W2 News: Game Regulation Review Process Underway

by Chris McCotter

Have you ever wondered how a game law is created? It’s a process that actually begins with you, the hunter and/or angler and your concerns about existing regulations or ones you think should be created.

Here’s an outline of the process with significant timeline dates so you can be sure and consider participating. This is the link to use to offer your comment on such regulations:


The public scoping period for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources regulatory concerns will run through December 2022. In consultation with individuals and constituent groups, DWR Wildlife Division staffs assess constituent and agency regulatory concerns and ideas for changes. Public participation and feedback is solicited online and through other public comment.

On January 18–19, 2023 there is a Wildlife and Boat Committee & DWR Board meeting. DWR Wildlife staffs will review significant feedback received during the public scoping period and seek Board input on potential regulation amendment issues.

From December 5, 2022–February 28, 2023 this is what’s called the Committee Recommendation Development Period. During the part of the process the DWR Wildlife Division programmatic committees analyze biological and sociological data relevant to regulatory issues, to include: public feedback received during the public scoping period, constituent satisfaction survey results, meetings between DWR and individuals/constituent groups, results of continuous and ongoing feedback from the public since previous regulation cycle.

Programmatic committee chairs, Wildlife Division management, Law Enforcement Division management, and other appropriate DWR staffs convene in mid- to late February to review the status of current programmatic committee recommendations and finalize development of proposal-stage regulation amendments. Proposal-stage regulation amendments are then submitted to the Attorney General for review.

Next up, March 15–16, 2023 there is another Wildlife and Boat Committee & DWR Board meeting where wildlife staffs will present staff-generated, proposal-stage regulations amendments to the Board for its review and consideration. At this time the DWR Board accepts public comment on staff-generated, proposal-stage regulation amendments and accepts additional regulation amendment recommendations from the public. The Board deliberates and votes to propose regulation amendments.

From March 27, 2023–May 10, 2023 there is a Regulation Amendment Proposal Public Comment Period. At this time public comment is solicited on Board regulation amendment proposals. No public meetings will be held unless a contentious issue needs to be addressed.

On May 24–25, 2023 the Wildlife and Boat Committee & DWR Board meeting will be held to offer “Final Recommendations”. DWR Wildlife staffs will present final proposed regulation amendment recommendations to the Board for its review. The Board accepts public comment on final proposed regulation amendments. The Board deliberates and votes to adopt regulation amendments.
Lastly, August 1, 2023 is the effective date for regulation amendments adopted by the Board.

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