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Virginia's First Deer Sterilization Effort Underway in Fairfax City

Spaying program expected to help reduce deer population.

The City of Fairfax announced dates for its deer sterilization program, now that it has received permission from the state. (Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA)
The City of Fairfax announced dates for its deer sterilization program, now that it has received permission from the state. (Photo: Lance Cheung/USDA)
Fairfax City is expected to complete it's deer sterilization program this weekend — a first of its kind in Virginia.

Last month, the Virginia Department of Gaming and Inland Fisheries approved the deer spaying program.

Contractor Anthony DiNicola with White Buffalo explained the process to city leaders in December.

Female deer found in public spaces are shot with a tranquilizer and a tracking chip. The deer is taken to the city police station, where the surgery is performed. The does tend to recover quickly and are released back into the area where they were found.

The tags will remain on the deer so that the city can monitor the program's progress and recognize migration patterns of the animals.

What do you think of the city's deer sterilization effort? Tell us in the comments!

The Washington Post's Tom Jackman tagged along over the weekend and filed a report on the deer sterilization effort, including this interesting fact:

"One thing DeNicola found interesting: None of the 11 does he’s caught so far were older than 6 1/2 years old. That may mean they are dying younger in Fairfax City for unknown reasons, since there’s no hunting in the city and they’ve only had about 20 reported car-deer fatalities since 2006, Sgt. Michael Duncan said."

Read more of Jackman's account and see photos.

Rolling Thunder 2013 February 10, 2014 at 05:15 PM
@Laura. You've been watching too many Disney cartoons. "Most people find deer meat "gamey" because it is wild meat, -- therefore unpalatable. No solutions there. " Not the case. I've been hunting for over 40 years and have no problem when I invite guests over for dinner. Re my link to Venison Steak Diane. Have you ever tried venison prepared by someone who knows what they're doing or are you just making this up?
Luddites Needed February 11, 2014 at 05:59 PM
@Gina makes my point when she writes " the City is leading the way for the entire Commonwealth. Progressive, private citizens paid for the research - NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS WENT TO THE PROJECT." That's how many government programs get started - especially from progressive minded advocates. Of course private citizens are free to pay for privately funded programs they deem will help. I just wish they would look at all the costs. But what happens when their hobby gets applied to Fairfax County or the entire Commonwealth. At $1,000 per deer or $500 or $250 there just aren't enough private funds so they will try and siphon away public funds. Good luck with that if you start doing cost benefit analysis. And thanks for your additional stereotype. Many hunters volunteer and pay for charitable activities in addition to donating venison to food shelters that will accept it. We just don't request expensive wine, cheese, and wind instruments that increase administrative costs. -@Laura: Another stereotype. Venison tastes gamey when a) you shoot a deer that has been running (one reason I don't like to shoot stirred up bucks during the rut - sweaty animals cause increased enzymatic activity which affects the meat) and B) they don't know how to prepare the meat. I've served venison to picky eaters that thought they were eating beef tenderloin because I know how to marinade, cook and serve it properly. Instead of repeating misinformation, you both should look at multiple solutions that will work on a large scale to deal with the loss of human life and native species, car damage, and lyme disease caused by the overpopulation of deer.
Rolling Thunder 2013 February 12, 2014 at 02:11 PM
" the City is leading the way for the entire Commonwealth" Propose something like this in counties where the populations are actually familiar with deer and it would be a laughingstock. Bath or Rockingham counties? Yeah right....
Michael Z February 28, 2014 at 09:55 AM
You people understand why this all started right? "Deer over population" playing God and trying to scientifically control nature has proven not to work. It has been done and always failed. If you haven't learned anything yet, being more progressive isn't always good either. Sounds like some of you are the sheeple that are damaging our country in support of the communist dictator that is running the USA into the ground! I laughed when I read venison. Isn't palatable and is gamey. Uh no that's not true at all. I would lay $100.00 down to say you couldn't tell the difference in venison or beef when prepared correctly. Also wild game is much better for you and healthier than anything you buy in the store. It's pure organic, not chemicaly enhanced or pumped full of steroids. Just all natural lean meat the way God intended. I would much rather eat deer, wild turkey or wild hog that I've harvested and processed over anything from a dirty old store any day! You ever walked in a meat room at the local grocerie store? If you have you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway the only time tested proven reliable 100% successful way to solve the deer problem is hunting period. In city limits you say. Then bow hunting is your answer. Talk to biologist from Fort Belvoir, AP Hill, Quantico you will see. They could have saved you some money. Heck people will pay the city to fix the problem. Tree huggin Vegan PETA folks runnin amok in Fairfax.
Rolling Thunder 2013 March 01, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Well said Michael Z. Unfortunately we are dealing with people whose minds are already made up from watching too many cartoons and not enough time in the woods.

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