Hunting Terminology: A Detailed Guide


An arrowgun is a unique type of pneumatic-powered air gun designed to fire arrows. In Virginia, a notable regulation prohibits the use of arrowguns that utilize explosive propellants for hunting activities. This restriction emphasizes the state's commitment to ensuring safe and regulated hunting practices.


The term "bait" refers to any food, grain, or other consumable substances that can act as lures or attractants for wildlife. However, it's important to note the exception in this definition: crops cultivated for standard agricultural or wildlife management purposes, including food plots, are not classified as bait. This distinction is crucial for hunters to understand to comply with legal hunting guidelines.

Blaze Colors

Blaze colors are specific hues required for certain hunting clothing or items to ensure safety during hunting. There are two approved blaze colors:

  1. Solid Blaze Orange: This encompasses safety orange or fluorescent orange shades.
  2. Solid Blaze Pink: This includes safety pink or fluorescent pink hues.

Dismal Swamp Line

The Dismal Swamp Line is a specific boundary in Virginia, defined by a series of roads and county lines. It starts at Rt. 10 at the Isle of Wight County line, extends along Rt. 10 to Suffolk, continues through Suffolk to Rt. 642 (White Marsh Road), follows Rt. 642 southwest to Rt. 604 (Desert Road), and then heads south along Rt. 604 to the North Carolina state line. This geographical demarcation is essential for hunters to recognize for area-specific regulations.


A drone is defined as an unmanned aerial vehicle, aircraft, or similar device that is controlled remotely or via onboard computers. The use of drones in hunting and wildlife observation has specific legal implications and regulations.

DWR (Department of Wildlife Resources)

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is the primary authority overseeing wildlife management and conservation in Virginia. They establish and enforce hunting regulations, conservation efforts, and wildlife management strategies.

Furbearer Species

Furbearer species in Virginia include a range of mammals: beaver, bobcat, fisher, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, skunk, and weasel. These species have specific hunting and trapping regulations due to their fur-bearing nature.

Game Animal

Game animals are species legally designated for hunting, including bear, bobcat, deer, elk, fox, rabbit, raccoon, and squirrel. Understanding which animals are classified as game is crucial for legal and ethical hunting.

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting and trapping encompass various activities: taking, hunting, trapping, pursuing, chasing, shooting, snaring, or netting birds or animals. It also includes assisting in these activities. Whether or not the animal or bird is successfully captured, these actions are governed by specific regulations and ethical considerations.

Hunting Weapon

A hunting weapon is any weapon permissible for hunting as outlined in Section 29.1-519 of the Code of Virginia. This includes firearms, bows, and other devices used in the pursuit and capture of wildlife.

Nonmigratory Game Birds

Nonmigratory game birds in Virginia include grouse, pheasant, bobwhite quail, and turkey. These species do not undertake significant seasonal migrations, making them distinct from migratory game birds.

Migratory Game Birds

Migratory game birds are species that undergo seasonal migrations. In Virginia, this category includes waterfowl (ducks, geese, brant, swans, and mergansers) and webless species (coots, doves, gallinules, moorhens, rails, snipe, and woodcock).

Nuisance Species

Designated nuisance species in Virginia encompass various animals that may be taken any time using firearms or other weapons: house mouse, Norway rat, black rat, coyote, groundhog, nutria, feral hog, European starling, English sparrow, mute swan, and pigeon (rock dove). Local ordinances and specific public land regulations may apply.

Other Wildlife

Other wildlife refers to all species not classified as game, furbearer, or nuisance. It is illegal to take, possess, transport, release, or sell these species unless explicitly permitted by law or regulation.

Prohibited Lands

Prohibited lands are properties where hunting or entry is forbidden without explicit permission. This includes both public and private lands where rules and regulations or specific permissions are not established for hunting or access.

Route 29 Line/Amherst County

The Route 29 Line in Amherst County is a specific boundary defined by Business U.S. 29 and U.S. 29, extending from the James River through Amherst to the Tye River. This line is significant for hunters in understanding area-specific regulations.

USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service)

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal agency responsible for the management, conservation, and protection of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. They play a critical role in regulating hunting and wildlife activities at the national level.

WMA (Wildlife Management Area)

Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are designated lands managed for the conservation of wildlife and their habitats. These areas have specific rules and regulations for hunting, trapping, and wildlife observation, making them essential for hunters to understand and respect.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.