A. Except as provided in subsection B and §§ 29.1-300.4 and 29.1-305.2, no hunting license shall be issued to (i) a person who has never obtained a license to hunt in any state or country, or (ii) a person who is under the age of 16, unless such a person presents to the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries or one of its authorized license vendors, a certificate of completion in hunter education issued or authorized by the Board under the hunter education program, or proof that he holds the equivalent certificate obtained from an authorized agency or association of another state or country.
B. Although a resident under the age of 12 is not required to obtain a license to hunt, any person under the age of 12, or an individual on his behalf, may purchase a Virginia hunting license or a junior lifetime hunting license pursuant to § 29.1-302.1, without completing a hunter education program as required in subsection A, provided that no person under the age of 12 shall hunt unless accompanied and directly supervised by an adult who has, on his person, a valid Virginia hunting license. The junior lifetime hunting license issued to an individual under the age of 12 shall become invalid on the individual’s twelfth birthday and remain invalid until certification of competence in hunter education is shown as provided in this section. A lifetime license, indicating the completion of hunter education or an equivalent certificate, shall be reissued at no cost when such proof is provided.The adult shall be responsible for such supervision. For the purposes of this section, “adult” means the parent or legal guardian of the person under age 12, or such person over the age of 18 designated by the parent or legal guardian.”Accompanied and directly supervised” means that the adult is within sight of the person under the age of 12.
D. The Board may adopt regulations that provide incentives for successful completion of a hunter education course to hunters who are not required by law to complete such a course. The regulations may include such incentives as the Board deems appropriate.
1987, c. 83, § 29-51.1; 1988, cc. 179, 384, 474; 1989, c. 204; 1996, cc. 118, 151; 1997, c. 247; 2008, cc. 18, 416; 2014, c. 798; 2016, c. 123.