Fort Meade, USDA partner for on post deer reduction Fort Meade, USDA partner for on post deer reduction 

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD. – Fort Meade will again partner with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services Environmental Division, to conduct deer reduction operations here.

Fort Meade has worked to manage the white-tail deer population on post for nearly a decade, with the first deer culling operation here in 2014. At that time an estimated 156 deer per square mile were on the installation, far exceeding the 18 deer per square mile considered a healthy herd.

The most recent survey of white-tailed deer on Fort Meade, dated Jan. 23, 2024, estimated the population to be 42 deer per square mile.

“Reducing the deer population toward the optimal number of 18 per square mile allows the population to thrive and helps ensure the overall health of the herd is strong,” said Matt Shaffer, Director of Public Works here. “Unconstrained by natural predators’ deer will populate to the point of starvation – weakening the herd, exposing them to greater risk from disease, hunger and traffic accidents.”   

As in years past, two USDA marksmen are scheduled to team with a Directorate of Emergency Services representative to conduct the reduction operations beginning tonight and working weeknights through March 31, or until they reach their goal of thinning the population by 150 deer. The work is performed using suppressed rifles to minimize impacts on people living and working on Fort Meade.

The hours of the deer reduction will be Monday through Thursday, commencing after dark and ending by approximately 1 a.m. each day of the operation. These times will help ensure the operations will not impact rush hour traffic.

Shooting zones will be directed away from structures, vehicles, equipment, and bodies of water and focused on areas defined as having more than one deer.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, Environmental Division has a record of zero accidents and a 100 percent drop rate.

As in years past, a deer processor will prepare the meat for donation to the Maryland Food Bank. Fort Meade has donated tens of thousands of pounds of venison to the Maryland Food Bank since 2015. Most of the meat is then distributed to veteran-oriented charitable organizations.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Media should contact Shaun Herron in the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office at (301) 677-5602 / Cell (240) 429-4427 or email for more information.

For more about Fort Meade, visit our website and look for Fort George G. Meade on Facebook and Twitter.

Shaun Herron, USAG Fort Meade Public Affairs