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Friday, September 5, 2014

Deer hunting in local parks starts tomorrow

A notice about deer hunting.
Fairfax County’s program using archery to reduce the deer population begins tomorrow, Sept. 6, and runs through Feb. 21, 2015.

Under the program, approved groups of hunters are allowed to hunt deer in parks throughout the county, including several in the Annandale area:
  • The “Annandale Cluster,” covering the White Gardens Park and Round Tree Park in Falls Church, Mason District Park in Annandale, and the Holmes Run Stream Valley and Lilian Carey Park in Bailey’s Crossroads.
  • The “Accotink North Cluster,” consisting of the Accotink Stream Valley North, Eakin Park, and Sally Ormsby Park in Annandale.
  • The “Lake Accotink Cluster,” consisting of Lake Accotink Park in Springfield and Wakefield Park in Annandale.
During the 2013-14 deer hunting season in Fairfax County, 848 deer were killed by bowhunters, up from 697 the previous year. Another 50 were killed in managed hunts and 107 by sharpshooters, methods restricted to parks in less populated areas. 

Forty-six deer were killed by bowhunters in the Annandale Cluster last year, 40 in the Accotink Stream Valley and Eakin Park, 33 in Lake Accotink Park, and 16 in Wakefield Park and Americana Park.

Only hunting groups approved by the county are allowed to hunt deer. Archers are expected to meet certain standards and are supposed to shoot from tree stands that cannot be closer than 100 feet from a visible property line with a neighboring property or within 50 feet of a park trail.

County officials believe hunting is the best way to keep deer numbers down, which is necessary to prevent deer-vehicle collisions, the spread of Lyme disease, and habitat destruction.

Organizations and individuals who oppose deer hunting say it’s inhumane and ineffective and are urging the county to use other methods, such as sterilization of female deer.


  1. I am very sad! I hope the deer that visit us in the morning still live through this. I bike and walk the CCT trail and we love seeing the wildlife. We are taking over their land.

  2. This is scary! While only approved "hunting groups" are allowed to hunt in our parks, I'll bet money there will be plenty of "unapproved" yahoos out there who neither know nor care about rules. Keep your children and animals away from these places.

    1. If that is the case please lock your door at stay at home. You know what there are people out there who drive cars while drunk, they don't care about rules either. An unapproved yahoo will do this anytime. The approved people have been thru county training and you can lodge a complaint if you see something wrong. Last year there was an issue where the animal was visible as it was being removed from the park, concerned folks lodged a complaint and due process happened.

    2. Hunting and parks for people are simply not compatible. No one using a PUBLIC park should have to worry about being injured by an errant arrow. I have little faith in govt's ability to provide meaningful training or oversight in these matters. I'm not averse to deer hunting but it shouldn't be taking in public parks/spaces, where the public is put at risk.

    3. Why is hunting parks not conceivable? What I find inconceivable is why people don't understand that this is the best method to reduce the deer numbers. All other methods have proven to be cost prohibitive and non-impacting to the deer population. Hunting also generates revenue for the state aside from the population control aspect. That is why hunting is used throughout the country for most animal management.

      What method would you recommend to reduce deer populations within the parks and city limits?

  3. Sterilization of female deer is prohibitively expensive, difficult and not very successful. Natural predators have lost habitat so the deer population skyrockets. It's sad to kill deer, but this is probably the best way to cull the population. If people eat venison at least the lives of the deer aren't wasted (& if you eat meat, poultry or fish, this is much more humane than how they are raised & slaughtered).

  4. Perhaps the deer could be poisoned instead?