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Washington and Lee University

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Many Seasons throughout the School Year

W&L is located in an area that affords wonderful hunting opportunities. Upland birds, small game, deer, wild turkeys and black bear can be hunted during seasons that extend through the entire academic year.

Overview of Rules

There are many issues that will be critical to any student hunting in Virginia. In addition to this overview a detailed reading of the regulations, which you will be given when you buy a hunting license must complement this overview.

Virginia allows students from other states to purchase resident hunting licenses while attending college within the commonwealth. W&L does not allow firearms in any residential facilities so plans must be made for storing firearms before residential students arrive in Lexington. Also, Rockbridge County has a special ordinance that states, “It is unlawful to transport, posses, or carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle on any public street, road or highway within the boundaries.”

The state laws mandate that you must have written permission to hunt on property that is “posted” – e.g., that has signs or marks on trees that indicate that hunting is not allowed by the owner(s). If the land is not posted you must still have oral permission from the landowner. Unlike many states, Virginia does not allow hunting on Sundays. Another law that differs from other states is that all deer, bear and wild turkeys must be tagged as soon as they are killed and immediately checked into on of the state checking stations.

It is illegal and unethical to shoot at game from a vehicle. Law enforcement often place decoys near roads to entice irresponsible hunters to shoot from their cars. This strategy has resulted in the arrest of many game law violators.


  • Mourning doves – typically the first Saturday of September
  • Archery season for deer and wild turkeys – First Saturday in October for a month
  • Firearms season for deer and turkey – Follows first part of archery season
  • Duck season – Begins during the first week of October
  • Squirrel season -- middle of October in Rockbridge County
  • Ruffled grouse and bobwhite quail – End of October or beginning of November

This is not a complete list and times may change. For complete list of dates, rules, regulations and licenses, consult with local and state officials.