DURHAM — Bow-hunting for deer won unanimous City Council approval last week, giving archers eight weeks of the 2013 deer season to hunt inside the city limits.
Hunters had lobbied council members since November 2012 to change city regulations that previously banned all forms of hunting in the city. Advocates said hunting helps control urban deer populations and can provide meat for community kitchens and homeless shelters as well as hunters’ own consumption.
The rules passed Monday night:
• Allow hunting, with bow and arrow or crossbow, only from stands at least 10 feet off the ground.
• Allow hunting only on “areas of consent” – tracts of 5 contiguous acres or more.
• Allow hunting only on land owned by the hunter or on which the hunter has the owner’s written permission.
• Forbid shooting arrows within 250 feet of the hunting area’s boundary or within 250 feet of a residence, school, church, business, government property, occupied building, street or recreational area.
• Require hunters to “make every reasonable effort to track wounded deer for the purpose of completing the harvest and recovering the carcass.”
• Require city administrators to report to the council every other year on hunt results and any safety issues that arise.
Otherwise, deer hunting in town is governed by state regulations, and the state Wildlife Resources Commission is responsible for enforcement.