Durham, N.C. — It's that time of year when more and more deer seem to keep showing up, wandering into neighborhoods and across busy roadways.
Eric Steinbicker, a Mebane dentist, thinks he has a solution. He’s asked Durham City Council to consider allowing urban archery for deer.
“The reality is the deer are going to be killed one way or the other, either by a car or a bow and arrow,” he said. “At least with a bow and arrow, people are allowed to use the meat."
Steinbicker says he has friends who live in Durham and want to hunt. He wants the city to allow bow hunting in certain places –– not busy places like downtown but wooded areas that adjoin neighborhoods.
Some residents aren't sold.
“I really wouldn’t want it,” Durham resident Leora Williams said. “Even though we know the deer are out here and they all come out in the neighborhood, and they don’t bother anybody.”
Williams is concerned something could go wrong, like a hunter mistaking a family pet for a deer.
“Dogs go back there,” Williams said, referring to the woods near her home. “We had a lost dog back there, and that’s why we went back in the woods.”
But Steinbicker said it’s unlikely that a hunter would mistake a dog for a deer.
“Look at the facts. Look at the statistics,” he said. “The chances of that happening are slim to none.”
Durham City Attorney Patrick Baker said he is aware of Steinbicker’s request, but he has not been given any direction by council members to draft an ordinance related to the issue.
Steinbicker believes it's an idea that makes sense. He’s working on an online petition to get the ordinance before council.
Chapel Hill currently allows landowners to bow hunt for deer on their own property with a license. And the town of Wake Forest will consider a bow-hunting ordinance in January.
“It does work and it’s probably the most practical and successful way of controlling the over-abundant deer population in Durham,” Steinbicker said.