Hunting in the 'Burbs

It's open season in Montgomery County, Maryland, where hunters are being allowed -- and in some cases encouraged -- to hunt deer in populated suburban areas.
January 13, 2009, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"Even as neighboring Howard County has proposed tightening rules on where hunters can hunt, after an incident last month when one shot out the window of a day-care center, Montgomery is going the other way. In spring, the County Council overturned what had been some of the state's most restrictive hunting rules and freed up more downcounty areas to bow and shotgun hunting."

"Last season, Eakin's Rockville perch would have been prohibited as too close to a road. But now he is able to set up his stand with the permission of surrounding homeowners. 'It's not that people embrace the hunting,' said Eakin, who belongs to a group of volunteer archers who hunt at the request of neighborhoods with large deer populations, 'but they know something needs to be done.'"

"Behind Montgomery's new openness to hunting, officials said, is public frustration with the whitetail population boom. Crumpled fenders, ruined gardens and the risk of Lyme disease have made residents much more receptive to hunters."

"'They've gone from 'How dare you propose shooting the deer' to 'When are you coming to my neighborhood?' ' said Rob Gibbs, head of Montgomery's Deer Management Working Group."

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Published on Monday, January 12, 2009 in The Washington Post
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