Sunday, December 4, 2022

Statewide ban on feeding deer begins Friday

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reminds Virginia residents it’s illegal to feed deer beginning Sept. 1. (file photo)

The beginning of September also marks the beginning of a deer feeding ban in Virginia.

The annual prohibition of feeding wild deer begins Sept. 1 and runs through the first Saturday in January, according to a press release from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The prohibition happens every year in conjunction with the beginning of Urban Archery Deer Hunting Season Sept. 2.

According to the Department, all feed must be removed from deer feeding sites before Sept. 1. Hunting is not allowed for 10 days in areas after food has been removed.

There are several problems that arise from feeding deer, according to the release. Doing so can artificially increase deer populations and damage their natural habitats. It also increases the chances of transmitting diseases.

Feeding deer also diminishes their “wild nature,” and leads to conflicts between deer and people. Fed deer are more likely to seek out human food.

“It is clear that the negative consequences of feeding deer outweigh the benefits,” stated the release.

Hunting deer using bait is illegal in Virginia. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries asks anyone who observes any wildlife violations to report it to the DGIF Wildlife Crime Line at 1-800-273-5712.

To learn more about Virginia wildlife regulations visit the DGIF website.

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