Two Public Information Meetings are being held and residents are invited to attend to learn about the Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program. The meetings will be held Thursday, August, 13, 7 p.m. Fairfax Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Conference Rooms 4 & 5 and Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m. Mount Vernon District Station, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, Community Room.
The Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program begins Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Under the oversight of the Fairfax County Police Department, in collaboration with the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the archery program is conducted in parks and other locations throughout Fairfax County.
The archery program began in 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 an overabundance of deer. These impacts include thousands of deer-vehicle collisions, potential spread of diseases, and environmental damage attributed to deer that can impact the entire 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 Game and Inland Fisheries.
Archery participants are required to meet state safety requirements and must pass qualifications to demonstrate skill and marksmanship, in addition to carrying program identification. All archers participating in the program must pass a criminal background check. They are approved to hunt at assigned sites Monday through Saturday during legal hunting hours, 30 minutes prior to sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Florescent orange and yellow signs are posted wherever managed hunting activity takes place. Archers must stay 100 feet from property lines and 50 feet from established park trails.
Because of its proven track record of safety, archery is a preferred deer management method in Fairfax County. Virginia began tracking hunting injuries in 1959. There have been no injuries related to archery have been reported by bystanders anywhere in the Commonwealth during this time.