Local News

Durham City Council approves urban deer hunting proposal

Posted November 4, 2013

— Durham city leaders voted 6-0 Monday night in favor of an ordinance that will allow deer hunting within city limits.

In August, the City Council hosted a public hearing on the proposal, which will allow people to use a bow and arrow during certain months in certain parts of the city, such as in woods near residential neighborhoods.

Eric Steinbicker, a Mebane dentist and frequent shopper at Durham's The Streets at Southpoint mall, took the matter before the City Council last year, he said, after noticing dead deer on the side of the road.

The idea, he said, will help control the deer population and cut down on the number of deer-car collisions.

"It just made sense, seeing all the deer," he said. "I guess a light switch went off."

The idea of urban hunting isn't new. Several local cities and towns, including Raleigh, Wake Forest and Chapel Hill already allow it.

City Council member Don Moffitt said the idea seems promising.

"In Chapel Hill, they implemented this three years ago, and their deer-car collisions have dropped 16 percent," Moffitt said. "In Durham, in the same time, our deer-car collisions are up 23 percent."

But the ordinance has not gone without opposition.

"Several concerns have been raised," Moffitt said. "One is animal welfare. Another is safety."

The ordinance includes several restrictions that will keep hunters out of busy areas of the city. People must hunt from 10-foot deer stands on at least 5 acres of land with a 250-foot boundary.

"We have done quite a bit to make sure the safety bit is covered," Moffitt said.

Durham leaders also checked with other municipalities that allow urban archery hunting and found that none have reported any injuries.

Now that the ordinance is approved, Durham's city manager will monitor it and report back to city leaders in two years.


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  • jackaroe123 Nov 6, 2013

    "Wow, I just lost all respect for city council."

    Why? (This time I ask b/c I really, really disagree and don't see why this would be objectionable.)

  • jackaroe123 Nov 6, 2013

    "Absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! In Durham? Chapel Hill was enough of a surprise. But, Durham? Really?!? And, unanimous....6 - 0? It can't be so. This is a spoof, right?"

    Why? I mean, I'm surprised, too, but I just want to compare reasons. Durham was one of the last cities in the state to allow backyard chickens -- a decision I paid a lot of attention to -- and I got the impression from the discussion and hand-wringing that the City Council was concerned about image, like it was going to make us look like a bunch of uncultured country rubes (a silly image concern, but that's what it seemed like) as opposed to a legit city. I mean, we're already the "stepchild" of the Triangle... So for them to make such a quick and unanimous decision is surprising to me.

  • frogdog Nov 5, 2013

    Raleigh does not currently participate in the Urban Archery program.

  • frogdog Nov 5, 2013

    This most likely will fall under the state's Urban Archery season which runs from mid January to mid February.

    "The Urban Archery Season is available for cities, towns and villages that submit to the Wildlife Resources Commission by April 1 of each year a letter of intent to partici pate in the season. A map clearly defining the area included in the season should also accompany the letter of intent. Interested municipalities should call the Division of Wildlife Management 919-707-0050 and request to be contacted by a district wildlife biologist.

    The Urban Archery Season does not obligate private landowners to allow hunting on their property, nor does it eliminate the ethical requirement for obtaining permission from the land - owner before hunting. Hunters are legally required to obtain written permission to hunt on posted property." FROM http://www.ncwildlife.org/Conserving/MunicipalitiesCounties.aspx

  • Glock Ranger Nov 5, 2013

    Archery season has not ended. It continues throughout the season. Archery only season has ended and now the muzzle loading firearms are legal to hunt with, too. On Saturday, November 16, rifles and shotguns will be legal until January 1.

    You are seeing deer in more urban locations for 2 reasons. One: It's always been safer for them during this time of the year because people are in the woods. Two: A condition known as "edge effect. This is where urban sprawl encroaches on wildlife habitat.

    Most whitetail deer will not more than a mile, or two, from the places where they were born. I see the same deer every day. One doe drops a fawn behind my shop every year. Those fawns are growing up right here. I see 3 year-olds still traveling with the group.

    Coyotes are killing fawns and turkeys. There is an open season on coyotes, day or night in all but a couple of the Northeastern counties where the difficulty of distinguishing between red wolves and coyotes at night are too great.

  • Glock Ranger Nov 5, 2013

    I have not found any supporting evidence that Raleigh allows urban archery season. Wake Forest and Chapel Hill are, but not Raleigh.

  • Glock Ranger Nov 5, 2013

    Absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! In Durham? Chapel Hill was enough of a surprise. But, Durham? Really?!? And, unanimous....6 - 0? It can't be so. This is a spoof, right?

  • Awesome Owl Nov 5, 2013

    Wow, I just lost all respect for city council.

  • WolfPack00 Nov 5, 2013

    Your article mentions that Raleigh allows urban hunting. I believe this is incorrect. May want to check your facts and verify.

  • fishon Nov 5, 2013

    "Even with safety measures taken this is an accident waiting to happen. " - umop apisdn

    What kind of accidents do you anticipate? Enlighten us...