A judge in Bethesda, Md. on September 11 ruled that the Pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program in two Montgomery County parks could proceed as planned, despite a desperate, last-ditch effort by the notorious and publicity-mongering animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to block the bowhunt through a court order.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Callahan denied a motion filed Thursday, September 10 for a temporary restraining order sought by Bethesda resident and PETA member Eilene Cohhn to stop the managed archery deer hunts approved earlier this year by Montgomery Parks.
PETA’s legal attempt served only to temporarily delay the parks’ hunt, which was originally scheduled to begin September 11, the same day as the regular Maryland archery deer season. As a result, the bowhunts designed to control the problematic deer population started September 15 at sunrise and will run through October 21. The hunt will mark the first time the parks department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will use archers to safely cull the county’s deer population.
The archery program utilizes pre-approved hunters to take part in managed hunts over a combined area of 733 acres in the Watts Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac and one section of the Great Seneca Valley Stream Park in Germantown. Candidates for the hunting program were required to provide a resume outlining their archery-hunting experience and written, verifiable references. Further, hunters must have completed the Maryland Hunter Education and Safety Course and a National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) course.
Other participation qualifications included:
– Minimum age of 18 years.
– At least three years of archery hunting experience AND harvest records indicating harvest of at least five deer with archery equipment.
– Fulfillment of the requirements of a background check.
– Successful completion of Montgomery Parks Archery Shooting Qualification standards (at specified ranges, only).
– Current Maryland Hunting License and Archery Stamp.