21 to November 3, November 22 and 23;
  • December 4 to December 16
  • October 21 to November 3, November 22 and 23;
  • December 4 to December 16;
  • January 13 to January 27

 

Virginia Turkey Season Regulations

As we stated before, each of the seasons has its regulations. For an ethical and legal hunt, hunters should pay attention to the rules and make sure to follow them to avoid any problems.

Youth and Apprentice Spring Turkey Hunting Weekend

Zones: Statewide

Bag Limits: each youth/apprentice hunter is allowed to take one turkey (bearded only) per weekend.

Hunting Hours: hunting is permitted from half an hour before sunrise to sunset.

Rules:

  • Resident and nonresident youth under 15 or anyone who has an apprentice license can hunt with adult supervision.
  • Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses.
  • Turkeys taken by youth/apprentice hunters count towards their daily and season bag limits.
  • Adult mentors of youth hunters do not need specific licenses during this time.

Youth and Apprentice Fall Turkey Hunting Weekend

Zones: Statewide in counties, cities, and areas with a fall turkey season.

Bag Limits: one turkey of either sex per hunter, per weekend.

Hunting Hours: half an hour before sunrise.

Rules:

  • Resident and nonresident youth under 15 or anyone who has an apprentice license can hunt with adult supervision.
  • Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses.

Archery Turkey Season

Zones: Statewide, except in areas with a closed firearm season for turkey.

Bag Limits: One per day, either sex.

Rules:

  • Only archery equipment.
  • Individuals unable to draw a bow during archery season may use an arrowgun with a completed authorization form from their doctor.
  • Decoys and blinds are allowed.
  • Broadheads must be at least 7/8 inches wide.
  • Dogs are only permitted for tracking injured or dead turkeys.
  • No firearms allowed.

Spring Turkey Season

Zones: Statewide

Hunting Hours:

One-half hour before sunrise until 12 noon each day. (April 13–28)

One half-hour before sunrise to sunset. (April 29-May 18)

Rules:

  • Arrowguns, modern firearms, archery gear, and muzzleloading firearm sare legal weapons to use.
  • Decoys and blinds are permitted.
  • Electronic calls and dogs are prohibited, except for tracking wounded or dead turkeys.
  • Using shotguns with shot larger than number 2 fine shot is illegal.

Fall Firearms Turkey Season

Zones:

October 21 to November 3, and November 23 In the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Greene, Highland, Madison, Page, and Rockingham
October 21 to November 3, November 22, 23;
December 4 to December 30;
January 13 to 27
In the counties of Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Caroline, Carroll, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Dickenson, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Loudoun, Montgomery, Nelson, Northumberland, Prince William, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Richmond, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Stafford, Washington, Westmoreland, Wise, and Wythe, and on Camp Peary, and the cities of Hampton and Newport News
October 21 to November 3, November 22 and 23;
December 4 to December 16
In the counties of Accomack, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Gloucester, Greensville, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Powhatan, Prince George, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, York (except on Camp Peary), and the City of Suffolk
October 21 to November 3, November 22 and 23;
December 4 to December 16;
January 13 to January 27
In the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Charles City, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Floyd, Fluvanna, Frederick, Goochland, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Henry, Louisa, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Orange, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Tazewell, and Warren

Rules:

  • Modern firearms, Arrowguns, Archery tackle, Muzzleloading firearms, Decoys, blinds and dog are allowed.
  • Electronic calls are prohibited.

🔔Notes: 

All wild turkeys killed in the fall or spring seasons must be reported using the telephone, mobile app, or internet reporting system.

turkey in the wood

Virginia Turkey Hunting Licenses

In Virginia, hunting requires a license for residents and nonresidents, unless exempt. To hunt different games, it requires different licenses and permits based on the hunted species and locations.

What Hunting License Do You Need?

To Hunt Turkey

In addition to a hunting license, a separate turkey license is required, valid from July 1–June 30.

To Hunt With Archery Tackle

An archery license is required in addition to a hunting license.

To Trap

A trapping license is required.

