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Council President Exploring Deer Management Tactics

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 11/8/2012, 1:50pm  ET

County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) said he’s exploring a number of options for thinning out the area’s deer population at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday night in Potomac.

A resident complained about the prevalence of deer in his neighborhood and two vehicle accidents he experienced, which he blamed on deer running through the street.

“We’re trying. We get it,” said Berliner, who as a former resident of MacArthur Boulevard near the C&O Canal National Park said he’s had close encounters in the past.

This week, the Council supported a deer management bill proposal as a county priority for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.

The bill would reduce restrictions for archery hunters by allowing them to hunt up to 50 yards from a home with the resident’s permission instead of up to 150 yards from a home. The bill is sponsored Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) who represents parts of East County, Brookeville and Damascus.

Berliner also said he’s asked Maryland’s congressional leaders to help the U.S. Park Service find funding for an Environmental Impact Statement that would allow it to pursue a managed deer hunt in C&O Canal Park.

The Council has “steadily increased funding” for deer management over County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended totals, Berliner said.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is weighing a managed deer hunt in a section of Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase. The vast majority of public comment on that plan supported the program.

Flickr photo by John Dylan O’Leary