Virginia's Ban on Feeding Deer

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011  |  Updated 7:16 AM EDT
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Feeding deer will be illegal across the Commonwealth from September 1 to January 1.

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Starting Thursday, it's illegal to feed deer in Virginia.

The feeding ban runs from Sept. 1 through the first week in January. The ban primarily overlaps hunting season in Virginia, when conflicts can occur between hunters and people who put out feed for deer to enjoy.

The practice can also be misconstrued as deer baiting, which is illegal.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries frowns on feeding deer anytime of the year. Feeding them can unnaturally increase population numbers that damage natural habitats and can increase unwanted human-deer conflicts.

The feeding ban extends year-round in several localities to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease. Those localities are the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren counties, and in the city of Winchester.

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