So, how would you feel if someone told you bow season was suspended? And, even worse, the reason for the suspension is so someone else can come in and shoot deer in order to get the population under control. Well, this is exactly the scenario the hunters of Ellisville, Missouri are dealing with.
In April, 2013 the Ellisville City Council passed an ordinance into law allowing bow hunting on any property with a minimum of 3 acres. However, in October of 2014 this ordinance received a 90-day suspension due to safety concerns after some arrows had been found by a child on private property. And now, there is an indefinite suspension of the ordinance in order to get control of the deer population.
So, just how does the Ellisville City Council plan to do this? The council has decided to allow two city police officers and one public works employee to hunt these deer with guns. Items being purchased to aid these hunts include silencers for the guns, 500 rounds of ammunition, and corn for baiting the deer. Additionally, these employees will receive overtime pay for their hunts, as well as $100/per deer killed. The hunting will take place over a 10-day period, and is estimated to cost the city a whopping $12, 150!
The city had also looked into hiring a deer culling service. However, the cost of this would have been a minimum of $20,000. And, the last option considered was to thin the herd through urban bow hunting. Yet, the decision was made to indefinitely suspend urban bow hunting instead.
I am a hunter and I understand the importance of population control. But, my question is this, “How does suspending bow hunting help the situation?” This option would not cost the city anything, in fact allowing bow hunters to control the population could be beneficial to the economy. Perhaps the city could have come to some sort of compromise that would have allowed for both, the employee paid hunts and urban bow hunting.
Don’t get me wrong, the City of Ellisville got at least one thing right. They are donating all of the deer meat to Share the Harvest, which is a program that helps feed families in need. But, in my opinion this may be the only thing the city council got right! So, what are your thoughts? Did the Ellisville City Council make the right decision? I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on the situation.