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Bowhunts Gaining Traction as Deer Control


-- Several Midwestern towns are implementing bowhunting as a safe and effective way to control skyrocketing deer herds.

On Oct. 3, the Granville, Ohio Village Council unanimously approved an ordinance to allow bowhunting in the community. As of Nov. 2, hunting will be permitted on private property with written permission. The chief of police, with approval of the village manager and following a review of the village council, will establish rules and regulations for the hunt.

Anti's resisted the new ordinance, instead suggesting deer birth control, which has been proven to be ineffective.

In the Des Moines, Iowa suburb of Urbandale, bowhunting will now be permitted in four city parks to safely control deer numbers. The Polk County Deer Task Force recommends there be 30 deer per square mile, and surveys show the new hunting areas have several times that many animals. Private property has also been included in the hunting area this year.

Sportsmen may take antlerless deer from a tree stand. Hunting is not permitted within 100 feet of a road, trail or right of way, or within 200 feet of a home or building. The bowhunt will run through Jan. 27.

In Portage, Ind., the John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve has opened its woods to bowhunting. On Oct. 2, the Shirley Heinze Land Trust received Portage City Council permission to allow bowhunting on the property to control a booming deer herd that is causing extensive property damage and threatening endangered plants.

Hunters must have a valid hunting license and are to have completed a hunter education course. The hunt will coincide with the state's bowhunting season, from now until Dec. 2 and from Dec. 8 through Jan. 6.

The Bowhunter Rights Coalition will continue to monitor the progress of these new deer control measures and with the help of sportsmen, will draw attention of their success to other communities that could integrate bowhunting into deer population control.

For more information about how you can protect your rights as a sportsman, contact The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, 801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229. Phone (614) 888-4868. E-Mail us at

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