A statewide ban on feeding deer goes into place Friday.
The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January.
According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, these are the main reasons for the ban: Feeding deer can unnaturally increase deer populations and damage natural habitats; increase the likelihood for disease transmission; increase human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions, and diminish the wild nature of deer.
The following rules are in place:
- All feed must be removed from any deer feeding site prior to September 1st.
- Any area where deer feed has been distributed is considered a “baited” area and cannot be hunted over for 10 days following the complete removal of the food.
- It is illegal to feed deer or elk in any county, city, or town during any deer or elk hunting season.
- It is illegal to feed deer year-round in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the City of Winchester as part of the Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) management actions.
- These restrictions do not apply to agricultural plantings (including wildlife food plots) or food distributed to livestock.