Deer ‘Population Management’ in Montgomery County Parks Near You

Schedule of hunting and park closures for fall 2020 – winter 2021

Deer populations across much of Montgomery County have reached levels that exceed the capacity for the sustainability of the natural environment (Biological Carrying Capacity) as well as the capacity for tolerance by residents in the county (Cultural Carrying Capacity), according to county documents.

In response to the recommendations of the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group, deer population management programs have been established to reduce and maintain deer populations on parkland. Deer population management is conducted by the Department of Parks through managed deer hunting programs and a Park Police-based sharpshooting program.

Archery Hunting Program

The Archery Hunting Program is a low impact and effective method of managing deer populations in the county, according to the parks department. Archery hunting occurs from September – January, annually, in select park locations. Park locations where hunting occurs remain open to the public during these times.

The Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program uses organized and insured hunting groups that are selected through an application and review procedure. Once selected, groups are assigned to a specific park location for the duration of the Montgomery Parks Archery Managed Deer Hunting Season, annually.

The county is not currently accepting applications, but to be considered for future opportunities, contact MCP-DeerManagement@MontgomeryParks.org.

Managed Deer Hunting

M-NCPPC Department of Parks conducts managed deer hunts in select parks on select dates 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. State and local laws are met and/or exceeded throughout each of the Managed Deer Hunting Programs.

Shotgun Hunting Programs

Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting is implemented through the Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program and the Cooperative Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program. Park locations where hunting occurs are closed to the public for 24 hours on the day of the hunt.

The Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Deer Hunting Program is open to the public application following pre-screening. New applicants can download the Lottery-based Shotgun Managed Hunt Pre-screening Packet 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, which are organized and insured, through a proposal-based procedure in select parks.

For more information, contact MCP-DeerManagement@MontgomeryParks.org.

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

Park Police-based Sharpshooting

In order to reduce and maintain deer populations, Department of Parks, Montgomery County, conducts police-based sharpshooting in select parks during the two-month period of February – March, annually.

Deer population reductions are conducted overnight from sunset until sunrise while the parks are closed to the public. Police-based sharpshooting programs are directed and supervised by the Department’s Natural Resources Stewardship Section and Park Police Division.

Deer are removed safely and discreetly. The meat from 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 more than 330,000 pounds of venison (1,320,000 servings) to those in need. If you have questions about this program, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Montgomery Parks Deer Population Management Programs

Schedule of Events & Park Closures for Fall 2020 – Winter 2021

Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program

Pre-selected Groups: M-NCPPC Permit, Only. No Park Closure – Parks remain open to the public as usual. Hunting may occur Monday – Saturday, September – January, annually. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise all day until one-half hour after sunset.

• Bennett Creek Conservation Park (Damascus)

• Bucklodge Conservation Park (Boyds)

• Cabin John Stream Valley Park Units 1, 2 & 3 (Bethesda/Cabin John)

• Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 1 (Gaithersburg)

• Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park Units 1, 2 & 3 (Darnestown/North Potomac)

• North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Olney)

• Watts Branch Stream Valley Park Units 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Potomac/Travilah)

Lottery-based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs

Hunting by M-NCPPC Permit, Only.

Parks Closed for 24 hours on each scheduled date

October

23 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

24 Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

Bucklodge Conservation Park (Boyds)

30 Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

November

2 Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

4 North Germantown Greenway/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit #2 (Gaithersburg)

6 Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

Bucklodge Conservation Park (Boyds)

7 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

10 Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown)

12 Bennett Creek Conservation Park (Damascus)

13 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

16 Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

18 North Germantown Greenway/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit #2 (Gaithersburg)

20 Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

21 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

24 Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Potomac)

December

2 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)

3 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)

4 Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

5 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

7 Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney)

8 Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Potomac)

9 North Germantown Greenway/Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit #2 (Gaithersburg)

10 Bennett Creek Conservation Park (Damascus)

12 Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)

16 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)

17 Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg)

18 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

January

2 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

8 Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

9 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

14 Bennett Creek Conservation Park (Damascus)

16 Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)

22 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

28 Bennett Creek Conservation Park (Damascus)

30 Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

Park Police-based Sharpshooting Operation Locations 2021

Parks and Trails Closed at night for two months, Feb. 1 – March 31 from Sunset – Sunrise, Monday-Friday

• 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)

• Laytonia Recreational Park (Gaithersburg)

• Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park (Silver Spring)

• Muncaster Recreational Park (Gaithersburg)

• Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)

• North Branch Stream Valley Park Units 2 & 3 (Norbeck)

• Northwest Branch Recreation Park (Aspen Hill - including Layhill Local Park in Wheaton)

• Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Silver Spring – including attached Kemp Mill Estates Local Park)

• Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Norwood)

• Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)

• Paint Branch Stream Valley, Units 5&6 (Silver Spring - including Paint Branch Neighborhood Park, Pilgrim Hills Local Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Valley Mill Special Park)

• Pope Farm Nursery (Gaithersburg)

• Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Olney)

• 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)

• Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 5 (Silver Spring– including attached Colt Terrace Neighborhood Park)

• Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)

• Woodlawn Special Park (Sandy Spring)

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