Parks Adds Cabin John Park To Managed Deer Hunt Program

Flickr photo by John Dylan O'LearyMontgomery Parks on Tuesday announced its deer management operation will include Cabin John Regional Park when the program starts up again in January.

The park, which spans parts of Bethesda and Potomac, was selected because of an increasing population of deer, deer-related car accidents, damage to natural resources and potential for Lyme disease. According to Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Cabin John Regional Park has nearly four times the recommended density of deer for an area of its size.

The County added money in the agency’s budget in order to add the park to its Park Police sharpshooter program.

It will be one of 30 parks in the system to have managed hunts during the fall 2013-winter 2014 season. Last year, Parks began a deer hunt in a Chevy Chase section of Rock Creek Park and got support from the vast majority of surrounding residents who chimed in. Parks said it got a similar amount of support for the Cabin John hunt.

The hunt will happen from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (when the park is closed) from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28. Information about the hunts will be posted throughout the park and all deer killed will be donated to local soup kitchens.

Earlier this year, Parks officials briefed County Council members on the progress of the program.

The hunts resulted in the killing of more than 5,500 deer in each of the last several hunting seasons, yet the number of reported deer-vehicle collisions and probable cases of Lyme disease have remained steady in the county. Police sharpshooters in Rock Creek Park killed 30 deer during the 2013 program.

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary

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