We are your neighbors and friends, people from all walks of life, with a strong desire to pass the hunting heritage to the next generation of hunters. We volunteer our time and knowledge to teach, mentor, and support hunters of all ages, genders, abilities, and backgrounds. Virginia has several hundred certified volunteer instructors across the state.

The Virginia Hunter Education Association (VAHEA), a 501 ( c) (3) non-profit organization, began in 2007 with a group of volunteer hunter education instructors. Our goal is to work in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to support and improve hunter education opportunities. The cooperation between DWR Recreational Safety Coordinators, Conservation Police Officers, and volunteer instructors keeps the hunter education program in Virginia successful. 

We strive to improve our teaching abilities through DWR advanced instructor training, equipment acquisition for the classroom and hands-on activities, and creative class and workshop development to keep Virginians interested, active, ethical, and responsible hunters.

We teach basic hunter education classes, wildlife management, species-specific hunting workshops, webinars, and more, always with an emphasis on ethical behavior, safe firearm handling and shooting skills. We understand that each individual hunter represents the hunting community as a whole and has the responsibility to make a positive impact on conservation, the public’s perception of hunting, and our ability as citizens to maintain access to Virginia’s rich wildlife resources for future generations.

Our leadership consists of VAHEA members elected by VAHEA members. Officers and regional directors serve two-year terms with no financial compensation. We are always entirely volunteer.

If you want more information on what’s happening contact one of our Officers or Regional Directors. Move your cursor around the map below to find the Regional Director for each area.

Calendar of events


December 10, 2022

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January 21, 2023

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February 18, 2023

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Bulletin BOard

hunter skills weekend 2022


Perfect weather on September 23-25 set the stage for a fun-filled weekend at Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center in Appomattox for the annual Virginia Hunter Skills Weekend. This year’s crowd of 85 students participated in classes all over the grounds, taking advantage of the multiple firearm and archery ranges, open-air classrooms, and wooded surroundings.

Organized and planned by VAHEA members, the event is staffed primarily by certified volunteer Virginia DWR hunter education instructors and offers nearly 30 different activities during the two-day weekend. Lodging, meals, and registration support were handled by the Holiday Lake Center staff, and event partner DWR provided equipment and staff support from a small game biologist, a local wildlife manager, and several recreational program coordinators.

New classes were offered in advanced shotgun shooting, bear hunting, and tracking. Popular recurring classes included a guided squirrel hunt, archery, muzzleloading, rifle, skeet, basic shotgun shooting, deer hunting skills, field to table deer processing, and wild game cooking.

An estimated 85% of the participants were first-time attendees. Many newcomers shared that they did not know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the diversity of opportunities and the level of experience and enthusiasm from the team of instructors. That’s what we like to hear!


vahea at voss


For the fourth year, VAHEA attended the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show (VOSS) at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA on August 4-6, 2022.

During the three-day event VAHEA officers, members, and friends helped set-up the booth, answer questions, distribute information on hunter education classes and workshops, and sell nearly 600 raffle tickets. Proceeds from this raffle are used to support programs like the Virginia Hunter Skills Weekend.

JC Gaitley, Jr., VAHEA’s Region 1 Director coordinated the effort, and expresses his thanks to President Tony Carambia, Vice President Mike Norkus, Bill Bush, David Gerwitz, and Jean Ramsey for volunteering to staff the booth. A special thanks also goes to members Ken Carter, Mike Cantrell, and Jim Clarke of the Virginia Tree Stand Safety group for helping out.

Raffle winners were drawn on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations to:

First Prize:  Ken Carter

A Centerpoint Amped 425 crossbow package with soft case sling and silent hand crank

Second Prize:         Brandon Carroll

A CVA Wolf 50cal. Muzzleloader combo with sling

Third Prize:  Jordan Heath

65 qt. Grizzly cooler

The next VOSS is scheduled for August 4-6, 2023, and we plan on being there!

Logo design by Tori Farmer

The new VAHEA logo represents our core values:

Blaze Orange is the universally recognized color for hunting safety

The four Compass points represent Ethics, Integrity, Values, and Respect

The Tree signifies strength in the power of knowledge and education

The Deer and Turkey represent Virginia’s most successful wildlife restoration efforts, conveying the positive impact hunters have on conservation and the environment


Virginia Hunter Education Association

1267 4-H Camp Road

Appomattox, VA 24522