CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - On Tuesday, July 15, the Carbondale City Council approved a new ordinance that will allow bow hunting on the property surrounding Cedar Lake.
At the beginning of the 2014 archery season, which starts October 1, bow hunters will be allowed to hunt on Cedar Lake property.
The Carbondale City Manager, Kevin Baity, is developing a map and information fact sheet on where hunter's will be allowed to hunt.
Baity said the council's decision to allow hunting came after several property owners in the Cedar Lake area complained that deer were overrunning their neighborhoods and eating local crops.
Deer also cause thinning of the forest canopy. Baity said plants that grow underneath forest trees are important for several reasons.
Those plants serve as food to many different animals in the Cedar Lake area including deer. When there are too many deer, there is not enough food for other animals, he explained.
Also, the plants under the forest canopy hold down sediments. Baity said when it rains and there are no plants to hold down the dirt, it washes off into the lake.
Cedar Lake serves as a main water source for the City of Carbondale. According to Baity, those sediments diminish the water quality.
John Wallace is the supervisor of Cedar Lake. He said that there are too many deer in the area.
"They have a very high reproductive rate and these deer don't have predators in larger area's that you would find," Wallace said. "So as a result, their populations have really thrived."
Brian Atkins, a traditional bow hunter from Du Quoin, said he agree's with the city's decision.
“It’s going to be nice. [It will] cut down some of that population in that area," Atkins said. "I’ve seen a lot of deer out there when I’ve been fishing out there.”
According to Baity, hunting will be forbidden near the Cedar Lake beach, dams and boat ramp.