All About Urban Bowhunting
You've seen them, I'm sure. Deer in your city parks, munching on foliage, eating acorns and not using the pedestrian crossing lanes when traveling. So has the city of Cincinnati, and for the past five years, it has cordoned off selected areas in its parks for bowhunters.
In fact, it's been quite a successful experience for some bowhunters, like Ron Lech, who tagged 12 deer in the Mount Airy Park last year, according to Cincinnati.com. The article stated that Cincinnati's park system conducted nighttime flyovers last year, using infrared cameras to count deer. Mount Airy showed about 145 deer per square mile, when the maximum should be about 35. The man in charge of land management for the city, Jim Godby, said that a healthy number would be around 20 deer per square mile, but then again, it depends on the park and its habitat.
Last year, hunters took 133 deer, mostly does. Supposedly, few people complain about the deer hunting going on in the park, which means they can see the vision of wildlife management, using science-based management - or hunting.
Other Bowhunting-Friendly Places
Columbus, Ohio - We're like the 'Love Boat' here for deer, said Mollie Prasher in an article in the The Columbus Dispatch, and she ought to know because she is the clerk of the village council and issues deer-hunting permits for the season, which is now in its seventh year. According to Scott Zody, chief of the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife, more cities and park districts are requesting guidance for how to set up bowhunting programs.
Galax, Va. - Galax is the newest city to join the ranks of other municipalities and counties that allow urban bowhunting. You can access Virginia's rules and regulations and see the lineup at its Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
Polk County, Iowa - Including the Des Moines' area, special use permits will be issued to bowhunters who pass specific tests, including the International Bowhunter Education Foundation bowhunter Safety (IBEFBS) education course and the National Field Archery Association archery proficiency test. The NFAA test, by the way, includes shooting 20 arrows - 10 at 20 yards and 10 at 15 yards - at a 3-D, life-sized deer target. Prospective bowhunters must score 80 percent in the vital target in order to pass.
Russellville, Ark. - Deer hunters who want to hunt urban Russellville during the bow season must have completed a shooting proficiency test last August, and also passed the test of IBEFBS. The city's website also invites landowners to contact the local animal shelter or email a web form notifying the authorities there that they are in need of an urban archery hunter.
In fact, if you check the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission's website, you can find a list of cities that allowed applications (Sorry, you had to apply by July 1, 2013.).
You may want to check online for the state where you would like to urban bowhunt and start prepping for next year.
It appears that out of necessity, cities large and small across this country are waking up to the management strategy of allowing qualified bowhunters onsite to draw down deer populations. To which I bet you'll agree … it's about time.