Baby Deer Shooting Prompts Call to End Maryland Deer ‘Cull’

After 63 Deer Are Killed With Steel Arrows From High-Powered Crossbows (No Figures on Those Injured), PETA Says 'Stop'

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Montgomery County, Md. – In response to evidence that a fawn was shot and that even the minimal hunt protocol has been violated in the Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program in Montgomery County parks, PETA sent a letter today to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Council urging them to cancel the remainder of the hunt, which is on hold for the holidays but is slated to resume in the new year.

In the letter, PETA notes that 63 deer have already been killed with arrows from high-powered crossbows and vertical bows, including one young fawn—who was, at most, 6 months old—and 11 antlered deer, several of whom were heavily antlered “trophy” animals. One eight-point buck was killed in violation of hunt protocol, which requires that two antlerless deer be killed before each antlered deer. It also appears that no records were kept as to how many deer were injured but not killed or how long it took each deer to die—leading to speculation that many could have suffered for hours or days, as Cecil the lion did after being shot by American dentist Walter Palmer.

“Dozens of tame deer acclimated to human presence, one of whom had to have still been with his mother, have been slaughtered in Maryland’s once-peaceful park lands,” says general counsel to PETA Jeffrey Kerr. “PETA is calling for this cruel ‘fun hunt’ to be called off, before any more baby deer are shot or orphaned and left to die in this ill-conceived program.”

Montgomery County’s bowhunt is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by a PETA member who contends that the hunt violates Maryland’s cruelty code, as killing deer with a bow and arrow results in painful, prolonged deaths for the animals, tears families apart, and leaves young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation, dehydration, and predators. Bowhunting and other lethal methods are also an ineffective way to manage deer populations, as when animals are killed, more will move in to use available resources.

PETA’s letter to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Council is available upon request. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind