DC, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee

    Deer Management Plans


    Deer Management 2015-2016, National Parks Service, 2016

      The fourth window of action for deer reduction is December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. During this fourth year of implementing the plan, the National Park Service intends to reduce the population by about 26 deer. This is consistent with efforts to reduce the population by 50 percent each year, and maintain the population at a level that will allow recovery of vegetation in the park.


    Managed Deer Hunt, WSCC, Sept 2018

    The purpose of this plan is to continue the established framework for reducing deer damage to watershed forests and surrounding property, given the lack of native canopy species recruitment and documented depredation to adjacent landscaping and agriculture. Although these managed hunts are not designed as a recreational opportunity, it is important to note that public interest and participation in our Program is very high. The Program is a management tool in areas where deer have exceeded the carrying capacity of the available habitat.

    Fort Meade Deer Culling Plan – January 2016

    Most visibly, overpopulation of deer on post impacts the ecosystem by eating or destroying plants other wildlife depend upon. Deer eat and damage plants, flowers, shrubs, rub the bark off trees and eat tree seedlings. The damage around Fort Meade impacts our effort to grow and replace forests on the installation.

    More importantly, alternative methods like birth control or sterilization offer a delayed effect, but do not address the immediate issue of overpopulation and the resulting impact to the Fort Meade ecosystem.

    Frederick County Shotgun Deer Hunting Zone has Changed, Maryland Dept of Natural Resouces, Oct 15, 2015

    The previous shotgun-only zone was primarily located south of Interstate 70 and did not include the city of Frederick or surrounding area. The new zone is now centered around the city, and the more rural portions of the county south of Interstate 70 are no longer in the shotgun-only deer hunting zone.

    2015-2016 MANAGED URBAN DEER HUNT INFORMATION, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Deer Management Program, 2015

    The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Deer Management Program was instituted in response to severe deer
    damage to existing forest resources on the Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed property.

    Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program Project, Montgomery

    Following a thorough review of public input and management recommendations, the Proposed Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program Pilot Project has been approved for implementation. With this approval, Montgomery Parks will embark on this pilot project to assess the use of Archery Managed Deer Hunting as a means for reducing and maintaining deer populations on parkland. This project will begin in September 2015, and complete at the end of January 2016.

    Deer in Montgomery County, Montgomery Parks, Deer Management, 2018

    The growing concern about deer-related impacts over the past two and a half decades indicates that deer populations in some areas of Montgomery County have exceeded the cultural carrying capacity (i.e. exceeded what citizens will tolerate). There are also concerns about the damage deer are causing to natural communities in our parks, especially those related to forest system ecology.

    Fort Meade Deer Culling Plan – January 2015

    Culling operations have taken place on other military installations as well as in national parks, local parks, historic battlefields and in private locations. These measures have long been considered the most feasible method for maintaining a healthy deer population by wildlife experts.


    The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Deer Management Program was instituted in response to severe deer damage to existing forest resources on the Patuxent Reservoirs Watershed property. The program includes nine hunting areas surrounding Triadelphia and T. Howard Duckett Reservoirs.

    Montgomery County Deer Management Program: Annual Report and Recommendations Fiscal Year 2015

    Deer are not great travelers; most deer will live their entire life with in an area about one square mile in size. This limits the impact that population management in parks alone can have in reducing deer populations much more than a quarter to a half – mile from the park. Away from the currently managed properties, deer populations and impacts have continued to increase in our smaller parks, and on private land, much of it within neighborhoods often over a half mile from larger parcels of parkland. Deer vehicle collisions countywide have continued to slowly rise since 2008 despite reduced accidents around managed parkland.

