Virginia laws regarding private land: Hunting on Private Property
Trespass violations, posting property, and access issues are all concerns affecting landowner's considerations for allowing hunting. Hunters are reminded that it is unlawful to hunt on private property without the permission of the landowner, and hunters must have the permission of the landowner to track or retrieve wounded game on private property. On Posted Property:
It is unlawful to hunt without written permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $2500 and/or 12 months in jail. On Property Not Posted:
It is unlawful to hunt any unposted property without permission of the landowner and is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Landowners may post their property by any of the following methods:
What Landowners Should Know
- Using a paint mark of aluminum color paint consisting of a vertical line at least 2 inches in width and at least 8 inches in length, no less than 3 feet and not more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface and visible when approaching the property.
- Signs that specifically prohibit hunting, fishing or trespassing on the property.
For landowners, finding responsible hunters can provide many benefits for both the landowner and sportsmen allowed access to the property. There are benefits of having responsible hunters included as an important part of the landowner's wildlife management plan, especially if they are absentee or do not hunt themselves. There are many in-kind benefits of such relationships including road maintenance, habitat improvement, security and safety. Reputable hunt clubs are also helpful, and lease fees can offset property taxes. Information on locating responsible hunters can be found by contacting local civic groups like Ruritans, or 4-H Clubs, sporting goods shops and area landowner contacts that participate in Tree Farm or Stewardship Programs. Members of sportsmen's conservation organizations that are dedicated reputable partners with DGIF promote safety, ethics, habitat improvement, and scientific management of wildlife.