Cedar Rapids' annual deer bow hunt will continue for eighth year
Jul 10, 2012 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
City officials have decided to continue with the city's annual bow hunt of deer for an eighth year.
Fire Chief Mark English reported this week to the City Council's Public Safety Committee that last year's hunt inside the city limits involved fewer hunters who killed fewer deer than in any of the previous six years.
Nonetheless, the three-member council committee directed English to move ahead with plans for the annual hunt, which takes place on private property with owner permission and starts in September and runs into January 2013.
"It's been very successful. We ought to continue," council member Chuck Swore told English.
Council member Kris Gulick agreed, saying "it doesn't take very long for deer to repopulate."
Gulick noted that the full council does not need to vote to continue the hunt. A full council vote is needed to discontinue the hunt, he said.
Fire Department statistics show that the number of deer killed by vehicles inside the city limits is down 57 percent a year since the start of the deer hunt in the city in 2005.
Several Iowa cities, including Coralville, have urban deer hunts in place with the idea that cities without a hunt become refuges for deer, which are hunted outside of cities in Iowa.
English noted that the city of Cedar Rapids requires bow hunters to pass a proficiency test in an effort to make sure that hunters kill deer with one shot. The city doesn't want deer wandering in the city with arrows sticking out of them, the chief said.
The Fire Department report on last year's hunt states that the hunt took place without "major incidents" and no injuries.
During the 2011 bow hunt in Cedar Rapids, 182 deer were killed. In previous hunts from the 2010 hunt to the first one in 2005, the annual number of deer killed has been 207, 312, 314, 349, 333 and 298.
The hunt focuses on adult females, which typically give birth to two or three does a year.
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