James City County considers expanding hunting season to address exploding deer population

Posted at 10:12 PM, Mar 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 06:27:04-05

James City County, Va. - Deer in James City County take notice!

Archery Hunting season is getting a bit longer, four additional months to be exact, through the state's Urban Archery program.

It's an extension requested by hunters and endorsed by the Board of Supervisors.

“Hunter's requested it as we were looking at hunting a year and half ago. It was a safer way of hunting and would extend the hunting season,” says Leo Rogers, James City County Attorney.

A bloated deer population is a big concern for local biologists.

“It can also lead to overcrowding by deer. They feed on crops and ornamental flowers, the trees people plant,” says Aaron Proctor, VDGIF District Wildlife Biologist.

Last year 12 percent of deer harvested in Virginia were from archers.

The extension would give hunters more time to manage deer populations.

“All it does is extend places where citizens can regularly now hunt during the regular season another four months. It doesn't open up any new areas to deer hunting,” says Proctor.

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The program comes with restrictions; only does can be taken and bag limits still apply.

But the program should help curb the big concern with overpopulation.

“There's not many predation threats in urbanized suburban areas so if left unchecked, the population will take off exponentially,” says Proctor.

“With the growth we've experienced here in JCC and the fact that the natural predators of the deer are missing, the deer population has exploded,” says Rogers.

James City County will apply for the urban archery program this month which will allow it to start during the upcoming deer hunting season which begins September first.