The Rock Island City Council approved a measure Thursday to have the city attorney draw up an ordinance allowing bow hunting of deer in defined areas within the city.
The measure passed 5-1, with the lone no vote cast by Alderman Kate Hotle, 5th Ward. Alderman Stephen Tollenaer, 4th Ward, was absent from the meeting.
“I obviously have a lot of questions about this,” Hotle said prior to the vote. “It has been an issue that’s been building for quite some time. I know it’s an issue in the City of Rock Island, and we need to be looking at it and addressing it."
However, she said, "I don’t feel comfortable with people hunting in the city limits at this time.”
City Attorney Ted Kutsunus said he is supposed to have the ordinance written for the Nov. 11 meeting when council will vote on the measure again.
Sue McDivitt said she lives near Chippiannock Cemetery and has been battling deer in her yard and eating her plants and gardens for 10 years. She’s happy that the city is moving forward with the ordinance.
“I’ve tried using a product that’s supposed to keep the deer away,” McDivitt said Thursday after the meeting. “I mixed up 5 gallons in the spring and early summer. Two weeks ago, I mixed up more, and only needed 2 gallons because the deer have eaten all my plants.”
Ken and Sarah Jacoby, who live in the 1400 block of 35th Avenue, said all the city is doing is creating a greater safety hazard with the ordinance.
“Did anybody talk about arrows flying in the area and that wounded deer will be bounding into traffic?” Ken Jacoby said. “I want to move.”
Sarah Jacoby questions the city's evidence, especially in terms of more traffic accidents.
“I guess people who want their hosta plants supersedes my desire to have wildlife in my yard, in my area.”
Of greater importance, though, is the safety of her children as they play outside as people hunt nearby, Sarah Jacoby said.
If the ordinance is passed, it will begin in December and take place throughout the remainder of the 2013-2014 archery deer hunting season, according to a memorandum issued by Rock Island City Manager Thomas Thomas. In Illinois, bow-hunting deer season is Oct. 1 to Jan. 19.
According to Thomas' memorandum, there are many requirements hunters must meet to participate in the program:
- Hunters will have to complete a proficiency test with the bow, complete a hunter education competency certification program, purchase appropriate deer tags from the State of Illinois and obtain permission from property owners to hunt on their land.
- All hunting areas will have a sign posted that bow deer hunting is in progress. All deer must be checked at Fire Station 4 at 3101 9th St., or Fire Station 2, 9010 Ridgewood Road, by 9 p.m.
- No remains of harvested deer shall remain at the site of the hunt. Arrows are to be clearly marked with the hunter’s information.
- Each deer hunter must purchase a permit from the City of Rock Island for the purpose of deer hunting. The cost of the permit is $25. Two doe must be harvested before a buck with antlers can be checked-in.
- Hunters chasing a wounded animal must attempt to contact property owner before proceeding.