The Fairfax County Deer Management Program is implemented each year to manage the abundant local white-tailed deer population (Odocoileus virginianus).
The primary objective of the Fairfax County Deer Management Program is deer population control on public parklands. Management actions reflect a variety of interests: protecting human health and safety, reducing environmental damage, conserving biodiversity and maintaining healthy deer herds.
The first fatal deer-vehicle collision in Fairfax County occurred in October 1997. This tragic accident highlighted the concern of many residents that, without natural predators and sufficient hunting pressures, the local deer population had become overabundant.
In January 1998, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors mandated development of the Fairfax County Deer Management Program in response to concerns of county residents about the growing number and conflicts posed by overabundant deer. The program is implemented by the Fairfax County Police Department in collaboration with the Fairfax County Park Authority and Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
An integrated deer management plan was developed using wildlife management program models in other jurisdictions, deer census data, deer behavioral research and ecological impact studies. Each year, an operational plan is developed to implement sustainable hunting pressures at selected parks based on these approved strategies.