Archery In Fairfax County


Why is archery used as a method to control the deer population in Fairfax County?

Archery has been shown to be a safe and effective deer management tool to control deer populations on public and private 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. There are strict firearms restrictions in Fairfax County.

Archery is the primary deer management tool used in Fairfax County to help manage high density deer herds at:

  • Selected Fairfax County Parks
  • Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge
  • Fort Belvoir
  • Private property

Note: Archery accounted for 1239 of 2092 deer harvested on private property in Fairfax County in 2012.


Deer in Yard

Should park visitors at public parks selected for the Archery Program be concerned about public or personal safety?

No. Archery is one of the safest, most efficient, and sustainable available methods for deer population control on public and private property in Fairfax County. All authorized archery hunting activity is closely monitored by the Fairfax County Police Department with the assistance from the Fairfax County Park Authority.

In the Archery Program, only archery groups with skilled and ethical bow hunters can qualify to participate in this deer management program. Superior skill (marksmanship), ethics, and experience are a requirement. Each archery group must comply with stringent rules and regulations to participate in the Archery Program if selected via archery hunt lottery. The superior quality of each ethical hunter contributes to the tradition of excellence established for the Archery Program.

How has archery been used as part of the Fairfax County Deer Management Program?

Archery was first approved as a deer management tool by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in October 2000. Archery has been re-approved as a deer management tool each year. Managed half-day archery hunts were conducted in fiscal year 2002 and 2003 with limited success.  A pilot Archery Program was developed by the Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist in collaboration with Fairfax County Park Authority in fiscal year 2010.

The Fairfax County Archery Program was successfully implemented and now in its fifth season. The FY2013 harvest yield was 697 deer from 21 park sites. The wounding rate was 3.16% (22 of 697 deer) and lower than that of nighttime sharpshooting or public managed hunts.

Who can provide additional information about the Fairfax County Deer Management Program?

Fairfax County welcomes your questions.  If you have questions, concerns or comments, please contact the Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist Office at 703-246-6868. you may also directly email the Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist, Vicky Monroe, at victoria.monroe@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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


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