RICHLAND CENTER (WKOW) — This season, Richland Center hunters will be able to go after deer much closer to home. Tuesday night, the Common Council finalized plans to allow bow hunting on city-owned property.
According to Alder Todd Coppernoll, who brought the measure forward, it’s not about recreation, but public safety.
The DNR said Richland County has twice as many deer as it would consider healthy and since the animals are causing more and more problems within city limits, Coppernoll said it’s time for locals to fight back.
“We’ve had car-deer accidents in the city. We’ve had a rise in Lyme disease,” he said. “We’ve had dead deer turning up in town without explanation. I think in the interest of health and safety this is the responsible move.”
Coppernoll proposed expanding hunting within the city limits by opening up certain sections of city parks and forests for deer hunts.
Maps of that land have been drawn and approved. For safety reasons, Coppernoll said they will only allow bow hunting, no guns and hunters must stay more than 300 feet away from any walking paths.
Alders approved the land use unanimously.
Coppernoll said they based the plans on a similar hunt the city of Portage designed within its city limits. He said research showed their hunt was successful in cutting down on deer-related issues in the area.
Richland County hunters will have to wait until after gun deer season to try out the new hunt. Officials said they hope to have it open with all of the guidelines spelled out for hunters by December 2.