Department of Recreation & Parks Announces Deer Management Program for 2017-2018


ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks has announced its fall/winter schedule for managing the deer population through bow and shotgun managed hunts and sharpshooting. The managed hunts and sharpshooting will be held in an effort to help maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population in our parks where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity.

Since the program began in 1998, there has been an observable improvement in habitat quality and vegetation abundance in many of the parks where managed hunting and sharpshooting has taken place. The managed hunt program gives specially screened and selected hunters daytime access to various parks in the county.

This year’s managed hunts will include a combination of bow and shotgun, and will take place from dawn until noon.  Sharpshooting does not take pace in the MPEA. 


The Deer Management Schedule for 2017-2018 for the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area is :

  • October 3
  • October 26
  • November 10
  • November 30
  • January 2
  • January 30
  • February 13
  • February 27

  In the few intervening weeks before the first hunt in mid-October there is likely to be a flurry of activity as final preparations are made.  Customarily we wait until just before the actual hunt dates to mow the hunter parking spots. This allows for the peak of Monarch Butterfly migration to pass through our locale before those meadow areas are cut.

Since deer population reduction programs (such as the hunts and sharpshooting) are not possible in many areas of the county, the Department of Recreation & Parks has developed a Deer Management Reference Manual to help homeowners and gardeners live in harmony with white-tailed deer. The manual, which is available in all county library branches, contains information on the use of deer repellents, fencing to protect crops and property, how to avoid deer-auto collisions, and Lyme Disease prevention. There is also information about the county’s deer management program available on the Department’s website at

The Department of Recreation & Parks and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service also can arrange to have experts on the topic speak to homeowner associations, schools or other groups. Other Recreation & Parks’ deer management programs include an effort to reduce ticks on deer through the use of “Four-Poster” devices which delivers an approved pesticide to deer attracted to a feeder baited with corn. Developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the devices have been shown to reduce tick populations by 90% or more.

For more information on the deer management program, call the Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-313-1675.

To check the Deer Management Schedule for 2017-2018 in other Howard County Parks, go to