Fairfax County Preparing for Annual Deer Hunt on Park Land

deerFairfax County will once again use an archery program to control the deer population in county parks. The program will run from Sept. 12 to Feb. 20.

Want to know more? Attend a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Conference Rooms 4 & 5.

The Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Park Authority and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, all oversee the program. Archery groups are permitted to conduct deer management at their assigned site Monday through Saturday during the Archery Program Season. Legal hunting hours in Virginia are 30 minutes prior to sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Sunday hunting is not allowed in the parks.

The archery program began in 2010 and is part of an integrated Deer Management Program to reduce and stabilize the white-tailed deer population in Fairfax County, the county said. Reducing the population is part of an effort to minimize safety and health hazards related an overabundance of deer, county officials say.

Some of the hazards: thousands of deer-vehicle collisions, potential spread of diseases, and environmental damage attributed to deer that can impact the entire ecosystem. The program was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2000 and is recognized as a safe and efficient method of deer population control by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Reston Association has also allowed deer hunting on homeowners’ property in a case-by-case basis.

More details from the county:

  • Archery participants are required to meet state safety requirements and must pass qualifications to demonstrate skill and marksmanship, in addition to carrying program identification.
  • All archers participating in the program must pass a criminal background check.
  • Florescent orange and yellow signs are posted wherever managed hunting activity takes place. Archers must stay 100 feet from property lines and 50 feet from established park trails.

County authorities say there have been no injuries since the program began five years ago.

To see areas in and near Reston where deer hunting will occur, see this Fairfax County Archery Program information page.

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