Vol. 33 Iss. 23 - July 10, 2017

Chapter 260
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Board of Game and Inland Fisheries is claiming an exemption from the Administrative Process Act pursuant to § 2.2-4002 A 3 of the Code of Virginia when promulgating regulations regarding the management of wildlife.

Title of Regulation: 4VAC15-260. Game: Waterfowl and Waterfowl Blinds (amending 4VAC15-260-160; adding  4VAC15-260-35, 4VAC15-260-115, repealing 4VAC15-260-40).

Statutory Authority: §§ 29.1-103, 29.1-351, and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: August 1, 2017.

Agency Contact: Phil Smith, Regulatory Coordinator, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 7870 Villa Park Drive, Suite 400, Henrico, VA 23228, telephone (804) 367-8341, or email


The amendments (i) clarify that all hunting, including hunting from a float blind, hunting while standing on the bottom of public waters, or any other type of hunting, is prohibited within 500 yards of any licensed stationary blind or floating blind stake; (ii) prohibit activities on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Kittewan Creek refuge property that are not consistent with the property's function as a refuge for waterfowl; and (iii) allow the department to designate float blind hunting areas in the Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh areas using global positioning system coordinates.

4VAC15-260-15. Reflective markers on stationary blinds.

Stationary blinds located in the public waters must be marked with a stake or PVC pipe with at least 100 square inches of white or amber reflecting material visibly from 360 degrees and at least three feet above the high water mark. The requirement for reflective material on stationary blinds is not in effect while the stationary blind is occupied by a licensed hunter during legal shooting hours. In addition, any abandoned or partial blind structures must be similarly marked until such time as they are removed from the public waters. ]

4VAC15-260-35. Distance from a licensed stationary blind and off-shore blind stake.

No person shall hunt migratory waterfowl in the public waters of this Commonwealth within 500 yards of any legally licensed erected stationary blind or legally licensed offshore blind stake site of another without possessing the written consent of the licensee that is immediately available upon request by any law-enforcement officer, except when in active pursuit of a visible crippled waterfowl that was legally shot by the person.

4VAC15-260-40. Distance between floating blind and stationary blind. (Repealed.)

It shall be unlawful to tie out or anchor a mat blind, or other floating blind, within 500 yards of a stationary shore or stationary water blind on which license has been paid for the season, except by the consent of the owner of such stationary shore blind or water blind, whether the same be occupied for shooting or not.

4VAC15-260-45. Float blind hunting areas established.

No licenses shall be issued for non-riparian stationary waterfowl blinds or offshore blind stake sites in the public waters in front of specified public, municipal, state, or federal properties in Virginia. Waterfowl hunting in public waters in front of these lands shall be by licensed floating blind only and shall occur only in designated waters and at designated times and locations as prescribed by the riparian landowner and approved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This section applies to areas where the managing agency has requested such in writing to the department by April 1 of any given year. These privileges will remain in effect until the managing agency requests termination in writing to the department by April 1 of any given year. This section shall not alter in any respect the privileges for landowners and their lessees and permittees prescribed in §§ 29.1-344 and 29.1-347 of the Code of Virginia. ]

4VAC15-260-115. Disturbing waterfowl on Kittewan Creek refuge in Charles City County.

It shall be unlawful to hunt onthe waters of ] Kittewan CreekRefuge ] in Charles City County west (upstream) of the posted refuge boundary markers (latitude-longitude coordinates 37.29831 - 77.05134) located approximately one mile upstream fromits mouth at ] the James River. In addition, camping and other recreational activities that are not consistent with the property's function as a refuge for waterfowl are not permitted.


EDITOR'S NOTE: The Board of Game and Inland Fisheries deferred action on 4VAC15-260-116 for later consideration; therefore, this section will not become effective on August 1, 2017. The proposed text of this section may be viewed in 33:17 VA.R. 1966-1967 April 17, 2017.

4VAC15-260-160. Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh; floating blind area.

No license shall be issued for stationary waterfowl blinds on the Potomac River in Fairfax County adjacent to National Park Service Lands lands in the Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh areas. Waterfowl hunting in Commonwealth waters adjacent to the above mentioned lands shall be by licensed floating blind only. Such floating blinds (i) must be attached securely to a post or buoy affixed to the river bottom by the department, or anchored at global positioning system (GPS) locations designated by the department and (ii) are limited to one floating blind per post at any time. Hunters in licensed floating blinds may hunt from designated locations during legal shooting hours on Thanksgiving Day and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the open seasons for hunting waterfowl in Virginia. Blind sites shall be occupied on a daily first-come basis, such sites to be occupied no earlier than 4 a.m. or later than one-half hour after sunset. All such blinds shall be removed each day.

VA.R. Doc. No. R17-5074; Filed June 21, 2017, 10:50 a.m.