    Deer Herd Management, Baltimore County, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Revised July 24, 2019

    In addition to hindering forest regrowth and reducing ecological diversity, overabundant deer populations act as hosts for Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases. They also destroy residential and commercial landscaping, damage agricultural crops and cause dangerous and expensive deer-vehicle collisions. Indeed, Baltimore County’s map (PDF) of deer-vehicle collisions reveals a concentrated belt of accidents across the middle, suburban portion of the County where deer are most abundant.
    Deer are among the greatest agents of change in our forests today. Deer eat understory and ground vegetation, including the leaves of young trees and the acorns (seeds) of mature trees. In a balanced ecosystem, this behavior is benign. However, the dramatic overabundance of deer in Baltimore County forests has directly compromised the regenerative ability of the forests, reducing the ability of the forests to intercept rainfall, slow surface water flow, prevent soil erosion, filter ground water, and cycle nutrients. The lack of native plants in the understories of forests resulting from deer browse eliminates food and habitat for other wildlife, thereby reducing biodiversity. Deer’s preference for native plants also allows for the proliferation of invasive species, which shade the forest floor and prevent the germination of native tree seeds. In addition to browse pressure, many tree saplings die from buck rubbing. The overall significance of deer for changing forest ecosystems results in their designation as a “keystone” herbivore.

    Anne Arundal County, Maryland Deer Management Program, Dept of Recreation and Parks

    The Department of Recreation and Parks views population management as a necessary tool to achieve desired goals. The Department is committed to achieving as possible.
    Links: 2014-2015 Managed Hunt Program and White-Tailed Deer and You: In the Parks and In the Backyard

    Deer Management 2015-2016, National Park Service, Rock Creek

    The fourth window of action for deer reduction is December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. During this fourth year of implementing the plan, the National Park Service intends to reduce the population by about 26 deer. This is consistent with efforts to reduce the population by 50 percent each year, and maintain the population at a level that will allow recovery of vegetation in the park.

    Rock Creek Park, White-Tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, National Park Service, 2013

    The purpose of the plan/EIS is to develop a white-tailed management strategy that supports long term protection, preservation and restoration of native vegetation and other natural and cultural resources.

    Local Government Deer Management , County Department of Recreation and Parks, Columbia, MD, 2011On 30 October, 2000, managed hunting began in
    David W. Force Park

    2012 White-tailed Deer Management Report, City of Rockville, MD


    Maryland White-tailed Deer Plan, 2009-2018, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 2009

    Along with agricultural crop damage, it was found that excessively high white-tailed deer densities also damage the native flora and fauna of Maryland. A 2005 National Park Service study compared Catoctin Mountain Park, which does not permit deer hunting, to the adjacent Frederick City Watershed, which is open during Maryland’s statewide hunting seasons. It was estimated that Catoctin had deer densities seven to nine times higher than the nearby Frederick City parcel which also contained higher seedling and sapling regeneration and higher densities of ground-nesting birds than Catoctin.

    Maryland Deer Population Management Initiatives, 2014-2015

    The parks, located in Silver Spring and Olney, have been selected to address damage caused by an increasing population of deer, including deer-related automobile accidents, damage to natural resources, and increased potential of communicable diseases such as Lyme disease. This parkland, spanning 700 acres, is inhabited by an estimated 191 – 241 deer, six times the recommended density.

    Dealing With Deer/Human Conflict, Suburban Whitetail Management of Maryland, 2007

    Damage to Natural Areas: White-tailed deer are herbivores (plant eaters) and feed primarily on leaves, buds and twigs. An average sized deer eats six to eight pounds of plant material a day. An overabundance of deer can have a profound impact on native vegetation, forest regeneration and wildlife habitat. Areas of extreme overpopulation may begin to show a “browse line” where, even in mid-summer, there is little vegetation on the forest floor and the trees and shrubs look as if they have been neatly clipped of all leaves up to about five feet high. When this happens, young trees are not produced and habitat for nesting forest birds and other wildlife is destroyed. The only way to protect natural areas is to manage the number of deer.

    Deer Management, Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation

    The deer population size in Prince George’s County has reached a level that many citizens consider to be too high. If left unchecked, the continued overpopulation of deer will result in the increase of deer-related conflicts. There are a number of tools and non-lethal tactics (such as public education, fencing, etc) used to help alleviate the conflicts created by deer overpopulation, but few of these practices actually address the cause of the problems. With deer populations having the potential to double every two years, there is a need to address the main source of these problems and reduce the number of deer.

    Montgomery County, MD

    7. Other recommendations
    Each year thousands of deer and other large animal carcasses are picked up and disposed of from along County roads. The current method of disposal (rendering) is expensive and depends on a contractor that has given notice to the county that it may stop providing this service in the near future. This would leave the county in the unacceptable position of having no way to dispose of carcasses at all. Much work has been done in recent years on developing methods of composting large animal carcasses that are sanitary, effective and environmentally sound. Composting is currently being used in New York, Virginia, and more locally by the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). Developing such a program in the county would provide the additional benefits of being a more dependable and less expensive alternative of disposal.

    Comprehensive Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1995 (updated 2005), The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group

    Every park surveyed during this project has an overpopulation of deer. The severity of this problem varies from one park to another, but it represents a considerable threat to the native vegetation in every park. Browse lines are evident in forested areas, indicating deer populations have exceeded the carrying capacity of the land…As a result of overpopulation, and selective browse habits, deer are determining the dominant vegetation in some areas. Plants that are favorite food, such as lilies and orchids, are declining and becoming locally rare.

    Howard County, Maryland Deer Management Plan, 2015-2016

    Deer are having a negative impact on remaining forests and other natural areas, greatly reducing populations of many plants and destroying habitat for a variety of other animals. This environmental damage constitutes a serious long-term problem that goes unnoticed by the casual observer. Forests in which too many tree seedlings are being consumed by deer lose the capacity to regenerate, and become devoid of key habitat elements which in turn may impact other species.
    Link to site
    Community Survey

    White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, U.S. National Park Service

    This White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement describes four alternatives for the management of deer at Rock Creek Park, as well as the environment that would be affected by the alternatives and the environmental consequences of implementing these alternatives.


    Delaware Deer Management Plan, 2010 – 2019: A Guide to How and Why Deer are Managed in The First State

    Deer management through contraception remains experimental. Deer contraception researchers believe that small isolated populations, such as found on islands or in large fenced areas, have the greatest potential for success. Managing free ranging white-tailed deer populations over large landscapes with contraceptives would present tremendous challenges.


    Charlottesville to cull deer herd in city parks, WBDJ, Feb 14, 2019

    The city says it is continuing to work with a wildlife management specialist for the program to manage the deer population in the city. A 2018 initiative was successful, and the Charlottesville City Council approved the program in response to complaints concerning hazardous driving conditions, health concerns from Lyme disease, landscapes impacted by an overabundance of deer and the health of the local herd.

    Fairfax County Deer Management Program, EQAC June 13, 2018

    Based on best practices for deer management, deer census data, environmental impact studies, and peer-reviewed scientific literature

    • Utilization of current state-approved deer population control tools:

      • Archery
      • Firearms managed hunts
      • Sharpshooting
    • Utilization of currently available deer management tools: Humane Exclusion & Repellency
    • Collaboration with Private & Public Property Owners

    Virginia Deer Management Plan 2015-2024, Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, Oct 2015

    Active deer management is necessary to maintain deer populations at optimum levels to meet the needs of citizens of the Commonwealth. An optimum deer population balances positive demands (e.g., hunting, viewing) with negative demands (e.g., agricultural damage, vehicle collisions, ecosystem impacts). The Virginia Deer Management Plan identifies areas where deer populations should be managed to increase, decrease, or remain the same.

    FY2016 Fairfax County Archery Program, Fairfax County, VA, 2015

    Archery is the primary deer management tool used in Fairfax County to help manage high density deer herds. Archery has been shown to be a safe and effective deer management tool to control deer populations on public lands in Fairfax County and other high-density jurisdictions. Qualified bowhunters with superior skill, ethics, and experience are able to efficiently and discreetly hunt deer in areas where firearm use is restricted or prohibited, or not an effective or sustainable deer management tool. Authorized archery hunting activity in Fairfax County Park Authority and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority properties is closely monitored by the Fairfax County Police Department with the assistance from the Park Authorities. Since Virginia began tracking hunting injuries in 1959, no bystanders have been injured by an archer hunting deer anywhere in the Commonwealth.

    Deer Management Frequently Asked Questions, Fairfax County, VA

    Q: Is the City of Fairfax is using sterilization to manage their deer?

    A: No. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) issued a scientific collection permit to White Buffalo, Inc. in 2014 to test the efficacy of the experimental, non-lethal, surgical sterilization approach to reduce localized deer populations during a five year project. This project was widely touted as the first non-lethal deer management program in Virginia but is instead a scientific research project to examine the usefulness of the method. The expected cost of sterilizing one doe is approximately $1000 and is being paid for by donations. However, there was an additional cost of $436 per deer in police overtime that the city absorbed in 2014. Results are expected in 2019 and may inform future VDGIF decisions about non-lethal management.

    Q: What about deer contraceptives?

    A: GonaCon and porcine zona pellucida (PZP) have been investigated as non-lethal deer population control methods. GonaCon, approved in 2009 by the EPA, has been the only contraceptive agent approved for use in free-ranging wild deer. Although GonaCon was developed as a single-shot, multi-year agent, trials in Maryland and New Jersey showed that efficacy declined to insufficient levels two years post-treatment (Gionfriddo et al. 2009, 2011). PZP has shown some success in reducing deer populations on islands (e.g., Fire Island National Seashore in New York, Naugle et al. 2002; and Fripp Island, South Carolina, Rutberg et al. 2013) but has been less successful reducing a fenced deer herd at the National Institute of Standard and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD (Rutberg and Naugle 2012).

    PZP has been found to cause female deer to experience multiple estrous cycles, extending the deer breeding season and potentially leading to more deer-vehicle collisions and winter mortality due to over-exertion (Miller et al. 2004). Researchers at Cornell University concluded that multiple estrous cycles were responsible for attracting male deer from outside the research area, offsetting any potential population declines (Boulander et al. 2014). Costs for this method are reported to be approximately $500 per deer.

    DRAFT Virginia Deer Management Plan, 2015-2024, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

    Under optimal conditions, a deer population can double in size annually. With no regulating factor (e.g., predators, hunters), a deer population will generally expand to the point where some resource, most often food, becomes scarce. Sources of mortality other than hunting (e.g., diseases, injuries, predation) are typically not sufficient to control deer populations. Active deer management is necessary to maintain deer populations at optimum levels to meet the needs of citizens of the Commonwealth.

    Urban Archery Season, 2014-2015, Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries

    Virginia Deer Management Plan, 2006-2015

    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) garner more interest than any other wildlife species in. Virginia.

    Deer Problems and Issues, Suburban White-tail Management of Northern Virginia

    We support the position of stewardship. The riches of the natural world are not ours to exploit. On the other hand, we don’t believe that man can or should abstain from wisely using these natural wonders. We believe that nature should be stewarded and used wisely. We support the concept of stewardship by responsible non-confrontational action. As we seek to apply this to the Whitetail herd in northern Virginia, we consult with biologists. We take special precautions to avoid offending the sensibilities of those who find hunting and the killing of animals objectionable.

    Deer in Virgina, Virginia Places

    Virginia wildlife managers changed their management objectives for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at the start of the 21st century, in contrast to the last three centuries of wildlife management. Instead of trying to increase the herd, officials are now trying to reduce deer populations in many counties and cities across Virginia.

    Fairfax County Virginia Deer Management Program

    A healthy ecosystem can support 15 – 20 deer/ square mile without damage to the environment.
    Deer harvested during sharpshooting operations are donated to Hunters for the Hungry.

    Urban Archery Season, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 2014

    Only antlerless deer may be taken.


    Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Deer Information


    More people are killed as a result of deer/vehicle collisions each year than by dogs, snakes, sharks, mountain lions, bears and alligators combined. On average 130 people are killed in deer/vehicle collisions each year, making deer the most deadly animal in the United States.

    West Virginia

    2017 City of Charleston Urban Deer Hunt

    The 2017 City of Charleston Urban Deer Hunt will begin Saturday, September 9, 2017, and end December 31, 2017. Applications will be accepted in the City Manager’s Office beginning Monday, August 7th, 2017 at 9:00am. Cross bow hunting is now permitted with a valid Class Y permit.

    Urban Deer Hunt, City of Bridgeport, 2016

    The Bridgeport Urban hunt will begin September 10, 2016 and run through December 31, 2016. Anyone with property and would like to have it considered for the urban hunt can stop and get the forms at the Police Department and fill them out and return them to the Police Department to be considered for the 2016 hunt. If you were in the hunt last year, you still need to fill out the forms for this years hunt.

    Urban Deer Management, City of Morgantown, WV

    The Morgantown City Council has approved the use of Urban Deer Archery Hunts as a way to reduce the deer population in and around the community after the Urban Deer Committee explored alternatives, made recommendations to City Council, and completed an aerial deer count.

    URBAN DEER MANAGEMENT, Charleston, WV, MuniCode

    2015 City of Charleston Urban Deer Hunt

    Urban White Tailed Deer Management Plan For the Town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, June 30, 2012

    1. Decrease the number of resident complaints and encounters.
    2. Decrease the Lyme disease rate.
    3. Discourage deer herding within town limits.
    4. Minimize vehicle encounters.
    5. Continually assess the health of the deer in town by monitoring the appearance, the reproduction rate, and work with West Virginia Department Department of Natural Resources on potential or suspected onset of disease.
    As currently written, Section 505.05 of the Harpers Ferry Town Code prohibits hunting within the limits of Harpers Ferry. An ordinance revision has been drafted to allow for an Urban Deer Management Program.

    North Carolina

    Reidsville approves urban archery in city limits, Rockingham Now, May 2, 2018

    Reidsville will soon allow hunters to help control the massive deer population in city limits through the use of bows and arrows, following a 5-2 vote by the city council. In the last three years, there have been 136 deer-related accidents on the roadways within city limits, causing an estimated $230,335 in property damage, he said.

    Clayton’s Urban Archery Season Starts Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, Clayton, NC

    Nearly 60 different municipalities across the state have been given permission by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to participate in a specified Urban Archery season. After receiving interest from Town of Clayton residents and after careful consideration by Town Council, the Town of Clayton submitted a letter of intent to participate in its first urban archery season in 2016 to help reduce the urban deer population through increased hunter opportunity.

    Deer Management Program, Town of Chapel Hill, 2010

    A public forum on the issue of deer in Chapel Hill was held in spring 2010. A panel of experts from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Orange County Health Department and others provided information related to deer overpopulation, including the effects of the deer population on the environment, potential health risks related to deer overpopulation and the feasibility of an urban bow hunt for deer. Based on the information gathered at the public forum and through staff research, the Town Council took immediate action to ask the Wildlife Resources Commission to authorize the Urban Archery Season for Deer Hunting. This extension of the regular hunting season was approved by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

    Emerald Isle’s deer problem sparks plans for annual controlled hunt, Sun Journal, Jan 2, 2014

    The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners authorized a hunt in January or February and also has approved a resolution authorizing a program for annual controlled hunts.

    Information on Urban Archery Deer Season, Midland, NC, Town of Midland

    The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has giving North Carolina municipalities the opportunity to participate in an Extended Urban Archery Deer Season. With the deer populations growing in urban areas the number of motor vehicle accidents involving deer is also on the rise. In an effort to control the deer population and to mitigate accidents involving deer the Urban Archery Deer Season was created.


    City of Henderson, Tennessee, Urban Deer Report, 2014

    The option of taking no action was discussed at length and was ultimately determined to be unfeasible and irresponsible.

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