Bambi may have one less place to hide soon. The Fairfax City Council is studying a proposed regulation that would allow managed deer hunts on large tracts of private property.
The request to permit some managed hunting in the densely-populated, 6.3-square-mile city comes not from hunters, but from golfers. City officials say the Army Navy Country Club asked that a regulation be considered to help with deer control problems on the golf course.
The regulation that's being studied in a work session would only allow managed deer hunting on private property 25 acres or bigger. Only bow and arrow hunting would be permitted, and archer stands would be set up at least 100 feet from roads and other property lines.
Managed hunting would only be done on park or public land with approval from the city manager. Some 40 Virginia cities and counties have adopted some type of controlled deer hunting regulations. Many residents said deer overpopulation is a problem.
"They are dangerous, having the things jump out in front of your car," said longtime resident Linda Baird.
But another resident worried whether bow hunting was a humane way to cull the deer herd. She recalled what happened when a friend hired a bow hunter to kill deer on her property.
"Well, sometimes they don't exactly die when they shoot them," said Nancy Ann Cook. "They had an archer come to their property and it (the deer) got away and went across the neighbors’, who were pretty upset."
If the city council decides to move ahead with the staff-proposed regulation, an official text amendment would be proposed. Public hearings would likely be held in September.