Hunting in Virginia

Hunting is both a traditional recreational activity and a tool for managing natural resources. "Market hunting" for sale of wild animals in commercial markets was made illegal in the early 1900's, in order to conserve wildlife populations.

In many suburban areas today, deer populations exceed the socially-acceptable levels. Residents who have experienced deer-vehicle collisions or depredation of gardens and shrubs have become supporters of limiting the deer herd through adjustments in the annual hunting regulations. Under Virginia law, it is illegal to hunt an animal and then just leave it in the woods. In 2019, the General Assembly increased the penalty for "wanton waste" (not making a reasonable effort to retrieve the animal and retain it in possession) to a Class 2 misdemeanor.1

The percentage of hunters in Virginia has dropped dramatically since 1960:2

public support for hunting as a management tool could be affected, as the percentge of hunters drop
public support for hunting as a management tool could be affected, as the percentge of hunters drop
Source: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Historical Hunting License Data

Links

References

1. "HB 1613 Wanton waste; penalty," Virginia General Assembly, 2019, https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=191&typ=bil&val=hb1613&submit=GO (last checked February 3, 2020)
2. "Historical Hunting License Data," US Fish and Wildlife Service, https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/subpages/licenseinfo/hunting.htm (last checked February 3, 2020)


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