Cape Girardeau City Council makes next step on urban deer hunt

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau City Council made a decision to move in parallel paths.

The council members say they will do a couple things. First, draft and implement a no-feed ordinance. That would restrict anyone from feeding the deer. In the past people have said they will not follow this, but the council asked Monday night for citizens to respect and follow city ordinances.

Second, the council says they want to put up signs along roads in high density deer areas to warn drivers of the possible crossings.

The council members say they want to simultaneously take the needed steps to pursue controlling the deer population, while setting up a deer population survey Fall 2012.

The survey is usually done around October or November months, so once that is completed, if the results find that there is an over population, the steps will already be in place to move forward with controlling the population.

Monday night the Urban Deer Hunting Committee made a presentation to the city council. Four to one, the committee recommended a bow hunt inside city limits. The member opposed, also presented his thoughts, saying he felt there needs to be more data proving an overpopulation.

Dru Reeves, a committee member says it's a relief to be done with their part in the process.

"Obviously it's a big relief," said Reeves. "I never, never ever thought that it was going to get to the point where it did, didn't realize that there would be an opposition group to this, so it's been a very entertaining 5 months."

He has similar ideas to the city council's decision.

"It's up to their discretion as to what they want to do, I think it's a mistake to wait for that survey because the deer are going to continue to breed, and they're going to continue to multiply, and you're just talking about waiting another year, where the deer are going to reproduce again, and you're going through another life-cycle of the deer, and we still haven't done anything."

Reeves says, even though not everyone on the city council is convinced bow hunting is the way to combat an over population, he thinks it's the only way.

"When you look at the other cities, and the State of Missouri has 23 other localities in the state that allow urban deer hunting, there is no other solution to it as far as what they came up with," said Reeves. "We did all of the research, and many of the other cities did much more in-depth studies than what we had to deal with, and you're looking at either sharp, professional sharpshooting deer, which comes expensive around $500 dollars a deer, or you allow a basically free or self-sustaining urban bow hunt that's done by citizens in a regulated manner, and the meat is contributed to Share the Harvest."

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