Bethesda Resident Says She Is Giving Up on Lawsuit Challenging Bow-Hunting Program

Bethesda Resident Says She Is Giving Up on Lawsuit Challenging Bow-Hunting Program

But deer advocate pledges to continue fighting for animals

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Via Montgomery Parks

Updated 3:35 p.m. Thursday: The Bethesda woman who sued the Montgomery Parks system over a bow-hunting program said she does not plan to contest a state appellate court’s ruling against her.

But Eilene Cohhn said she’s not ready to give up yet. 

“I will never stop fighting to protect the gentle deer from being impaled by speeding steel arrows and left to suffer slow, agonizing deaths,” she wrote Wednesday in an email. “Their appalling suffering is completely unjustified because deer populations are effectively managed by reducing the availability of food–and if the deer must be killed, the county should use police sharpshooters instead.”

Last month, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled against Cohhn, deciding that the park was not violating animal cruelty laws by using bow hunting to control the deer population. With its ruling, the three-judge panel affirmed a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge’s decision against Cohhn.

Cohhn filed her lawsuit against the parks system in September 2015, about a month after officials launched a program to test out the archery in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park in Germantown and Watts Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac.

In her email this week, Cohhn wrote that she still believes Montgomery parks should not spend taxpayer dollars on an archery program, when other methods of deer management are available. In a Thursday phone interview, Cohhn said she'll continue her fight against the bow-hunting program by spreading information and holding public officials accountable.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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