Archery Hunting of Deer Begins in Fairfax County Parks
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Archery Hunting of Deer Begins in Fairfax County Parks

These signs are posted in archery program areas.

These signs are posted in archery program areas.

Details

List of parks and acres can be found at:

www.fairfaxcounty.gov/wildlife/archery-program

The Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program, conducted in parks and other locations throughout the county, will run through Saturday, Feb. 23.

The archery program began in FY 2010 and is part of an integrated Deer Management Program to reduce and stabilize the white-tailed deer population in Fairfax County in efforts to minimize safety and health hazards related to an overabundance of deer. These impacts include deer-vehicle collisions, potential spread of diseases, and environmental damage attributed to deer that can impact the ecosystem. The program was approved by the 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.

Because of its track record of safety, archery is a preferred deer management method in Fairfax County, according to county officials; archery is a compatible use with residential areas and community parks, allowing for deer population management in urban and suburban areas. Since Virginia began tracking hunting injuries in 1959, no bystanders have been injured by an archer hunting deer anywhere in the Commonwealth. Last year, 95 percent of the total deer harvests in the Fairfax County Deer Management Program were through the use of archery.

Fairfax County’s Archery Program standards require that all archers meet state hunter licensing, education and safety requirements and must pass qualifications to demonstrate skill and marksmanship, in addition to carrying program identification. Archers are also required to have completed additional training through the International Bowhunter Education Program to participate in the Fairfax County Deer Management Program. All archers participating in the program must also pass a criminal background check.

Parks remain open to the public during the archery program. Fluorescent orange signs are posted in parks where hunting is authorized. Hunters will only hunt from elevated tree stands; hunting from the ground level is prohibited in county parks. Tree stands must not be located closer than 100 feet from property lines or closer than 50 feet from established park trails. Archers are not allowed on private property without permission by the owner or tenant. Archers are approved to hunt at assigned sites Monday through Saturday during legal hunting hours, 30 minutes prior to sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. No hunting is allowed on Sundays in county parks.

More information about the Fairfax County Deer Management Program can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/wildlife/deer-management-program.