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‘Managed hunts’ aimed at Montgomery Co. deer population start in September

"Managed hunts" aim to control the growing deer problem. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County, Maryland, will continue to try to control the deer population by using “managed hunts” at a total of 46 parks in the coming year.

Montgomery Parks is adding four new locations to the list of areas where the hunts will take place, including a portion of the Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park that’s located along Colesville Road in Silver Spring.

According to a release from Montgomery Parks — part of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission — three types of hunts will be conducted. Archery and shotgun hunts will be carried out by hunters under the direction of Montgomery Parks staff; sharpshooting hunts will be carried out by park police working in cooperation with wildlife ecologists at the parks.

Parks officials said the goal of the hunts is to control a growing deer population that has resulted in “deer-human conflicts,” including vehicle crashes and damage to crops and residential properties.

Here’s a chart on the number of deer-vehicle collisions across the county, as reported by Montgomery County police. (Courtesy Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group)

Archery hunts will go on from September through January, and those parks will remain open to the public. When shotguns are used for hunting, parks will be closed while hunts are underway.

Police sharpshooters will conduct hunts at night in 29 parks from January through March. Those hunts will take place when the parks are normally closed, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The hunts will begin in September.

According to information provided by Montgomery Parks, deer killed in the sharpshooter hunts are processed for consumption at local food banks. Around 290,000 pounds of deer meat has been donated under the program.

Here’s the list of parks where the deer hunts will take place.


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