To Hunt As Apprentice

The apprentice hunting license is a one-time buy that acts as a first-time Virginia resident or nonresident hunting license, valid for two years. It cannot be used to show prior hunting license purchases, but can be used as a basic license to hunt after completing hunter education.

Where To Get A License?

There are 3 ways to buy a hunting license. Check the following:

    1. Buy Online: gooutdoorsvirginia.com. If you are new to the website, you can create a customer account first, log in and select the license you want, then pay for it. You can print it out at any time.
  1. You can buy the license in person by going to any license agents across Virginia, and DWR headquarters. To easily find a license agent, you can check here: Locate an Agent.
  2. Last, you can buy a license by phone at (804) 367-1000 during regular business hours, or use your Go Outdoors Virginia mobile app.

How To Replace A Hunting License?

If you lose your hunting license, you can always print it again anytime on the official site: GoOutdoorsVirginia.com.

How Much Does It Cost For Hunting License?

Resident Hunting Licenses

License Fee
Resident Sportsman’s License (age 16 and older) $100
Resident Junior Hunting License(age 12 to 15) $8.50
Resident Youth Combination Hunting License(age 12 to 15) $16.00
Resident Hunting License(age 16 and older) $23.00(1 year), $44.00(2 year), $65.00(3 year), $86.00(4 year)
Resident County or City Hunting License(age 16 and older) $16.00
Resident Apprentice Hunting License $11.00
Resident Senior Citizen Hunting License(age 65 and over) $9.00
Resident Fox Hunting License $23.00
Resident Turkey License $23.00
Resident Junior Turkey License $8.50
Resident Archery License $18.00
Resident Muzzleloading License $18.00
Resident Trapping License 1-year license: $46.00

2-year license: $90.00

3-year license: $134.00

4-year license: $178.00

 

Nonresident Hunting Licenses

License Fee
Nonresident Junior Hunting License(under age 12) $13
Nonresident Junior Hunting License(age 12 to 15) $16.00
Nonresident Youth Combination Hunting License(under age 16) $31.00
Nonresident Hunting License(age 16 and older) $111.00
Nonresident 3-Day Hunt License(age 16 and older) $60.00
Nonresident Apprentice Hunting License $21.00
Nonresident Hunting Preserve License $23.00
Nonresident Turkey License Age 16 and older: $86.00
Age 12 to 15: $16.00
Under age 12: $13.00
Nonresident Archery License $31.00
Nonresident Muzzleloading License $31.00
Nonresident Trapping License $206.00

Where To Hunt Turkey In Virginia?

Virginia offers various hunting opportunities for turkey enthusiasts, including state forests, national forests, and wildlife management areas(WMAs).

State Forests

Virginia has 26 state forests spanning around 50,000 to 60,000 acres. These forests are open for public use and offer a range of recreational activities. Some state forests have limited hunting options, which may require a lottery permit. Before planning a hunt, hunters should check the specific forest webpage for detailed information in order to know which state forests are available for hunting.

To hunt in any forest, hunters need to buy a State Forest Use Permit at $16.00.

National Forests

Virginia has almost 1.6 million acres of national forest and offers great opportunities for turkey hunting. Note that campgrounds are not allowed for hunting, but hunters can stay in designated areas during turkey season.

Permits for the national forest cost $4.00, providing access to the hunting grounds.

Wildlife Management Areas

The Department of Wildlife Resources manages over 40+ Wildlife Management Areas in Virginia, totaling 203,000 acres, known for diverse habitats, and are perfect for spring turkey hunting.

Among all WMAs, there are 45 ones that allow hunters to pursue opportunities on public lands.

Conclusion

Whether you choose to explore the state forests, national forests, or wildlife management areas, Virginia provides a wealth of options for turkey hunting enthusiasts.

Make sure to know the specific season dates, obtain the necessary permits, and check specific regulations for each area before leaving for your hunting adventure.

Follow us on any new updates or changes on the Virginia turkey seasons. Happy turkey hunting in the beautiful state of Virginia!

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