Feeding deer is about to become illegal in Virginia.
The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January.
The state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said the ban is intended to curb the negative consequences of feeding deer, such as unnaturally increasing population numbers. That can lead to damage to natural habitats, disease transmission and human-deer conflicts, like vehicle collisions with the large animals.
Besides the September-to-January feeding ban, it is now illegal to feed deer all year in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren counties.
The feeding ban in those four counties is part of the department's chronic wasting disease management plan established in April.