The Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program
begins Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.
Under the oversight of the Fairfax County Police Department, in collaboration with the Fairfax County Park Authority, NOVA Parks, and other public landholders, the archery program is conducted in parks and other locations throughout Fairfax County.
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 and other impacts 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 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 Wildlife Resources.
Because of its proven track record of safety, archery is a preferred deer management method in Fairfax County. 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. The Fairfax County Deer Management Program is conducted on approximately 100 properties countywide. Last year, 726 deer were harvested through the use of archery by hunters in the county program. The archery program accounted for 94% of the total deer harvests in the Fairfax County Deer Management Program.
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 must also pass a criminal background check to be eligible for the program. Only hunters that have gone through this screening and selection process with the Fairfax County Police Department may hunt within the designated parks
. All archers must comply with state and federal game laws and regulations, local ordinances, and program rules.
Parks remain open to the public during the archery program. Florescent orange signs are posted in parks where hunting is authorized. Hunters can only take shots at deer 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: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/wildlife/deer-management-program.
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