Summary of Virginia Deer Baiting Regulations
It is legal to bait on private land.
It is unlawful to place or direct the placement of, deposit, distribute, or scatter food or salt capable of attracting or being eaten by deer year round on National Forest and Department-owned lands.
Not only is it illegal to hunt, chase with dogs, or attempt to kill game birds and animals from a baited site, it is also illegal to feed some wildlife under certain circumstances. The Department does not encourage the feeding of wildlife at any time of the year. Feeding restrictions help control the transmission of diseases, wildlife conflicts, littering concerns, and enforcement issues about hunting with bait.
- It is unlawful to place or direct the placement of, deposit, distribute, or scatter food or salt capable of attracting or being eaten by bear, deer, or turkey year round on National Forest and Department-owned lands.
- Cities and towns have the authority to prohibit the feeding of deer by local ordinance. Contact localities for details.
- Department regulation makes it illegal to place, distribute, or allow the placement of food, minerals, salt, carrion, trash, or similar substances to feed or attract the following:
Deer and Elk:
- September 1 – first Saturday in January; statewide. Attractants must be removed by September 1.
- During any open deer or elk season; statewide
- Year round in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties, as well as those counties listed, which are associated with the management of CWD in Virginia (towns and cities within included).
Bears: year round; statewide
All species: Illegal to feed any wild animal when the feeding results in property damage, endangers people or wildlife, or creates a public health concern
Upon notification by Department personnel, if anyone continues with any of these activities for any purpose and it results in the presence of species mentioned previously in this box, such person shall be in violation of the law and subject to a fine of up to $500. No part of this regulation shall be construed to restrict bonafide agronomic plantings (including wildlife food plots) or distribution of food to livestock.