Since 2015, the City of Redwood Falls has been conducting an archery deer hunt within the city limits as a way to help reduce the population of the animal in the community.

Paul Parsons, who coordinates the annual program, came before the Redwood Falls city council Jan. 15 to talk about the 2018 hunt.

According to Parsons, there were 16 deer harvested this year, which is down from previous years.

Overall, the deer hunters, who must demonstrate proficiency in order to take part in the hunt, spent 504 hours in their designated areas, and during that time there were 227 does, 145 fawns and 52 bucks sighted by the hunters. Parsons qualified that number adding many of those deer were likely seen by hunters on more than one occasion. 

However, the number of deer spotted has dropped since 2015 when there were 342 does, 314 fawns and 45 bucks seen.

Parsons said he believes the hunt is having an impact, adding he would like to see the hunt held again in 2019.

Jim Doering, public works project coordinator, said a committee will be formed to discuss the hunt in greater detail and to determine whether or not to recommend to the council that the hunt be held again.

Should the recommendation favor another hunt, the city has until the end of February to apply to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for approval.

There were 20 hunters who were selected to take part in the hunt from a pool of 39 who took the proficiency test.

The program has established 26 stands as part of the hunt, and Parsons said there is definitely a desire to add more. Those who may be interested in having a stand set up in their area are encouraged to contact Parsons or Doering.

In addition to hearing the archery deer hunt report, the city council:

• Heard a request from Carris Health, LLC and Eldo and Elizabeth Schoer to rezone a 61 acre parcel owned by the Schoer family east of St. John School from rural residential to rural business.

According to Tim Hanna, city zoning administrator, the reason for the rezoning is due to the fact that a hospital is not permitted in a rural residential zoned district. The city council will consider the request and will make a decision on the city ordinance change at its Feb. 5 meeting. 

• Approved a request to solicit bids for the 2019 seal coat improvement project. Doering said he anticipates competitive bids this year because the oil prices are low. The estimated cost for the project is $280,000.

• Approved the appointment of several individuals to city commissions and committees including:

• Alan Olson (first term) and Jim Hildebrandt (second term) to the airport commission

• Jeff Gunderson (second term) and Joyce Johnson (third term) to the library commission

• Stephen Vannelli (first term) and Jeannette Mertens (second term) to the parks and recreation commission

• Valerie Stephens (first term) to the planning commission

• Holly Johnson (first term) and Matt Beavers (third term) to the police commission

• Jim Sandgren, city council representative, to the port authority

• Mike Neudecker (second term) to the public utilities commission

– Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources