With whitetail deer numbers increasing and herds spreading into new territory, some neighborhoods, towns, villages and cities often turn to bowhunter groups to reduce the herd eating their gardens, shrubbery, flowers, colliding with autos and spreading ticks to pets and humans.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission encourages communities to join its Urban Archery Program, and often puts them in contact with private bow-hunter groups.

North Carolina's oldest bowhunting organization, the North Carolina Bowhunters Association, often puts members who have participated in its Bowhunter Certification and Referral Service in touch with those communities and landowners.

"We came up with this concept six years ago," NCBA President Ramon Bell said.

Hunters who get BCRS certification must join NCBA, pass annual shooting-skills tests and pass North Carolina's Hunter Safety Education Program and International Bowhunter Education program – or an equivalent. BCRS certified hunters also are covered by a $2 million hunter-liability insurance policy.

Send the NCBA an email to learn more about becoming a certified hunter.

"The BCRS program is designed to aid individual landowners in the development and implementation of an ongoing deer-management plan to help remedy this problem by stabilizing the population at an acceptable level for the available habitat," Bell said. "We establish agreements tailored to the individual needs of each landowner, if it's a private farm, gated community, municipality, airport authority or whatever.

"We utilize depredation and DMAP permits as issued by the (North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission), as well as the regular hunting seasons. We also utilize individual member's hunting license tags, if feasible and agreeable to the landowner and BCRS member."

Although NCBA doesn't release names of its BCRS clients, they include gated communities, airports, some university properties and individual property owners.

Deer killed by BCRS certified hunters are either utilized by the hunters, donated to the needy or given to Hunters for the Hungry. NCBA asks landowners in the BCRS program to pay the $40 per animal processing fee required by HFTH.