Virginia Deer News

Deer mortality reported: 'They look like they just laid down and died' April 10, 2014 Virginia, Lynchburg News and Advance
...  in Craig County. She discovered six dead deer on a 187-acre property.  It was a classic case of starvation; all young deer with poor femur marrow... A week earlier, deer showing signs of starvation were reported in Prince William County...

Perfect VA Management Plan: Food Plots and Let Bucks Walk April 10, 2014 Virginia, bigdeerblog.com
... We have 19 food plots, most of them clover & alfalfa, but we made 6 plots with a mixture of buckwheat, corn, sunflowers, sorghum, cow peas and millet...  Pass the one- and 2-year-old bucks, and by age 3 and 4 those bucks will have grown 75% to 95% ...

Prince William, Meeting set on Prince William deer population March 28, 2014 Virginia, Inside Nova 
... a public meeting March 31 on wildlife and deer management issues... The meeting is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Chinn Park Regional Library, 13065 Chinn Park Drive, in Woodbridge...

Southampton big on deer hunting, except when it comes to  muzzleloaders March 27, 2014 Virginia, Lynchburg News and Advance
... Southampton is the only county in Virginia that blocks hunters from participating in the popular black-powder season ... Credit for the ban is placed on several large clubs that prefer to hunt deer with hounds...

Williamsburg, Deer focus of next Williamsburg Neighborhood Council meeting March 21, 2014 Virginia, Daily Press 
... The meeting takes place 8-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 5 at the Quarterpath Recreation Center on Quarterpath Road...

Deer stuck between I-395 and Van Dorn March 18, 2014 Virginia, ABC 7 News 
Alexandria...  A deer is stuck on a patch of land for a couple of years ... "  ... in another week it will be gone " ... VDOT is building an extra lane ... "someone needs to help her ..." ... so far no one seems able to help ...

Prince William County, Public Meeting on Wildlife and Deer Management March 31 March 6, 2014 Virginia, Patch.com
...  On Monday, March 31, 2014 the Occoquan District Supervisor’s Office will host a Public Meeting on the Issues of Wildlife and Deer Management in Prince William County. The meeting is open to the public ...

Virginia confirms two more CWD deer March 1, 2014 Cumberland Times News Homepage 
... Two new cases of chronic wasting disease were detected in Frederick County during the 2013 hunting season ...  a 1.5-year-old buck was killed on Nov. 23, approximately 10 miles southeast of the previously reported cluster...

Sunday hunting expected to be signed into law March 1, 2014 Virginia, Tidewater News
... House Bill 1237, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, passed the General Assembly and now is in the hands of the governor. A similar bill, Senate Bill 154, is expected to pass the General Assembly later this week.  Both bills would allow for Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals only on private property...

Virginia will have Sunday hunting on private lands February 22, 2014 Cumberland Times-News 
... The Virginia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would repeal the state’s ban on Sunday hunting on private property...

Roanoke, 2013 hunting season sets records February 27, 2014 Virginia, WDBJ7.com
... Roanoke is one of the few cities in the commonwealth that contracts out its deer culling ...  paid an outside company $40,000 to kill those 210 deer... Experts say that lack of acorns drove more deer into more populated areas...

Deer kill up in Virginia February 20, 2014 Virginia, Daily Progress 
...  Ninety of 97 deer management units (93 percent) had an increased deer kill...  Statewide, the harvest was about equally split with bucks and does. There were about 126,000 antlered or button bucks checked in compared to 116,000 females...  We had an awful mast crop ...

Decline in acorns benefited hunters through past season, Harvest Data February 19, 2014 Virginia, news.fredericksburg.com 
... Hunters reported 242,734 deer killed, including 106,230 antlered bucks, 20,082 button bucks, 116,304 does and 118 “unknown” deer. Last year’s total is up 13 percent over the previous year, which saw deer kills in some counties fall off sharply after an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease. Does represented 48 percent of the total deer killed...

Fairfax City deer spaying update: 18 does sterilized, more next year February 17, 2014 Virginia, Washington Post 
... The program costs about $1,000 per sterilization, which is being paid for the first two years by Wildlife Rescue of Maryland... The program involves shooting the deer with tranquilizer darts, each equipped with a tracking device ... From darting to release took about 90 minutes per deer ... it is being tried .. in small communities in New York, California, Missouri and Maryland. Early results there seem to show a 10 to 15 percent population drop per year, with limited migration of new deer from outside the targeted area. 

Deer, bear, turkey harvest data announced February 12, 2014 Virginia, Rappahannock News
... During the past deer season 242,734 deer were reported killed by deer hunters in Virginia.  This total included 106,230 antlered bucks, 20,082 button bucks, 116,304 does (48 percent), and 118 “unknown” deer.  The fall 2013 deer kill total was up 13 percent from the 215,241 deer reported killed last fall.  It is also slightly above the last ten-year average of 232,600 (up 4 percent)...

Sunday hunting bills progress through General Assembly February 10, 2014 Virginia, tidewaterreview.com
...  Delegate Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, said the legislation is meant to counter the decline of hunting-license purchases in Virginia. Gilbert said license purchases have decreased by 50 percent over the past 30 years... the bills are facing unanticipated pushback from some rural area representatives and the Virginia Farm Bureau... 

... two new cases of [chronic wasting disease] were detected in Frederick County during the 2013 hunting season....

Deer population not out of control here February 8, 2014 Virginia, Northern Virginia Daily 
... Del. Todd Gilbert's reasoning to support Sunday hunting it would help with the out of control deer population... Did Gilbert do any research ... the deer kill in Shenandoah County has declined by roughly 40 percent over the past eight years. It was down 12 percent in 2012 alone... many hunters are afraid there won't be any deer left to hunt before long...

Williamsburg, Options limited to control deer herds February 4, 2014 Virginia, VAGazette 
... A few years ago, for two years in a row, Martin said city hunters tried to hunt William and Mary's 566-acre College Woods. Even with police blocking access points, hunters still found mountain bikers and hikers in the woods.  "We didn't wait until an incident made us stop," ... For now, as long as the deer in College Woods stay off of city and Colonial Williamsburg land, and the roads, they are relatively safe...

Fairfax City, From the woods to surgery and back again: Deer spaying begins in Fairfax City February 3, 2014 Virginia, Washington Post (blog) 
... the program was aided by a raft of volunteers, many with Maryland’s Wildlife Rescue, who helped ... It’s the first time this has been tried in Virginia... he cost of the Fairfax City program is estimated to be about $50,000, and is being paid entirely, for the first two years, by donors to Wildlife Rescue... In areas where the program has begun, deer population seems to be dropping by about 10 percent per year, but it’s still too early to judge...

Sunday Hunting Bill Clears Hurdle in Virginia January 28, 2014 Townhall.com 
... the Virginia House passed a bill Tuesday lifting the ban on Sunday hunting on private lands (with owner permission). The vote was 71-27 and the bill is headed to the Senate for consideration on Thursday...

Williamsburg, Culling of deer in Williamsburg is a pointed controversy January 29, 2014  Virginia, The Virginia Gazette 
... Opinions range from using deterrents, relocating them, sterilizing them, giving them contraception and managing them through controlled hunts or extended archery seasons. And leaving them alone ... Ullman and Little believe the lots are too small to justify archery and are too close to Jamestown Road and Walsingham Academy ...

Caroline County hunting ordinance at issue January 27, 2014 Virginia,  news.fredericksburg.com 
... Garry Gray, a Caroline resident and a member of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, is advocating for the change to use the state’s law, which would allow high-powered rifles to be used during deer-hunting season...

Lawmakers to Consider Allowing Hunting on Sundays January 26, 2014 Virginia, WHSV 
... On Monday, the House of Delegates will discuss a bill that would allow hunting on Sundays. Currently it is illegal to do so in Virginia.  Under the bill, people would be allowed to hunt on their private property or at someone's private property with written permission...

'Feast or famine' for Lynchburg area's deer hunters this season January 25, 2014 Virginia, Lynchburg News and Advance 
... expecting Virginia’s total harvest to be up about 17 percent from the 2012-13 firearm season ... Local hunters, however, have questioned the department’s methods. They say a regulation introduced in 2008 — intended to cull the herds through the killing of does — instead incentivizes hunters to lie about their number of kills, inflating the size of the reported harvest...

Fairfax City, State Gives Green Light, Fairfax City's Deer Sterilization Set to Begin January 24, 2014 Virginia, Patch.com 
...  the City of Fairfax is set to begin the sterilization of its female deer in just one week ...  Once the program is complete, the City can expect to see a reduction in the local deer population by around 15 percent annually... 

... The Commonwealth of Virginia has approved a plan by Fairfax City to humanely reduce its deer population by sterilizing the does, making the city the first jurisdiction in Virginia to try such an approach. The initial cost of the program has been provided by donors to Wildlife Rescue, a Maryland animal rights group, and on Friday the Humane Society of the United States added its endorsement and chipped in another $3,000...

Arlington to Conduct Deer Census January 17, 2014 Virginia, ARL now 
... Arlington residents will be asked to spend a half hour counting the deer in their community.  Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation is organizing its first “Deer Day” on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Parks officials are attempting to take “a snapshot census of the deer population in Arlington.” ...

...  a combination of factors – including a growing deer population and increasing occurrences of Lyme disease – have inspired state legislation to allow county officials to permit Sunday hunting on private land within their jurisdictions if they want to. [deer density generally not correlated with Lyme disease]

Virginia Sunday hunting bill sweeping in scope January 11, 2014 Roanoke Times
... SB 154: A bill (SB 9) to legalize the hunting of coyotes on Sunday was an early arrival... the bill prohibits hunting deer with dogs on Sundays.  Hunting deer with dogs is a longstanding, legal tradition in Eastern Virginia. However, it’s a practice that doesn’t sit well with some citizens, including plenty of hunters ,,,

Fairfax City, All forms of deer management should be humane January 10, 2014 Virginia, Fairfax Times
...  In Frederick, Md. in November, a hunter using a .30-30 ... shot a deer. The bullet traveled through the deer killing it, through an aluminum siding wall, and hit a 4-year-old boy. The boy survived... A culling is planned for Frying Pan Park during late January and February and there seems to be low concern for neighborhood safety with the magnitude of ammo planned for use...

Deer hunters see ‘tale of two seasons’ January 6, 2014 Virginia, Roanoke.com
... After peaking at about 260,000 in 2009, the annual whitetail kill in Virginia has settled down. Last year’s take of about 215,000 deer was the lowest since 2005, and well below the 10-year average of nearly 233,000... The DGIF’s deer management plan, built using input from a varied stakeholder committee, calls for stabilization of the deer herd, and even reduction of the herd in some areas...

Fairfax county, All ideas welcome on deer control January 3, 2014 Virginia,  Fairfax Times
... Last month, Fairfax City officials signed off on a pilot program to control the deer population by removing the ovaries from females...  the program will be funded by a grant — not city or taxpayer funds... At the moment, Fairfax County’s deer management program relies mostly on managed hunts at area parks...

Poaching steadily increasing December 22, 2013 Virginia, Mansfield News Journal 
... Virginia Conservation Police Offier Chance Bobbs said the number of calls his agency has been getting from the public about poachers has been steadily increasing...it’s helpful for people to call in and give as much information as possible...  Report poaching at: 1-800-237-5712

Fairfax,  Sterilizing deer isn’t cheap, or efficient December 19, 2013 Virginia, Fredericksburg
... Anthony J. DeNicola, who holds a doctorate in wildlife ecology, said sterilization is an efficient (albeit somewhat expensive) option...  “There is quite a separation between areas suitable for hunting and areas where you’d use non-lethal methods... 

... [Mayor] Silverthorne said he wasn’t convinced that managed deer hunts in Fairfax County, which surrounds his city, had been having any impact on the deer population...  surgical sterilization programs in four other locations around the country, including one in Baltimore County ... Now, with Fairfax City prepared to join the project, the research database will grow for examining its effectiveness ...

Fairfax City pursues deer sterilization program December 16, 2013 Virginia, Fairfax Times
... The city will support a grant-funded research program that uses surgical sterilization of female deer as a mechanism for controlling deer population ... Dr. Anthony DiNicola, of White Buffalo, Inc., will coordinate the program. He estimates that the city’s deer population is between 50 to 75 deer per square mile, which is lower than areas considered to have a deer crisis... “I can’t guarantee that deer are going to become a problem here,” DiNicola told the City Council last week ...

Not every shot is a good one December 14, 2013 Virginia, Roanoke.com
... researchers studied results of managed archery hunts at the Naval Support Facility Indian Head in Maryland.  From 1989 through 2006, bowhunters shot 908 deer with bows and crossbows. Of those, 162 were not recovered ... a study at Minnesota’s Camp Ripley found a non-recovery rate of 13 percent...

