SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Salem City Council has approved an Urban Archery Deer Hunting Season for the city. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) allows cities, towns, and counties to establish urban deer hunting archery seasons as a means to control deer numbers, and to expand hunting opportunities in the commonwealth.

“I think it makes a lot of sense,” said Salem resident Chris Tomasello. “I know a lot of my neighbors have had like their vegetables destroyed, their gardens destroyed. It makes a lot of sense to me that they would try to get those numbers down a little bit.”

The number of deer in populated areas like Salem has been skyrocketing with conservation measures in place and access to ample sources of food. By some estimates, deer do $250 million dollars of damage a year to crops, gardens and other plants across the United States.

There are strict restrictions on most urban archery deer seasons across Virginia. In Salem, hunters can only shoot deer with bows from elevated stands. They also need the permission of the land from which they are hunting. All state guidelines must also be followed, and a valid Virginia hunting license is needed.