Using archery to manage the deer population in Fairfax County

Virginia

In order to reduce and stabilize the white-tailed deer population in Fairfax County, an archery program is returning for its eighth year this fall.

“The deer management program really arose as a public safety program back in the late 1990’s following the very first fatal deer collision that was reported in Fairfax County in 1997. The program has really grown and expanded over time including the use of the archery program. ,” said Katherine Edwards, a certified wildlife biologist.

Edwards says an overabundant deer population can lead to deer-vehicle collisions, potential spread of diseases and environmental damage.

“Archery is the primary management method that we use here in Fairfax County. It has an excellent safety record and is in compatible use with parks and residential areas, allowing for archery to be conducted while parks remain open to the public,” said Edwards.

All archers participating in the program must pass a criminal background check, according to Edwards. Since Virginia began tracking hunting injuries in 1959, no bystanders have been injured by a deer-hunting archer anywhere in the commonwealth.

“Public safety is a paramount concern with this program but we are also looking to reduce and stabilize the deer herd so that we can sustain healthy deer herds for future generations within Fairfax County,” said Edwards.

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