White-tailed deer crossing streets or grazing in yards are a familiar sight in many Montgomery County neighborhoods. County officials say data about the number of deer in the county is not available, but the state estimates there are about 207,000 deer in Maryland. The overpopulation of deer comes with a cost: an increase in deer-vehicle collisions, agricultural damage caused by foraging, and more reported cases of Lyme disease carried by deer ticks. In response, the county runs programs designed to reduce the number of deer. From September through January annually, Montgomery Parks conducts shotgun and archery hunting programs for pre-screened members of the public. A park police-based sharpshooting program runs from January to February. The county also holds workshops for landowners on how to prevent deer damage around the home, as well as workshops for farmers about effective deer management on private property. Venison harvested from the sharpshooting program and through hunts allowed on farms is donated to area food banks.

Here’s a look at deer in Montgomery County, by the numbers:

1.25 tons – Amount of plants an average deer eats in a year

19,549 – Number of deer removed from county parks since deer management programs began in 1995, as of June 2019

7,043 – Number of deer killed countywide through managed hunt and sharpshooting programs in the 2017-2018 season

25,125 – Number of pounds of venison donated by the county’s sharpshooting deer management operations in FY 2019 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019)


1,984 – Number of deer-vehicle collisions reported in 2018

19,197 – Acres of lost crops due to deer in one growing season reported in a 2014 survey of county farmers (most recent available data)

$4.4 million – Economic loss in one growing season due to deer reported by farmers in 2014 survey


280 – Number of probable and confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Montgomery County in 2018

Sources: Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and Of ce of Agriculture; and Montgomery Parks