Local News

Wake Forest mulls 'urban archery' to control deer population

Posted August 28, 2012

The town of Wake Forest is considering a new law that would allow bow-and-arrow hunting of deer within city limits.

Proponents say it’s a practical measure to control the population of deer encroaching on developed areas, but those against it point to the potential danger of “urban archery.”

Town commissioners recently voted 3-2 to draft the ordinance, which would take effect in 2014 if approved.

Although the proposal is a long way from a public hearing or final vote, it’s already drawing strong reactions from residents.

Some say they’ve had enough of deer wandering into their driveways and munching through their gardens like an open buffet.

“This morning we saw them at 2 in the morning, about three nice-size ones in front of the old homes here,” resident Jerry Ammon said.

“It's not uncommon for us to pull up at night and there to be three or four deer out there,” neighbor George Robinson said. “As soon as the hostas start growing, they will chew them all the way to the ground."

Another resident, Rhian Dickinson, said deer have “eaten our tomatoes, beans, flowers, trees.”

Wake Forest Commissioner Frank Drake supports the ordinance, saying he believes bow hunting can be done safely. A reduced deer population would also reduce the potential for dangerous accidents by drivers who hit the animals, he said.

“I have seen a doe take the front end off a Prius in Wake Forest,” he said.

Robinson agreed.

“It's the amount of traffic we get through here,” he said. “There's dead deer all over Wake Forest on the roads.”

But Town Commissioner Anna Hines said she’s concerned that if an animal isn’t killed right away by an arrow strike, it could roam around wounded.

In addition to safety concerns, Hines also questions whether the ordinance would be effective. She said there are 34 jurisdictions in North Carolina that allow bow-and-arrow deer hunting, and only 70 deer have been killed in that manner.

“I don't think it's really an effective means of culling the herd,” she said.

But Drake said the ordinance is better than nothing.

“Doing nothing won't help. This might help,” he said. “If it doesn't help, I suppose we'll have to buy them all bus tickets and send them away.”

Town leaders must work with the state to hammer out details of the ordinance, including the height of tree stands and distance that hunters must keep from homes.

The "urban archery season" would take place in January and February, after the regular hunting season ends.
 

84 Comments

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  • homefree Sep 4, 10:31 a.m.

    Glad to see the town looking into the new law. It's overdue.

  • piene2 Aug 31, 3:44 p.m.

    "We too feed the wonderful forest creatures at our home in the Adirondacks

    You do realize that it is not in any wild animals best interest for humans to be feeding them? It's a selfish feelgood for the human without regard for the overall well being of the animal. He becomes desensitized to humans, he can become dependent on humans rather than his own food gathering skills.....how does he eat when you're gone.
    btneast"

    Not that they still do not forage for themselves but in our absence our caretaker sees to it that they have their treats.

  • btneast Aug 31, 1:03 p.m.

    We too feed the wonderful forest creatures at our home in the Adirondacks

    You do realize that it is not in any wild animals best interest for humans to be feeding them? It's a selfish feelgood for the human without regard for the overall well being of the animal. He becomes desensitized to humans, he can become dependent on humans rather than his own food gathering skills.....how does he eat when you're gone.

  • piene2 Aug 31, 9:56 a.m.

    "I feed deer in by back yard about 30 yds from my deer stand.
    COPs eye"

    Wow, you sound like a real sportsman. Have you considered trip wires and improvised explosive devices to aid you in your deer hunting? What could be more sportsman like than sitting on ones can in a tree shooting down on baited deer?

  • COPs eye Aug 31, 8:43 a.m.

    I feed deer in by back yard about 30 yds from my deer stand.

  • piene2 Aug 30, 4:42 p.m.

    "Immaannoid: I have been involved in animal rescue programs for over thirty years; my wife is a past Human Society Chairman. I am satisified that I have more "on hands" experience with animals rescue organizations and wildlife presevation units that you have in-bred cousins. I guess that if we are to assume that by killing "nusiance" animals we are preserving the species then we can also assume that by killing soldiers we are keeping military spending down. It is "you" who needs educating, but my guess is your education will not allow you to stretch beyond this forum.
    gallbury"

    The dont need no edisation. all dem words and stuf. u aint gotta be smart two shoot them deres.

  • piene2 Aug 30, 4:37 p.m.

    "I feed deer in my back yard every day, but I have a neighbor that is a deer hunter and he is fully aware of the physical consequences of trespassing on my property to try and kill a deer."

    We too feed the wonderful forest creatures at our home in the Adirondacks. As with you, we must be very careful that none of the neighbors see the animals coming and going or they would kill them just for the fun of it. It is a sad commentary on humanity.

  • heisenberg Aug 30, 10:54 a.m.

    Could the deer be darted (maybe by the game comission) and neutered?

  • gallbury Aug 30, 10:04 a.m.

    You know, it's sad. This forum began with one notion in mind: whether people in urban neighborhoods should be allowed to kill deer that feed in their gardens, and from that everyone from sport hunters to bored individuals wanted to offer remedies based on their personal anger and prejudicies. While I "do not" condone sport hunting in any agenda, extreme or otherwise, that's not what this is about: it is about killing deer in congested neithborhoods simply because they are considered to be a nusiance. I believe that is wrong, not just as an "animal activist" but as a human being that believes "every creature" has a right to live and prosper in a safe enviroment. Our only concern, as people, seems to be in sharing that enviroment. While this particular problem may traverse almost silently upon the microscopic edges in the total scheme of human demographics, it "is" still a problem, and, as always, the innocent will be the ones who suffer.

  • Working4aLiving Aug 30, 8:16 a.m.

    @gordonbabe...to bad you didn't read ALL the comments before you opened your month......"No one made any derogatory personal remarks, yet your posts are full of them and nothing else worth reading. Doing an awful lot of screaming for nothing, but then again"

    It appears that you and immaannoid think alike....meaning you don't think before you speak or in this case before you post a comment. immaannoid is the one that was making personal attacks and was talking about everything except the story everyone else was commenting on!

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