Proposed Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program - Pilot Project
M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks is proposing the addition of a pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program to its already successful series of Managed Hunting Programs and Park Police-based Sharpshooting deer population management efforts (see: Archery: The Next Tool in the Toolbox).
Please tell us what you think. Public comments are sought through July 31, 2015.
The pilot project is proposed to take place in two parks, the Great Seneca Stream Valley, Unit 1(Germantown), and Watts Branch Stream Valley Park, Units 1 & 2 (Potomac) during the period of September through November 2015 and the month of January 2016, with parks remaining open to the public during the program. The proposed parks span 733 acres and include; Great Seneca Stream Valley Park, Unit 1 and Watts Branch Stream Valley Park, Units 1 & 2. This initiative would help reduce and maintain deer populations in accordance with the goals of Montgomery County’s Deer Management Plan.
Beginning September 2015, selected organized and insured groups of participants will be permitted, within strict and clear guidelines, to access these parks to hunt deer using archery equipment. Signage will be posted at all park entrances, trailheads and key access points, to aware park users that the activity is occurring. Montgomery Parks will provide maps to qualified archery hunting participants identifying safe and permissible hunting areas, and signage posted in the parks as an additional measure to delineate these.
Program accountability will include:
- demonstrable experience,
- safety and ethics training,
- thorough background investigation,
- accuracy proficiency requirement,
- orientation instruction
Montgomery Parks will permit a maximum of six participants at a given time in each affected park. Hunting will occur from a stationary, elevated position, with shots restricted in distance and directed into a safe backstop.
The deer population across much of Montgomery County has reached levels that far exceed the capacity for sustainability of the natural environment and the patience of county residents. “County citizens and representatives continue to request expanded deer population management efforts,” said Montgomery Parks Wildlife Ecologist Bill Hamilton. “The use of regulated archery hunting will allow the Department of Parks to provide additional service in areas where firearms discharge regulation and/or access limitations prohibit the use of existing deer management programming.”
Archery hunting programs occur on several public lands within Montgomery County. Programs similar to that which Montgomery Parks is proposing, occur on many public lands within the population-dense suburbs of Washington D.C. There is no record of injury to non-participants or pets in any of these jurisdictions.
“The safety of residents remains our top priority,” added Hamilton. “In 19 years of operations, and having directly reduced the deer population by nearly 15,000 deer, we have not had one occurrence of personal injury of the public as a result of the Department’s deer management operations. Programs have completed safely, achieving successful reductions of deer density and impacts, and generating an approximate 750,000 servings of lean protein into area shelters and soup kitchens. The Department of Parks will strive to maintain this reputation, through the ongoing attention to detail across all of our deer management programs.”
Montgomery Parks is seeking public comments on the proposed initiative through July 30, 2015. The proposed project will add two additional parks, under the stewardship of Montgomery Parks, into the Deer Population Management Program.
There are a two ways for the public to provide comments on this initiative.
- Using our Online Comment Tool
- Writing to us via the U.S. mail
c/o M-NCPPC, Deer Management Initiatives
12535 Milestone Manor Lane
Germantown, MD 20876
Review the Input
Montgomery Parks will collect and post all public comments received. Personal information such as names and addresses will not included in the comments summary. Comments will be considered as one aspect of the Department of Parks’ evaluation to proceed.
- Summary of Public Comments - Updated 20 July 2015
A summary of comments from the public for this initiative will be posted through the comment period.
Below is a list of Deer Population Management initiatives that have been approved and implemented since July 1, 2004:
- FY2015 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Park (Silver Spring)
- Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Units 5& 6 [including Pilgrim Hill Local Park, Valley Mill Special Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Paint Branch Neighborhood Park] (Silver Spring)
- Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)
- FY2014 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Cabin John Regional Park (Bethesda)
- FY2013 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit #2 (Chevy Chase)
- FY2012 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Sligo Creek Golf Course (Silver Spring)
- FY2011 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit #4 (Olney)
- FY2008 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit #7 (Aspen Hill)
- FY2006 - Park Police Sharpshooting
- Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
- FY2006 - Managed Shotgun Hunting
- North Germantown Greenway/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit #2 (Gaithersburg)
- Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park (Seneca)
- FY2005 - Managed Shotgun Hunting
- Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
- Little Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit #1 [Walt Goode Flying Field] (Boyds)
Below are links to press releases, print articles, videos and community links for your convenience.
- JULY 7, 2015 - MEDIA RELEASE: Montgomery Parks Announces Proposed Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program Pilot Project
- JULY 8, 2015 - ONLINE ARTICLE: mymcmedia.org - Parks Officials Seek Comment on Deer Hunting Pilot Program
- JULY 7, 2015 - ONLINE ARTICLE: BethesdaMagazine.com - Archery Deer Hunts Could Be Coming to Potomac, Germantown
Bill Hamilton, Principal Natural Resource Specialist
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