FY2016 Fairfax County Archery Program

Archery Program

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. 

Letter from the Governor about Archery

Excerpt from a letter sent to a Fairfax County resident by Molly Joseph Ward, Secretary of Natural Resources of the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on August 27, 2014.

“Regulated hunting is considered to be the most practical and cost-effective means to control free-ranging deer populations in most settings. Hunting is also strongly supported by the public (75%-80% in recent national surveys). Since 1960, there have only been five archery incidents statewide involving a victim other than the hunter, the last one occurring in 1996.

Archery hunting is compatible with other land uses, including parks and residential areas. No safety incidents have been reported during the urban archery season, which started in 2002 and now includes 42 cities, towns, and counties throughout the Commonwealth. It is noteworthy that several of the larger, more populous localities participating in this season (e.g., the City of Richmond, Fairfax County) have reported no safety incidents despite having no acreage or distance minimums for discharge of archery equipment. Fairfax County allows archery hunting on private parcels, resulting in over 1500 deer killed each year and utilizes archery hunting in community parks because of the inherent safety of this method. Last year, 848 deer were safely removed from the parks by over 800 hunters that participate without the need to close the parks to the public during the hunts.

Hunters utilize tree stands which allow the hunter to engage the target from above. The resulting downward trajectory of the arrow means that the ground acts as a natural backstop. Additionally, archery tackle is only effective at short range, which means that the hunter is close to the target, allowing clear views and easy identification of the target. These two factors combined result in the exceptional safety record archery hunting has amassed.”

Archery Program Season

Dates: September 10, 2016- February 25, 2017

Archery Groups are permitted to conduct deer management at their assigned site Monday through Saturday during the Archery Program Season. Legal hunting hours in Virginia are 30 minutes prior to sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Sunday hunting is not allowed in the parks.                                                   

Archery Program Locations-FY 2017  

FY 2017 Fairfax County Deer Management Program Map

**Will be updated once approved by the Board of Supervisors, NOVA Parks and FCPA**

Applicants may contact Sgt. Earit Powell via email after June 1, 2016 to obtain current list of Park Clusters.

Fairfax County welcomes your questions.  If you have questions, concerns or comments, please contact:

Dr. Katherine Edwards, Wildlife Management Specialist, 703-246-6868, katherine.edwards@fairfaxcounty.gov
Sergeant Earit Powell, Program Manager, 703-324-0280, earit.powell@fairfaxcounty.gov

The Fairfax County Police Department works closely with the Fairfax County Park Authority, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and other stakeholders to implement the Fairfax County Deer Management Program each year. 




Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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