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Archery hunt in Rochester parks proposed to control deer

City Council will hear the details of the proposed plan during Monday's meeting.

05-17 deer in the park kk.jpg
Deer are seen in a Rochester park.
Post Bulletin file photo
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ROCHESTER — A potential archery deer hunt to manage the herd within city limits will be discussed Monday.

The Rochester City Council is slated to hear a presentation that would seek to reduce deer numbers and related damage later this year.

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“We had a really surprising report on the number of deer related incidents,” Rochester Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman said, pointing to a Rochester Police Department report of 268 deer-related vehicle collisions last year.

“We have that spread out all over Rochester,” he said.

The Rochester Parks Board has been discussing options for deer control as part of its wildlife management program in recent years, but Widman said problems extend beyond park borders.

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“I’ve heard many complaints about property damage,” he said of private property owners who have contacted the city about deer in their yards.

A plan developed in coordination with the Rochester Archery Club would create a pilot program for a controlled hunt within the park system from Sept. 18 to Dec. 31.

Widman said the program is modeled on efforts in the Twin Cities.

Participants would need to be at least 18 years old, pass a bow proficiency test and follow requirements in the proposed plan.

“Safety is a high priority,” Widman said.

The number of allowed hunters will be based on how many can be safely managed by the archery club and parks staff.

If approved by the City Council and Park Board, applications for the hunt would be accepted in early August, with a random drawing used to determine who is eligible to hunt in designated parks.

The Parks Department would use signs and other equipment to restrict public access to designated hunting areas during the approved period.

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Widman said the proposed archery hunt is considered the most feasible way to address safety and health concerns for humans and deer that stem from deer overpopulation.

“There are very few nonlethal options that are effective and fiscally obtainable with deer,” he said.

The City Council will receive the proposal during its 7 p.m. meeting Monday in council chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.



Upcoming meetings

Meetings scheduled to be held during the week of May 16 include:

Rochester 

  • City Council study session, 3:30 p.m. Monday In council chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE. The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

    City Council, 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers of the Government Center. The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.

  • Fire Civil Service Commission, 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in room 104 of City Hall, 201 Fourth St. SE.
  • Library Board, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in meeting room C of the Rochester Public Library, 101 Second St. SE.

Olmsted County

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  • Health, Housing and Human Services Committee, 11 a.m. Tuesday in conference room 2 for the city-county Government Center.
  • Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board, 1 p.m. Tuesday in board chambers of the Government Center.
  • Physical Development Committee, 2 p.m. Tuesday in conference room 2 for the city-county Government Center.
  • Administrative Committee, 2 p.m. Tuesday in board chambers of the Government Center.
  • Board of County Commissioners, 3 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the Government Center.
  • Parks Commission, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Public Works, 2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester.
  • Environmental Commission, 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Environmental Services, 2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester.
  • Planning Advisory Commission, 7 p.m. Thursday, board chambers of the Government Center.

Rochester Public Schools

  • School Board, 5 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW.

Destination Medical Center

  • DMC Corp. board, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in suite 106 of the Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE.
Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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