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deer'Deer Population Management

MANAGING FOR BALANCE | MANAGED DEER HUNTING | PARK POLICE-BASED SHARPSHOOTING | PARK CLOSURE DATES

NOTICE: Information for emergency situations relating to deer that requires immediate assistance can be found HERE.

NEW: Proposed Deer Management Archery Pilot Program
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. Public comments are welcome through 3pm, July 31, 2015.

Information regarding the 2015-16 managed hunt season, including any further proposed new initiatives, will be posted the end of the summer/early fall 2015.

Managing for Balance

Deer populations across much of Montgomery County have reached levels that exceed the capacity for sustainability of the natural environment (Biological Carrying Capacity) as well as the capacity for tolerance by citizens residing in the County (Cultural Carrying Capacity). In response to the recommendations of the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group, and in an effort to reduce human-deer conflicts to a level that is compatible with human priorities and land uses, deer population management programs were established to directly reduce and maintain deer populations on parkland. At present, deer population management conducted by the Department of Parks is accomplished through lethal means. Managed Deer Hunting and Park Police-based Sharpshooting are the designated tools utilized. These program elements are described below.

Managed Deer Hunting

Information regarding the 2015-16 managed hunt season, including any further proposed new initiatives, will be posted the end of the summer/early fall 2015.

M-NCPPC Department of Parks, in order to reduce and maintain deer populations in accordance with the goals of the County’s deer management plan, conducts managed deer hunts in select parks during the fall and winter, annually.

Programming is designed with public safety being paramount. Managed hunting programs are directed by the Department’s Natural Resources Stewardship Section and participants are required to follow strict safety and procedural guidelines. Safety zones are established to meet or exceed State and County regulations and hunting sites/areas are selected to use terrain, distance, and habitat to enhance safe weapons discharge.

Weapons discharge is directed into the ground and/or other suitable backdrops, and in most cases hunting from an elevated position is required to help ensure that hunters’ have a suitable backstop. A variety of harvest strategies have been employed using all weapons legal for deer hunting in the county. However, to date, most programming requires participants to utilize shotguns to harvest deer. Rifled or saboted slug ammunition is required to increase accuracy. On dates when managed shotgun hunting is occurring the affected park is closed to the public.

Managed hunts (shotgun) were implemented in the county in the fall of 1996, and have occurred annually ever since. To date, the Department has conducted shotgun managed deer hunting programs in thirteen county parks with exceptional results. Currently, eleven parks are included in the Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program.

For Fiscal Year 2016, a new programming initiative has been proposed to add a Deer Management Archery Pilot Program to the toolbox of deer population management strategies. A proposed pilot project has been developed and, if approved, will be implemented this fall (2015). If approved and implemented, this project will utilize qualified, organized groups of archery hunters to safely and efficiently remove deer from select park locations. Public comments are welcome through 3pm, July 31, 2015. Safety will remain the top priority, and affected parks will remain open to public use.

To learn more about the Montgomery Parks managed deer hunting programs, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding deer population management being conducted on County parklands.

If you would like to participate in the lottery based managed deer hunting program, pre-screening procedures must be followed. New applicants can download the Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Hunt Pre-screening Packet(PDF. 773kb). The deadline for new Pre-screening Managed Hunt applicants is the first Friday in August, annually.

Park Police-based Sharpshooting

The M-NCPPC Department of Parks, Montgomery County, in order to reduce and maintain deer populations in accordance with the goals of the County’s deer management plan, conducts Police-based sharpshooting in select parks during the period of January through February.

Deer population reductions are conducted from 6:00PM until 6:00AM while the parks are closed to the public. Programming is designed with public safety being paramount. Police-based sharpshooting programs are directed and supervised by the Department’s Natural Resources Stewardship Section and Park Police Division. Park Police Officers assigned to duty in this program have received extensive training and certification, and utilize advanced equipment and techniques. Firearms discharge is conducted in a safe manner, with safe backdrops identified prior to firing.

Deer are removed safely, humanely, and discreetly. The product of all deer harvested through Park Police Sharpshooting operations is donated to the Capital Area Food Bank for distribution to the region’s charitable organizations throughout the surrounding area. To date, the Department of Parks has donated nearly 200,000 pounds of venison (800,000 servings) to those in need.

Police-based sharpshooting was implemented in the county in the spring of 1999 and has occurred annually ever since. To date, the Department has conducted Police-based sharpshooting programs in twenty-six County parks with exceptional results. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on this topic.

Park Closure Dates

LOTTERY-BASED & COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS | PARK POLICE SHARPSHOOTING OPERATIONS | TENANT-BASED PROGRAM

NOTICE: The new Park Closure dates and locations for 2015 - 2016 Managed Deer Hunting and Park Police Sharpshooting Operations will be posted at the end of summer/early fall.

For public safety, the Department of Parks closes select park locations to public access for the duration of deer population management operations. These park closures are enforced, under park regulation (Chapter III, Section 2, Letter B.), by the Department’s Park Police Division.

Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program Pilot Project (if approved and implemented)

[No Park Closure – parks remain open to normal use]

Lottery-Based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs

 [Parks Closed, Sunrise – Sunset, late Oct through January]
The 2014-15 Deer Population Management Season is complete. Information pertaining to the 2015-16 season will be posted at the end of the summer and early fall. Established managed hunt park locations include:

Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)
Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)
Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
North Germantown Greenway (Clarksburg)/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park (Gaithersburg)
Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

Park Police-Based Sharpshooting Operations

[Parks Closed 6:00PM – 6:00AM daily, January 10 – February 28]
The 2014-15 Deer Population Management Season is complete. Information pertaining to the 2015-16 season will be posted at the end of the summer and early fall. Established Park Police-based Sharpshooting park locations include:

Agricultural History Farm Park (Derwood - including attached segments of Rock Creek Stream Valley Units 15 & 16)
Black Hill Regional Park [Day Use Area] (Boyds)
Cabin John Regional Park (Bethesda)
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park (Silver Spring)
Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)
North Branch Stream Valley Park Units 2 & 3 (Norbeck)
North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Olney)
Northwest Branch Recreation Park (Aspen Hill - including Layhill Local Park in Wheaton)
Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Norwood)
Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)
Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Units 5 & 6 (Silver Spring – including Pilgrim Hill Local Park, Valley Mill Special Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Paint Branch Neighborhood Park)
Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)
Rock Creek Regional Park (Rockville)
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 (Chevy Chase)
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Aspen Hill)
Sligo Creek Golf Course (Silver Spring)
Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
Woodlawn Cultural Special Park (Sandy Spring)

Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program

[Park closed to public access year-round]

Goshen Recreation Park (Goshen)

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