Virginia's 2nd managed elk hunt: Lottery opened Feb. 1

Watchful Eye
Photo byDr. Igor Smolyar, NESDIS/NOD

A select group of hunters once again have the chance to hunt bull elk in Virginia’s Elk Management Zone (EMZ) this fall.

Virginia hosted its first managed elk hunt in EMZ last year, and according to the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), all six hunters who won the lottery were successful in claiming a bull.

The largest was an 8x9, weighing 852lbs live weight and scoring Boone & Crockett Club non-typical 413 & 7/8 inches net and 433 & 5/8 inches gross.

The lottery for this year’s antlered elk licenses—there will be five—opened today and will run through March 30. The EMZ is on the western side of the state in Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise counties.

The hunting dates are from October 14 – Friday, October 20. The application period for the elk lottery will open on February 1, 2023, and close March 30.

It costs $15 for Virginia residents to apply for the lottery and $20 for out-of-state residents to apply. The application fee is non-refundable.

Selections are made by randomized computer drawing. The five winners will be notified by May 30. They’ll need to pay $40 for a special elk hunting license if they’re Virginia residents and $400 if they’re from out of state.

A sixth antlered elk license will be awarded to a conservation organization that will be required to raffle it off. DWR doesn’t plan to reveal which organization will get that license until sometime this spring.

Those who consider participating with the idea of supporting Virgina’s elk management, note that all of the money generated from lottery application fees and license sales goes to DWR’s general fund for its management and conservation of all wildlife. The funds won’t be explicitly earmarked for the elk program.

To apply, visit here. To check the status of your application, visit here.

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