I Am Conservation

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From Missouri Conservationist: Nov 2015

Tim Belleville of Fenton has been bowhunting in urban areas around St. Louis for many years. “I started bowhunting in 1980 on urban properties owned by friends who were nursery owners and were encountering considerable plant damage due to the high deer population,” said Belleville. In 2004, his daughter’s 5th-grade teacher, who was part of a newly formed group called the Certified Bow Hunters of St. Louis County, approached Belleville and invited him to join the group. I am ConservationThe following year, he was put in charge of the organization. “As a group, we have harvested over 1,100 deer in the last 10 years in the St. Louis County area,” said Belleville. Most of the meat is donated through Share the Harvest and to a Native American group that “uses every part of the deer, including tendons and bones for thread and tools.” The group has made presentations at local schools about the importance of deer as a source of food, clothing, and tools. “There are no natural predators of adult deer in this urban environment,” said Belleville. “Without management practices like bowhunting, their population would increase well beyond the sustainability of their habitat.” Belleville said that residents were skeptical at first. “Urban bowhunting is a very sensitive issue,” said Belleville. “We do not solicit by knocking on doors. Contact has been primarily by word of mouth from a resident where we have hunted. A hunting record of ethics, safety, and effectiveness has spoken for itself.”

—photograph by David Stonner

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler