Our (Not So) Deer Friends

Taking on exploding deer populations in urban areas.

The once-dwindling deer populations of Virginia have made a comeback as hunting practices have faded, and we’re encountering more of them as suburbs grow. Deer may be beautiful and graceful, but they eat landscaping, trample backyards, and run across the road, causing us to slam on the brakes or even hit the animal.  

Many Virginia counties and cities are now allowing urban archers to hunt deer in heavily populated areas. Hunters must have an archery license to participate, and crossbows are legal with these particular hunts, although most hunters use compound bows. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries limits the urban archery season to antlerless deer. 

“Urban archery season translates deer-human conflicts into recreational opportunities. It’s an example of co-management at a very local scale, where the citizens participate with the state wildlife agency in managing the deer population,” says Virginia DGIF spokesman Nelson Lafon. 

The urban archery deer hunting season started Sept. 7. DGIF.Virginia.gov


This article originally appeared in our October 2019 issue.

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