Closures are scheduled for parks across Montgomery County in coming months as sharpshooters and archers cull the deer population, according to a press release.
Montgomery Parks on Thursday released details about its annual deer management program, which will take place across 41 parks and run from September through March.
Qualified, prescreened hunters are allowed to participate in archery and shotgun hunts at several county parks, according to the press release. Parks will close for 24-hour periods for the shotgun hunts, which take place from October through January.
Park Police sharpshooters will handle the hunt at 28 locations from January through March. These hunts will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., when the parks are typically closed. The first of these hunts is scheduled for Jan. 8 to 12.
More than 17,000 deer have been killed since the program began 21 years ago in response to an overabundant deer population. Too many deer in an area can lead to an increased number of traffic accidents and cause damage to the environment, the release stated.
The deer meat from the program is used or donated by hunters; Park Police have contributed more than 247,000 pounds of venison to the Capital Area Food Bank over the program’s life, according to the parks press release.
Officials will post signs at each location to notify visitors before an upcoming hunt and have posted the schedule online.