Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bowhunting Recognized as Key for Urban Deer Control Strategy

I just got the following message in my email today. This is very encouraging news that might be of interest for other hunters too.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports nationwide, deer collisions with cars cause $1.1 billion in vehicle damage annually. These accidents kill 150 people and injure 29,000 others. The national average car insurance claim for a deer collision is $2,800. Statistics like these have led many towns to seek a safe way to decrease deer herds, and allowed bowhunting to find its niche.

Earlier this month, USA Today highlighted several towns that have kicked off bowhunts, including the following:

Fort Smith and Barling, Arkansas lifted hunting bans and established a bowhunt in a 7,200-acre area that lies in both towns. The hunt was instituted when factors indicated that the overabundant deer herd might starve. It will also help reduce the risk of the animals roaming into the area as it fills with new homes and businesses.

Two public parks in Kansas City, Missouri held pilot bowhunts in 2006. Forty-one deer were taken from late November to Dec. 10. The City Council authorized the hunts after learning that at least 400 deer per year were hit by vehicles within the city.

Bowhunters in Warsaw, Indiana took 20 deer during a three week archery season in November. Councilman Jeff Grose said, "We felt the residents in that area had a legitimate argument to declare the deer population as a nuisance."

After reports of deer killing pets, damaging property and being the cause of multiple automobile accidents, Alamosa, Colorado will allow hunting with bows and shotguns on a city-owned golf course until Feb. 28.

Suburbs of Des Moines, St. Louis, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, have also staged bow hunts or are considering doing so.

“Bowhunting is a safe and effective deer control,” said U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance President Bud Pidgeon. “The anti-hunters try to pressure many local governments to use costly, ineffective methods such as deer birth control, but it’s the bowhunt that proves worthwhile.”

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