Wildlife

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

703-246-6868
TTY 711

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dr. Katherine Edwards,
Wildlife Management Specialist

Department Resources


Sharpshooting

Night-time sharpshooting operations are conducted by the Fairfax County Police Department at select parks in the county when parks are closed to the public. This operation involves systematic culling of deer by trained police officers under a special kill permit authorized by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. 

Each park that is selected for the operation has a safety evaluation conducted by Police Department personnel. Tactical operations plans are developed for each park.  Night-vision equipment, thermal imaging and suppressed firearms are used to expedite field procedures and to ensure discrete operations.

County staff and uniformed public safety officers are present at parking lots and trailheads on nights when sharpshooting is conducted to inform park patrons of the deer management activity and prevent unauthorized access as a safety measure.

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 5.6 million pounds of venison providing a total of 22.2 million servings to those in need since the program began in 1991.

 

2022-2023 Planned Sharpshooting Operations

Locations for 2022-2023 Sharpshooting Operations: 

• Bren Mar Park and Turkeycock Run Stream Valley

• Franconia Park and Monticello Woods Park

• Frying Pan Farm Park

• Green Spring Gardens

• Huntley Meadows Park/Dogue Creek Stream Valley (late season following archery)

• Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (late season)

In order to efficiently reduce the deer herd, nighttime sharpshooting operations will be conducted by the Fairfax County Police Department. Sharpshooting will occur after dusk, when most parks are closed to the public, and in pre-determined locations away from residences and businesses.

Operations will be conducted between November 2022 and March 2023. Operations will not be conducted on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) to minimize impacts to park use or events. Operations will not be conducted over the Thanksgiving holiday from November 23 – 27, 2022 or during the winter holiday season from December 16, 2022 – January 2, 2023. In the event of inclement weather or park disruptions that result in cancellation of an operation, additional nights will be scheduled.

There are no in-person public meetings currently scheduled for the 2022-2023 Deer Management Program. Links to a webinar providing an overview of the Deer Management Program are below. This webinar will be updated in August 2022.

Fairfax County Deer Management Program Presentation (August 2021) [PDF]

Fairfax County Deer Management Program Narrated Webinar (August 2021) [Video]


If you have questions, concerns, or comments about the Deer Management Program, please contact:

Dr. Katherine Edwards, Wildlife Management Specialist, 703-246-6868, katherine.edwards@fairfaxcounty.gov

Sergeant Earit Powell, Animal Protection Police,
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. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant