Beginning with the 2017 deer season, the ‘Earn a Buck’ (EAB) requirement that’s already in place in some counties will also be in effect within the incorporated limits of all towns and cities (except Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) that allow deer hunting in Virginia.
This new requirement applies regardless if a city or town participates in the urban archery season. EAB, a regulation designed to control deer populations by increasing the antlerless deer kill level, has reduced deer populations in most counties where it’s been in effect.
The Department hopes that extending this regulation to cities and towns will reduce urban deer populations and associated human-deer conflicts. Under EAB, hunters may kill either a buck or doe first, but must kill an antlerless deer before taking their second antlered buck of the season (and at least two antlerless deer before taking their third antlered deer). EAB is in effect during all deer seasons (archery, muzzleloading and firearms). Does killed during an early antlerless only deer season (e.g., urban archery) count toward EAB later in the deer season.
Each city, town, or county is a separate unit with respect to EAB. Antlered or antlerless deer killed in one EAB area do not “carry over” to other EAB areas. Deer killed in an EAB area will not affect the type of deer you can kill in non-EAB counties or in other EAB areas.
Hunters in cities and towns should be familiar with the incorporated boundaries of their municipality. Just because a property’s address lists a city or town does not mean the property is within the actual limits of the city or town. For example, if you hunt within the city limits of Charlottesville, this EAB rule applies; however, if you hunt in Albemarle County – even on a property with a Charlottesville address – it does not apply.
In addition to cities and towns, EAB is in effect on private lands in the counties of Arlington, Bedford, Clarke, Fauquier (new), Fairfax, Frederick, Loudoun, Montgomery (new), Prince William, Rappahannock, Roanoke, and Warren, and public lands in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William (except on Department of Defense lands) counties.
For more information see the EAB Q & A at: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/general/#EAB