The Moline City Council voted Tuesday to table for one week a vote that would allow deer hunting within city limits.
Alderman Quinten Rodriguez, 1st Ward, said he needed more information about a possible city-wide hunt and its implications. He also stated he wanted to see how other cities handle such a hunt.
“I want more information to just to make sure we’re doing the right thing,” Rodriguez said during Tuesday’s committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The vote to table the issue for one week passed by a 6-2 margin, with Aldermen Kevin Schoonmaker, 6th Ward, and Lori Turner, 5th Ward, casting the "no" votes.
Before the issue was discussed, the council listened to a presentation on urban deer from Tim Preuss, urban deer project manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Preuss explained to the council the dangers of too many deer, from damage to public and private property, to deer-vehicle crashes, to issues with declining food supplies for other herbivores, to the spread of parasites and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease in humans.
But when council members asked Preuss if Moline had an urban deer problem, he said, “That is something the city of Moline must determine.”
Alderman Dick Potter, 4th Ward, said in regard to the deer, “I’m not sure that the problem is as bad as some segments of society would have us believe.”
But Schoonmaker said that in his ward, the urban deer problem is very real.
Alderman David Parker Jr., 2nd Ward, said he would like to know how Rock Island operates its deer hunt.
Interim Police Chief John Hitchcock told the council he would contact Rock Island to see how that city uses the hunt to cull the deer herd.
Mayor Stephanie Acri also asked if there was a way to map all of the deer-vehicle crashes that have occurred since 2013. She would like to see where in the city limits the crashes occurred as well as what time of day.
In May 2016, the City Council passed a special ordinance for a hunt that was directed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The ordinance allowed for firearms to be used in the city limits at 901 46th St., which is property belonging to Moline businessman Hunt Harris. Although the council passed the resolution, the city did not obtain a permit from the DNR, so no hunt was conducted.
Aldermen were told that instead of using sharpshooters with DNR permission, a public hunt would cost the city virtually nothing and could be a revenue source.
Instead of the city spending money to get rid of deer killed by sharpshooters, the people participating in a city-sponsored hunt could keep the deer they kill for food.
The city would offset any costs of the hunt by having a minimal application fee or hunting fee.
The next committee-of-the-whole meeting is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.