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No, City of Charlottesville Parks are all closed by ordinance at the times that this operation will take place.
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Deer management is a frequent topic raised by community members. Concerns have typically been vehicle collisions, landscape damage, fear of disease transmission, and health of the herd due to overpopulation. City Council received extensive information on lethal and non-lethal strategies that are implemented by localities in Virginia via staff presentations between September 2016 and June 2017. As a result, City Council adopted an urban archery ordinance and agreed to couple that population management strategy with professional services.
The deer removal will be conducted by a wildlife management firm contracting with the City, Blue Ridge Wildlife and Pest Management LLC.
The vendor was chosen through a competitive process after the City issued a Request For Proposals. The selected vendor team are wildlife professionals and qualified marksman active in Virginia and other States. You can learn more here: www.yourwildlifepro.com.
The contract specifies that up to 125 deer will be removed for $50,000. During 2018-2020 deer culling has removed an average of 92 deer annually.
Suppressed rifles will be used by the firm. Stands will be used in some, but not all, cases. The firm uses frangible bullets to increase safety.
You should call 911 if you believe you heard gunshots. Police will be in close contact with the wildlife management firm and know their location at all times.
The animal is transported to a meat processing facility and all of the proceeds return to local food banks. The vendor estimates over 3,000 pounds of venison will be available to help feed local residents.
The City expects the vendor to start their work on February 1, 2021 and complete their work after 4-6 weeks. All activity will happen during nighttime hours.
The City and the wildlife management firm have selected specific areas in City parks. The City will be putting up signs in the areas where deer management will take place.
No, citizens are not permitted to participate outside of the approved urban archery ordinance.
This has been a concern shared by a number of residents and was specifically discussed with Council prior to the approval of this program. Our selected wildlife management firm has specific instructions to avoid all albino/white deer and has acknowledged their plans to comply in writing.
General questions about the deer culling program can be left on the City’s Public Input voicemail line at 434-970-3109.