Deer hunting season extended for bow hunters

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Don't be surprised to see more people running through your neighborhood with bows and arrows. On Wednesday, April 13, 2011 Chesterfield County supervisors are set to consent extending the deer hunting season to seven months for bow hunters.

For those who hunt with bows, the season will now begin in September and end in March. The reason for the extension: better control of the deer population. Neighbors complained of deer being a nuisance and a safety issue.

Anytime he sees deer, no matter how innocent they look, Andrew Kluge reverts back to a late night drive through Chesterfield.

"I missed the deer coming out, running out in the middle of the road," recalled Andrew Kluge. "So I swerved to avoid it."

The deer safely ran off, but Andrew's car..."Tore the front-axle of my car off," said Kluge. "Totaled it."

Kluge lives in Salisbury. He works at a restaurant. He drives home late at night.

When asked if that was the first time he had seen a deer cross his path Kluge said, "Not at all. Almost every night."

Mom Terry Gerrard worries for his safety and the safety of her dog Rudy.

"I send the dog out to chase the many deer that come into the yard," said Gerrard. "And a male deer attacked him and threw him up into the air."

Deer are also known to eat away at Terry's hard work in the garden.

"These are beautiful," explained Gerrard. "Virginia is known for its Day lilies. I doubt they'll ever actually see a bloom because they love to eat Day lilies."

Terry used to scare off the deer. Now they'll get as close as 10 feet. State biologists said there are more deer in urban areas than ever before. The biologists said hunting is the only way to control the population.

"I think it's something that's necessary. I don't think it's something that we want to do. It's out of desperation."

On Wednesday, Chesterfield will become one of a growing number of Virginia communities that will extend deer season for bow hunters. It will start in September and end in March. You can only hunt antlerless deer. You must aim 150 feet away from a building and have the property owner's permission.

Terry will invite bow hunters onto her property. The state says this form of hunting is safe. In the nearly 10 years of offering an extended season, not one bow hunting accident. Other communities like the City of Richmond, Colonial Heights and Fairfax County also participate in the urban archery deer hunting program.

3,700 people in Chesterfield have the required license to bow hunt.

For more information on Urban Archery Deer Hunting Season:

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