Deer Management Program
What is the Deer Management Program?
White-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are one of the most graceful and common native wildlife species in Virginia.
The Fairfax County Deer Management Program is implemented each year to
manage the thriving local deer population.
The primary objective of this comprehensive and integrated wildlife management program is deer population control at selected public park sites.
A healthy ecosystem can support 15 - 20 deer/ square mile without damage to the environment. Estimated deer density at many sites in Fairfax County is a minimum of 40 - 100 deer/ square mile. Many factors contribute to the increased deer population:
Increased food sources available year round - e.g. parks, golf courses,
athletic fields, gardens and yards
Reduced hunting pressures —Absence or removal of predators
Successful prey species - Female deer produce an average of twin
fawns each year
- Highly adaptable — Deer thrive in human modified habitat
The Fairfax County deer management program continues to expand and improve its deer management efforts through the utilization of all available population control tools tools:
- Archery program using qualified bow hunters selected by public group hunt lottery
- Managed hunts using qualified hunters selected by public hunt lottery
- Sharpshooting using special-trained Fairfax County Police Department officers
Deer harvested during sharpshooting operations are donated to Hunters for the Hungry. This non-profit organization donates venison to local homeless shelters to provide food for the needy. Hunters for the Hungry has processed and distributed over 4.5 million pounds of venison since the program began in 1991.