The 2020 Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program officially kicks off this Saturday, Sept. 12. The program will run through Saturday, Feb. 20.
The initiative is in collaboration with the Fairfax County Park Authority and NOVA Parks under the oversight of the Fairfax County Police Department to enforce that the program is only conducted in parks and other approved locations.
The program was created in 2010 to reduce and stabilize the population of white-tailed deer in the county, according to the statement. An overabundance of deer can lead to a series of safety and health hazards including deer-vehicle collisions, the potential spread of disease and environmental damage.
Archery is a preferred method of deer management because of its compatible use in residential areas and community parks, according to the statement. Additionally, no bystanders have been injured by an archer hunting deer since Virginia began tracking hunting injuries.
The program requires all hunters to meet state hunter licensing, education and safety requirements and must pass qualifications to demonstrate skill and marksmanship. They also must have program identification and completion of training through the International Bow Hunter Education Program to participate. Hunters must also pass a background check.
Parks will remain open to the public during hunting season, with orange signs to designate where hunting is authorized. Hunting is permitted at assigned sites Monday through Saturday, from 30 minutes prior to sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.
Photo via the Fairfax County Police Department