Hunters who qualify and undergo training can now take part in the deer archery program in Fairfax County, Virginia, through February 18.
The program began in 2010 as a part of the county’s deer management program to reduce and stabilize the white-tailed deer population.
The county says the program is aimed at minimizing safety and health hazards from an “overabundance” of deer including deer-vehicle collisions, potential spread of diseases and environmental harm.
In the program last year, 726 deer were harvested through the use of archery by hunters, according to the county. The program takes place on about 100 properties in the county.
The program accounted for 94% of the total deer harvests in the Fairfax County Deer Management Program.
No bystanders have been injured in Virginia since the state started tracking hunting injuries in 1959, according to a news release.
All archers meet state hunter licensing, education and safety requirements and must pass qualifications to demonstrate skill and marksmanship, in addition to carrying program identification, according to the program. Those wanting to take part must also complete additional training through the International Bowhunter Education Program to participate in the Fairfax County program.
The parks stay open during the hunting program and orange signs are posted in parks where hunting is authorized.
Hunters can only take shots at deer from elevated tree stands and those cannot not be located closer than 100 feet from property lines or closer than 50 feet from established park trails, according to the news release.
Find more information on the program on the county’s website.