The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries maintains optimum populations of wildlife and fish for hunters and fishermen, allowing wildlife to flourish without danger of becoming endangered. The department accomplishes this through managing the number of licenses available to hunt and fish, and restricting the hunting of certain species to seasons and dates of the year.
The department also safeguards the people's right to hunt, fish and harvest game as defined in the Constitution of Virginia. The department maintains 41 management areas totaling more than 203,000 acres. These areas are publicly owned and are available to all citizens for a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Many management areas are open for some type of hunting with restrictions based on time of the year.
The department promotes safety education in relation to boating, hunting and fishing. The department has several educational opportunities such as outreach programs, classes and published materials designed to foster safety and an appreciation of Virginia's natural resources.
Virginia has 174 Conservation Police Officers, who enforce the laws regarding hunting, fishing and boating. The Conservation Police are officers certified through the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and they have the authority to enforce all of the laws of Virginia. The officers may also cross state lines when investigating violations of federal wildlife laws.