The Reston Association Board of Directors last week approved a request for three homeowners on Sourwood Lane to hold a controlled deer hunt on their property.
The homeowners say their properties are overrun with deer, who eat the ground cover (which will lead to erosion) and may harbor Lyme Disease-carrying ticks.
RA’s board voted to allow the deer hunt. The homeowners will hire Suburban Whitetail Management, a professional wildlife management firm, to use crossbows and hunt the deer from 12-foot high tree stands in order to avoid hitting other wildlife and people.
Reston Now readers have many opinions on this development. Here is what some of you had to say in the article comments:
Animal LOVER in the right places: Last year my cousin was seriously injured (his collar bone was broken) when a deer slammed into him while he was rollerskating through our Reston neighborhood. He spooked the a herd, and in the scramble one of the larger deer ran him over. Overpopulation of deer in our areas is a serious issue that needs to be resolved in a manner that may not seem humane to all. Overpopulation will only lead to more incidents like this.
Preserve Reston: Disgusted…what about those of us who value the quality of life those deer provide to us? Disturbing and selfish.
Steward of Animals: It seems to me that birth control is a reasonable alternative to killing the deer. On another note, killing by bow and arrow is cruel because when the arrow misses the mark the animal is exposed to hours of a slow death. If we must kill the deer, resort to shooting the animals.
Cathie Gorman Freeman: I, too, hate the idea of killing the deer. What I hate more is driving down Soapstone and finding the bodies of the recently frolicking Bambi’s dead by the side of the road. Do what must be done to manage the ever-growing herd. At least someone will benefit from the donated meat.
Juli Vermillion: I am very against this hunt. I live about a block away from the proposed hunt and have lived here for over 10 years. The deer population has remained constant. I suggest if people don’t like deer doing what deer do, then perhaps they should move back into town. The deer have a right to live too and people have so many more options. I for one moved to Reston precisely because I can live in peace with nature.
Sub40 10k: I see tons of deer along my morning runs along the W&OD we could hunt them and then donate the meat to the homeless shelter next to the library; maybe we could go with the “born to run” method and run down one of the deer and exhaust it then kill it with a spear (wanted to do this with antelope in Texas but this could do) alternatively we could release mountain lions as a natural predator.
JR: Urban deer populations are out of control and without proper management the forested areas that make Reston a special place will be lost. Between the overpopulated white-tailed deer and the continued expansion of non-native invasive plants natural forest regeneration no longer occurs. The amazing oaks and hickories of our RA natural areas look great and are special today, but there are no young trees able to grow to replace them. The deer eat all of the young trees and in their place invasive plants replace them. … Not only should we be encouraging this deer management activity but also we should be requesting that our RA dues be spent to maintain our natural areas.
PL: I am strongly against this and I have lyme disease. If these deer are killed, then others will move into the area and then what?