Whitetails in the City
Chesterfield have both adopted revised ordinances that allow for archery hunting under certain restrictions. A few of these restrictions include allowing hunting only on certain size lots and only from elevated stands, and requiring hunters to have completed a bow hunter education course.
The restrictions are to ensure the safety of residents and hunters, although archery hunting already has a proven track record of being a safe sport.
The first year of the program in Clarkson Valley brought big success as 25 landowners registered their properties with the city for hunting. Hunters on those properties harvested 81 deer, 60 of which were antlerless. Perhaps the greatest success was that no incidents or complaints related to hunting were reported.
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a patchwork of four county and 74 city governments, ranging from rural to extremely urban. Attitudes, traditions and challenges unique to the municipalities tend to shape deer management in the region. Some local governments, such as Liberty, Raymore and Belton, have allowed archery hunting with certain restrictions within their city limits for many years.
Jackson County, known for its expansive 22,000-acre park system, has conducted managed archery and muzzleloader deer hunts on its park land for more than a decade.
“Since 1994, we have had 3,370 openings available to sportsmen,” said Bruce Wilke from Jackson County Parks and Recreation. “Through the management program, a cumulative total of 2,108 deer have been harvested.”
Wilke said people seem to recognize the problems that unchecked deer population growth brings to the parks and are willing to allow hunting as a management method.
“And, our safety record remains unblemished,” he added.
Other municipalities are fairly new to dealing with deer management. In 2003, Kansas City changed its ordinance to allow limited hunting through the use of managed archery hunts. With more than 400 deer/vehicle collisions occurring on city streets each year, the hope of the city council was to improve public safety by reducing the number of deer within the city using hunting. The ordinance has allowed managed hunts to occur on 17 private land locations and one county park, resulting in the harvest of 149 deer.
One year later, Parkville realized they also had a growing problem with the deer herd living downtown in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary, a 116-acre wooded park located right behind the city hall.
“Ten percent of our vehicle accidents in this area are deer related,” reported Police Chief William Hudson. Residents also complained