For Immediate Release: 07 December 2009

Fairfax, VA ““ Local representatives for Friends of Animals, an advocacy organization founded in 1957, will be speaking at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting today in opposition to the bowhunting of white-tailed deer at Colvin Run and Laurel Hill. County officials have contracted with a volunteer bowhunting group in an attempt to control the deer populations.

“Does our tendency to spread into suburban areas give us a right to kill, control or otherwise dominate wildlife,” questioned Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals. “Have the deer turned Fairfax County into strip malls, parking lots and interstate pavements? Have the deer procreated beyond nature’s ability to sustain them? No, we’re attacking other animals with no genuine reason or logic.”

With only a two-day notice, 270 residents in Colvin Run were notified that park officials had scheduled a bowhunt in their area. The public outcry has been swift. County officials have attempted to reassure its residents that the bowhunters are well-trained, however, because the county is using volunteer archers, many locals are understandably wary.

Bowhunting is not humane or particularly effective. In fact, bowhunters admit they routinely strike deer but do not kill them [1]. It can take days for wounded deer to be recovered, if they are recovered at all. Oftentimes, the animals are still alive once found. When a wounded deer escapes, the animal is left with a painful injury, one which may lead to a serious infection. In addition, residents are also in danger, as vehicle-to-deer accidents increase during these culls.

Added Feral, “Bowhunting is a repulsive, violent assault on animals who should be let alone. A deeper question is whether we should be in control of the deer population at all. Whether by amateurs or even expert archers, the deer pay simply because humans encroach on land needed by free-living animals.”

The Colvin Run hunt, which began 14 November, is expected to continue through 16 January. The Laurel Hill hunt began on 30 November and is expected to continue until 30 January.