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Deer imageDeer Population Management

DESCRIPTION | PARK POLICE-BASED SHARPSHOOTING | PARK CLOSURE DATES

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

UPDATES: M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks has approved the addition of a Pilot Archery Managed Deer hunting program. In addition, 2015-16 season Park Closure Dates pertaining to Shotgun Managed Hunts and Park Police-based Sharpshooting, are posted below.

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

Description

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 and detailed below.

Managed Deer Hunting

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/or 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. To date, most programming has required participants to utilize shotguns to harvest deer.

In August, 2015, a new initiative was approved to implement a Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program. This Pilot Archery Program utilizes carefully selected hunting groups, consisting of highly qualified hunting participants. To learn more about the Montgomery Parks Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program, please read Archery Managed Deer Hunting: The Next Tool in the Toolbox and please review the Deer Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

Shotgun Managed Deer Hunts were first implemented in the county in the fall of 1996, and have occurred annually ever since. Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting is implemented within three programs, the Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program, the Cooperative Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program, and the Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program.

The Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program is open to public application following review of a pre-screening procedure. New applicants can download the Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Hunt - Pre-screening Packet(PDF. 773kb) to apply. The deadline for new Pre-screening Managed Hunt applicants is the first Friday in August, annually.

The Cooperative Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program utilizes carefully selected groups through a proposal based procedure in which organized, insured hunting groups submit a proposal for select projects. The proposal that best fits the needs and requirements of the Department of Parks is selected and the selected group(s) is assigned to hunt the park locations included in the program. These assignments are made as newly identified, appropriately fitting locations are identified and approved for implementation. Known shotgun hunting groups are invited to submit proposals as the need arises.

The Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program is currently operated in conjunction with a special use, agriculturally leased park location. This program is implemented in accordance with a State of Maryland Deer Management Permit (DMP) intended to mitigate crop damage. This program utilizes hunters identified by the lessee and approved by the Department of Parks and Maryland DNR. The affected park location is not open for general park use due to the agreed terms of the lease.

To date, the Department has conducted shotgun managed deer hunting programs in thirteen county parks with exceptional results. Currently, 10 parks are included in the Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Programs, 2 locations (encompassing 3 park units) are included in the Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program and 1 park is included in the Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program.

To learn more about the Montgomery Parks managed deer hunting programs, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

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 meat 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 27 County parks with exceptional results. If you have any questions about this program, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).

Park Closure Dates

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

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.

Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program

Pilot Project - [No Park Closure – parks remain open to normal use]
Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 1 (Germantown) and Watts Branch Stream Valley Park Units 1 & 2 (Potomac)

Lottery-Based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs

 [Parks Closed Sunrise – Sunset, late Oct through January]
COMING SOON: Information regarding the 2015-16 managed hunt season, including any further proposed new initiatives, will be posted end of summer/early fall 2015.

Established managed hunt park locations include:

October
23 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
26 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
28 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)
30 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

November
4 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)
7 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
9 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
10 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
13 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
14 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
17 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
18 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)
21– Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
23 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)
24 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

December
4 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
5 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
8−11 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)
12 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
15 – Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)
16 – Great Seneca SVU1/North Germantown Greenway Parks (Goshen)
18 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds) & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
19 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
21 – Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

January
2 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
8 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
9 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
15 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds) & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
16 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)
22 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)
29 – Black Hill Regional Park (10 Mi Creek Seg), Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds) & Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)
30 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program

[Park closed to public access year-round]
Goshen Recreation Park (Goshen)

Park Police-Based Sharpshooting Operations

[Parks Closed 6:00PM – 6:00AM daily, January 10 – February 28]
COMING SOON: Information regarding the 2015-16 managed hunt season, including any further proposed new initiatives, will be posted end of summer/early fall 2015.

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)

back to top - Last update: September 2, 2015