The City of Redwood Falls continues to move forward with its efforts to try and thin out the deer that have settled in Ramsey Park and the surrounding areas of the community.
After another successful hunt in 2018, the city’s deer hunt committee met Feb. 28 to review the results form 2018 and to talk about the potential of applying to hold the hunt again in 2019.
The recommendation to apply to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was approved by the committee and submitted to the Redwood Falls city council, which also approved moving forward with the hunt again this year.
According to Jim Doering, city public works project coordinator, the committee recommendation included a number of provisions, including a new effort that it hopes will encourage more individuals to get involved with the hunt.
A total of 20 individuals are selected to participate each year.
Those participants are required to successfully pass a minimum proficiency test demonstrating their archery ability. In the past, participants were selected based on a proficiency test with those earning the top points given the spots to hunt.
Moving forward for 2019, the committee decided that it would allow all participants who meet the minimum proficiency test to have their names put into a lottery, with the names of the 20 participants randomly drawn.
John Buckley, city council member, said he looked at a number of other communities that also host an archery deer hunt, adding of the 20 he researched the majority of them selected the hunt participants based on a lottery.
“I think we want to make this opportunity available to as many capable hunters as we can,” said Buckley, adding he knows there have been people who have tried to be involved only to lose out to others whose scores were higher.
Buckley added he knows some of these hunters are very capable and responsible hunters who may not be able to score high on a point system but would still be a good fit for this program.
Typically there are between 45 and 50 people who initially participate in the program, said Doering, but he thinks a lottery could potentially bring in even more.
The deer hunt coincides with the annual archery season from Sept. 14 through the end of the year, and those who participate are required to pay a $20 application fee, as well as a $40 hunt fee. With what is known as a double earn a buck option, hunters have the potential of harvesting two does as well as a buck using their own deer tag.
Those who are selected to participate this year will be required to be in their respective stand for a minimum of 20 hours. There were some individuals who were selected who did not spend any time hunting in 2018.
The hunt allows for up to 40 deer to be harvested each year, and Doering said the average has been in the 20 harvested deer range.
In 2018, there were 16 deer harvested in 2018.
In addition, the city continues to offer education on its Web site at ci.redwood-falls.mn.us for the public regarding ways to help keep deer off of their yards.
The public is reminded the city does have an ordinance in place that makes it illegal to feed deer in the city limits.
– Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain