White-tailed deer

The city of Charlottesville will work with a wildlife management specialist to implement a deer management operation beginning this month and ending sometime in March.

The operation comes as a result of an action of the City Council in response to complaints about hazardous driving conditions, health concerns stemming from Lyme disease, landscapes being impacted by the deer population, and the health of the local herd, according to a news release.

The operation will take place in city parks during nighttime hours. It is expected that approximately 125 deer will be culled as a result of the program.

According to David Kocka, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, culling in this case involves sharpshooting and differs from hunting in its goal and methodology.

The deer will be killed using spotlights and bows and only by the contracted management specialist in accordance with decisions from the city and permitting from the game department. The culling will not take place on private property.

Approximately 30 to 40 localities across the state employ similar practices, including Staunton and Richmond, Kocka said.

The operation will be coordinated with the local Emergency Communications Center and the Charlottesville Police Department.

The specific date that the program will begin could not be determined Monday.

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