I just might have to take up bowhunting if this thing passes. theres a tizoooooon of deer inside city limits and some HUGE BRUTES I see daily.Council Takes First Step for Urban Deer Hunt
The City Council considered its first step tonight to allow the Missouri Department of Conservation to manage a controlled deer hunt next year to reduce the urban-deer population in Springfield.
Council Bill 2009-288 would allow the use of broad-head arrows under limited circumstances for this type of hunt; such arrows are currently prohibited under City Code.
Assistant Health Director Clay Goddard said the arrow ban was implemented in 1997 after arrowheads were found in residential areas. Since the late â€˜90s, the size of the urban-deer population has increased to as high as 200 deer per square mile in portions of southern Springfield. The MDC considers under 20 deer per square mile to be an acceptable population level.
Several neighborhood associations came to the City to request assistance on managing the deer population. The number of vehicle crashes involving deer has increased and the deer also destroy vegetation and landscaping in urban areas.
Goddard said applying for the MDC to hold a managed hunt will be a two-step process. The next step would be to specify properties where the hunt could take place. Currently, two properties are being considered, both in south Springfield and both owned by City Utilities.
Tim Russell, MDC wildlife conservation supervisor, explained how an urban hunt works. He said MDC officials would review the proposed urban hunt plan. Hunters would have to apply for random selection for a permit. Those selected have to attend a mandatory orientation; they are required to hunt from an elevated stand to manage the trajectory of the arrows. The hunters have to be tested for proficiency and be certified that they are qualified for the hunt.
Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky said she had hoped to see the results of this fallâ€™s controlled hunt on CU property in the Fellows Lake area north of the City limits, but the deadline for applying for the following year occurs before this yearâ€™s hunt. She said she wants to see a very controlled situation and said she would expect Council to address any issues that arise from this yearâ€™s hunt.
Roy Holand, a representative of the Ravenwood Homeowners Association, spoke on behalf of the controlled hunt. He said 70 percent of the homeowners who voted on a survey supported the concept and the board made the request to the Council.
The bill will be up for second reading and a vote on Nov. 23. The Council continued the public hearing at that meeting because the bill was added to the agenda tonight.
The Council also approved Council Bill 2009-267 establishing guidelines for urban gardens to encourage local food production. Calling it a â€œcause for celebrationâ€, Mayor Pro Tem Dan Chiles congratulated Melissa Millsap, the citizen who brought the issue forward, and the work of the Urban Garden Task Force.