The Two Harbors City Council has unanimously authorized a city archery deer hunt this fall to help manage the population of deer within city limits.
The proposal came from Two Harbors resident Andy Aug, who has been working with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists and conservation officers to research past citywide hunts and push for one this year. The council signed off on the hunt Monday, April 22.
"The offer on the table is basically an 'earn a buck' format for 20 applicants for doe permits," Aug said. "So each archer would have to shoot and register a doe before they can pursue the other deer, does or bucks, with their regular archery license."
Although the maximum number of deer shot through this hunt would be 40, Aug estimates that about 20-25 deer would end up shot by the end of the season. This is based on city hunts in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The city allowed 36 hunters in 2011 and 12, some of who didn't get their full allotted numbers. Only two deer were shot due to bag limit changes in 2013.
One change to this hunt would be the registration process. In the past, hunters needed to register their deer with the police department. Instead this responsibility will fall on Aug.
"Everything will come to me now so that it's not affecting the police like it did in the past. They've got more important things to do," Aug said.
Police Chief Rick Hogenson expressed some doubt in the decrease in calls.
"I'm not as optimistic as Andy on the calls. But we'll deal with them as we do any other calls," Hogenson said. "They're probably going to call us and we will forward them to Andy. And we're not opposed to this."
Hogenson did request to have a public safety meeting after the hunt ends in late November to evaluate how it went. Aug agreed with this idea and stated that in the past there were no reported citizen complaints from past hunts.
Aug also noted he planned to end the special hunt about a month earlier than the season ends. Bow hunting season usually runs from the second week of September until the end of the year. Aug plans to cut this hunt off by Nov. 30.
Mayor Chris Swanson expressed his support for the hunt.
"I can't tell you how many deer droppings we get in our yard," Swanson said. "As much as I love the deer, last night coming home there was a deer standing in the middle of our alley and they didn't want to move. So I appreciate this hunt to control the population."
To apply for the hunt, contact Andy Aug at firstname.lastname@example.org.