Fairfax City will sterilize, not hunt deer December 12, 2013 Virginia, WTOP
... The City of Fairfax will be the first jurisdiction in Virginia to allow female deer to be surgically sterilized in an effort to control the animals' numbers...  Fairfax Mayor Scott Silverthorne ... "(With) archery, there was just too much evidence, at least for me, to get comfortable with the humane question." ...he's heard of cases locally and around the country in which a deer managed to live as long as several days after being shot with an arrow. 

... Using grant funding, not taxpayer dollars, Silverthorne says, the organization will tranquilize female deer, anesthetize them and have veterinarians surgically remove their ovaries. They don’t work with bucks because “males are not monogamous,” according to the mayor. ...

Prince William Forest Park conducts bi-annual white-tailed deer surveys to count the number of deer in the park, and to gauge the health of the piedmont forest. The deer have a direct impact on the availability of seeds, the growth of plants, and the availability of food for other mammals and species around the park. By following population trends within the park, the Prince William Forest Park Biologist can predict seasonal impacts of other species and plants. Typically, the biologist surveys with a team of 3-6 park employees. Starting with a safety briefing and proper behavior along the survey, the counters then load in the truck and keep their eyes peeled for deer. Surveyors try to keep track of whether the deer is a buck, doe, or fawn, the number of deer in a group, and the distance of the deer from Scenic Drive. For this survey, many of the deer were concentrated near one of Prince William Forest Park's popular family campgrounds. If you happen to be camping out there, a peek out the tent flap and perhaps a buck would be sitting right outside! - Virginia, December 12, 2013



... [in] 1974, 2,247 deer were reported killed in Bath Country, the highest of any county in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge Mountains... Bath has come in below 2,000 the past several seasons. It was 1,728 last season ... hunters in Bath are working to bring back the deer herd and the tourism that goes with it ... 

Fairfax, City to Consider Deer Sterilization to Help Manage Overpopulation ... December 10, 2013 Virginia, Patch.com
... City Manager Bob Sisson said in a staff report, "The City has an opportunity to participate in a grant-funded research program exploring the use of surgical sterilization of female deer as an effective method of managing deer populations in suburban areas. The program would be conducted by Dr. Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo, Inc. under a permit issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)."...

Cochran’s take in on deer kill rollercoaster December 4, 2013 Virginia, Roanoke Times
...  ·Knox said before the season started that the deer population is down. If it weren’t for the mast failure, he said, the kill would probably be down. The mast failure, however, could inflate the kill numbers by making deer more visible and vulnerable....
     Biologist says “Bah Humbug” to big deer kill December 3, 2013 Virginia, Roanoke.com 
... the Department of Game and Inland fisheries deer project leader, Knox may be the only guy involved in Virginia deer hunting who said "Bah Humbug" to Monday's report that the deer kill count suddenly had taken a leap from a negative to a positive...  you apply statistics to each county to see if they meet management objectives to increase, decrease or stabilize the herd, and do that over a minimum of several years...




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Virginia data:  The 2013 deer population estimated at about 920,000, a decline resulting from increased doe hunting licenses, a poor acorn crop, and a severe outbreak of Hemorrhagic Disease that reduced the herd significantly in some areas starting in late summer of 2012.  A peak population of about 1 million deer in the state for 2012, up from the estimated 900,000 in 2011. About 200,000 taken during deer hunting season.each year.  There were only about 25,000 deer left in the state in the 1930's after years of over hunting.  Economic hardship drove many hunters into the field during the Great Depression.  Conservation efforts allowed the deer populations to recover during the 1940 to the early 1990's when the deer population reached its current approximate size.

- 21st Century Deer Management for Fairfax County

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' mission is: To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; ...

Deer Management Objectives: Deer were plentiful and widespread when Jamestown was settled in 1607. By 1900, over-harvest of deer for food and hides had nearly extirpated the species. Since the 1930s, Virginia's deer population has rebounded as a result of protective game laws, restocking of deer into areas where they were absent, and land use changes. Since the early 1990s, deer management objectives have switched from restoring and increasing to controlling and stabilizing populations over much of the Commonwealth.

Game and Inland Fisheries News


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Deer in Shenandoah Park




Shenandoah National Park Deer - December 4, 2013