Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content
menu

Deer in Montgomery County, MD

Deer Management

THE NEED FOR DEER POPULATION MANAGEMENT | DEER PLANS & REPORTS | DEER MANAGEMENT WORK GROUP

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

2013-14 Deer Management Season

The Fall 2013- Winter 2014 Deer Management operations concludes on February 28th for the season and will resume in the fall of 2014.

Background

In recent years, Montgomery County residents have been seeing more white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) than ever before. For many people, the sight of a deer bounding gracefully through the forest is an exciting and memorable experience that they would like to see more often. But, for an increasing number of residents whose landscape plantings or farm crops have been devastated by deer, or who have had the costly experience of hitting a deer with an automobile, there is a growing concern that we may have "too much of a good thing."

Nearly eliminated in the early 1900's, a reintroduction program begun in the 1930's successfully reestablished the deer in the Eastern U.S. Expanding development in once rural areas like Montgomery County, has created a patchwork of natural areas and landscaped suburban yards that is ideal deer habitat.

With no natural predators and restrictions on hunting, deer populations have increased dramatically in the past twenty years. The result has been an increase in deer-human conflicts including deer related automobile accident - 2012 map, damage to agricultural crops and residential gardens, and concerns about lyme disease. Learn more about living with deer here.

The Lottery Application period for 2013 has ended. In the future, if you are interested in participating in the lottery-based Deer Management Program, pre-screening procedures must be followed. New applicants can download the pre-screening application & information here: Pre-screening Managed Hunt Packet (pdf. 773kb).

The Need for Deer Population Management

2012 Deer-Vehicle incidents small mapThe growing concern about deer-related problems over the past two decades indicates that deer populations in some areas of Montgomery County have increased beyond what humans will tolerate. There are also concerns about the damage deer might be causing to natural communities in our parks. Public education on the use of repellents and fencing to protect property and crops, and efforts to reduce deer-auto collisions through public awareness, warning signs, and reflectors, are important tools in reducing deer-human conflicts and increasing human tolerance for deer. These methods alone, however, do little to resolve the problem of overpopulation.

If left unchecked, deer populations can more than double every two years. As the number of deer continue to increase, it is likely that deer-related conflicts will continue to increase. Habitat will degrade and in the long run, the deer will suffer as the population becomes malnourished, unhealthy, and susceptible to disease. A program of deer population reduction can reduce both deer-human conflicts and deer impacts and must be considered as a tool in the long-term reduction of deer-related conflicts in Montgomery County. The County's Deer Management Plan outlines methods of population reduction for public and private lands.

The goal of Montgomery County's Deer Management Plan is to reduce human-deer conflicts to a level that is compatible with human priorities and land uses. In this way, citizens and white-tailed deer can live in harmony and deer will remain a cherished part of our County's natural landscape. Learn more here.

back to top

Deer Plans & Reports

Comprehensive Management Plan for White-tailed Deer

In 1993, responding to citizen concerns about deer-related problems, the Montgomery County Council established a citizen Task Force to Study White-tailed Deer Management. As a result of this group's recommendations, the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group (DMWG) was established to develop a deer management plan for the County and oversee the implementation of a countywide deer management program.

The DMWG is a multi-agency committee with representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, (M-NCPPC) Department of Parks, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service, the Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Service, the Montgomery County Police Department, the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division, the U.S. National Park Service, and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. The goal of the plan is to "Reduce human-deer conflicts to a level that is compatible with human priorities and land uses."

Deer Management Program Annual Reports

Each year the Deer Management Work Group publishes a Report on the current status of deer in the county and lists recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year.

  • FY2014 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2013 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2012 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2011 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2010 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2009 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2008 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
  • FY2007 Annual Report and Recommendations (PDF)
Data Collection Reports

The Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group (DMWG)

  • The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Wildlife and Heritage Service
  • Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Service
  • Montgomery County Police Department
  • U.S. National Park Service
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

back to top - Last update: February 17, 2014