Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Timing, restrictions impede deer hunt

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Dec 26, 2013
Photo by: VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo Deer, such as these six making their way through a backyard in the Suburban Heights subdivision southwest of Fairfield, frequently are spotted within the city limits. The special urban deer bow hunt set for this weekend and the first weekend in January was intended to help reduce the deer population.

Saturday and Sunday were scheduled to be the first of two consecutive weekends for a trial archery doe hunt within Fairfield city limits, as approved by Fairfield City Council Nov. 25, in hopes of reducing the urban deer population.

This first year trial hunt was to be limited to six hunters per weekend. According to organizers, no eligible hunters signed up.

“I had quite a few phones calls from people interested,” said Fairfield Police Department Lt. Colin Smith, one of the organizers. “The timing is wrong for a lot of people. The weekend after Christmas, people are still traveling and with family. The same for the weekend after New Year’s.”

Smith said the urban deer hunt was scheduled so late in the season because the city ordinance amendment to allow hunting within city limits had to go through three public readings with the council.

“If we do this again, we’ll start earlier in the year to get approval,” Smith said. “This was to be a trial. Hopefully, next year, we can open this up for the entire archery hunting season which begins Oct. 1.”

Smith said one hunter signed up, but the person uses a crossbow and cannot shoot from a height, so is not eligible to participate in this specific hunt.

The city amendment was to allow bow hunters, using traditional archery equipment to hunt deer, only does specifically, around O.B. Nelson Park and between Jefferson County Park and the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

“Some of the hunters I talked with were not interested once they understood this hunt would only allow does to be taken,” said Smith. “Another drawback is the time of year. People had concerns about safety with the cold weather and ice forming on deer stands.”

Smith himself is a bow hunter and may go out this or next weekend. A fellow police officer who is interested is scheduled to work, and not able to participate.

“This was open to anyone and we announced it in the newspaper and local media, but it’s just bad timing,” said Smith. “We’ll have to wait for next year.”

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