Henson Creek Stream Valley Park is recommended for deer management in order to reduce the deer population to a more socially and ecologically accepted level. The proposed implementation of deer management is January 2015.
M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation began conducting deer population surveys at Henson Creek Stream Valley Park in 2010. Survey results estimated a deer population of 61-77 individual deer on 500 acres of park property (approximately 78-99 deer per square mile). The recommended deer density is 20 deer per square mile. The deer population at Henson Creek Stream Valley Park is four to five times the recommended density level.
The deer population in this area has reached a level which is adversely impacting Prince George’s County residents—threatening public safety via deer-vehicle collisions; causing property damage to gardens, landscaping, and crops; and degrading local forest ecosystems. Since 2011, a significantly high number of deer carcasses have been removed by Prince George’s County Animal Control from roadways near Henson Creek Stream Valley Park posing safety concerns for drivers. Click here to see the DVC map. Note that this map only shows carcasses removed primarily from county roads and does not include carcasses that go unreported, collisions when the deer survives, or collisions when the deer dies away from a road. The true number of deer-vehicle collisions is believed to be much higher.
A culling of the deer herd is needed to reduce deer-related conflicts.
M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation is proposing to initiate a deer management program at Henson Creek Stream Valley Park. Click here to see a map of Henson Creek Stream Valley Park.
This proposal calls for conducting Park Police-based sharpshooting at Henson Creek Stream Valley Park. The sharpshooting program will utilize highly trained Maryland-National Capital Park Police officers to remove deer at night, when the park is closed to the public, from 5:30pm until sunrise. This will occur annually during the months of January to March until deer management is no longer needed at this site.
In conducting these operations, public safety is the top priority.
Highly trained Park Police officers will remove deer safely, discreetly, and humanely. M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation will donate all harvested deer to local food banks so the meat may be distributed to feed those locally in need.
M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation will use on-site signage and www.pgparks.com to notify the public of deer management operations and park closures.
The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation encourages public comment on a proposed deer management program to cull the deer population at Henson Creek Stream Valley Park.
Public comments are accepted. All public comments must include a full name and home address to be given consideration in the decision-making process. Click here to view submitted comments. To submit your comment:
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M-NCPPC Park Ranger Unit- Deer Management Program
14955 Pennsylvania Ave
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
For questions, please email DeerManagement@pgparks.com or call 301-627-7755.