Virginia’s annual Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and it kicks off a month-long schedule of youth, archery and bear seasons.

 

Youth/Apprentice Deer Weekend

During this weekend’s Youth and Apprentice Deer Hunting Weekend, resident and nonresident youth hunters 15 years of age and under or holders of a valid apprentice hunting license may deer hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by an adult. That adult must have a valid Virginia hunting license or is exempt from purchasing a hunting license. Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses unless exempt from purchasing a license.

Antlerless deer taken on the youth and apprentice deer hunting weekend are in addition to an antlerless deer taken under the youth antlerless deer regulation and on either-sex deer hunting days.

Deer harvested by youth or apprentice hunters count against their daily and season bag limit. Blaze orange requirements and exceptions for firearms deer season are in effect. Deer hunting with dogs is prohibited, except that tracking dogs are allowed.

Unless specified for the weekend, all other normal firearm deer regulations apply (such as daily and season bag limits, tagging and checking, EAB, special antler restrictions, etc.).

 

3-Day Early Bear Season

Virginia’s first early bear season opens Monday, October 2 and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The new early season is designed to increase the bear kill in order to reduce a growing bear population in the western part of the state. While the early season is open in Botetourt and surrounding counties of Roanoke, Craig, Rockbridge and Alleghany, it is not open in Bedford County.

As with regular bear season, residents and nonresidents must purchase a bear license in addition to all other applicable licenses, permits or stamps, unless license exempt.

Dogs may also be used during this early season.

 

Archery Season

The following Saturday, Oct. 7, archery season for deer and bear opens and runs through November 17 statewide.

Deer of either sex may be taken full season during the early and late archery deer seasons. Late archery season is December 3-January 6 West of the Blue Ridge.

Archery season for turkey also opens October 7 but ends November 11 statewide.

 

Youth and Apprentice Bear Hunting Season

Youth and Apprentice Bear Hunting Days are Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14.

Resident and nonresident youth hunters 15 years of age and under or holders of a valid apprentice hunting license, may hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by an adult who has a valid Virginia hunting license or is exempt from purchasing a hunting license. Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate licenses, unless exempt.

The year, a resident junior bear license (ages 12–15) is now available for $6.50.

Bear bag limit, weight limits, and all other take restrictions apply. If a bear is taken on this weekend, the youth or apprentice hunter may not take another bear in any season.

Bears may be taken with the aid of dogs on Saturday statewide except in certain counties, including Roanoke south of I-81.

All bears must be checked at an official bear check station.

 

Youth and Apprentice Fall Turkey Hunting Weekend

Youth and Apprentice Fall Turkey Hunting Weekend is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22 statewide in counties with a fall turkey season.

Resident and nonresident youth hunters 15 years of age and under or holders of a valid apprentice hunting license may hunt when accompanied and directly supervised by an adult who has a valid Virginia hunting license or is exempt from purchasing a hunting license. Nonresident youth of any age need to have the appropriate license, unless exempt.

Turkeys harvested by youth or apprentice hunters count against their daily and season bag limit. Adult hunters accompanying youth or apprentice turkey hunters do not need a deer/turkey license, may assist with calling, shall not carry or discharge a firearm., shall maintain close visual and verbal contact with, provide adequate direction to, and can immediately assume control of the firearm.

For more information, see the hunting regulations at www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations.

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