Shooting hunt suggested in Rochester parks to control deer – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER – A potential shooting deer hunt to manage the herd within city limits will be discussed Monday.

Rochester City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation seeking to reduce deer numbers and related damage later this year.

“We got a really surprising report on the number of deer-related accidents,” said Paul Weidman, director of Rochester Parks and Recreation, referring to the Rochester Police Department’s report of 268 deer-related car crashes last year.

“This has spread all over the city of Rochester,” he said.

The Rochester Parks Council has been discussing deer control options as part of its wildlife management program in recent years, but Weidman said the problems extend well beyond the parks’ borders.

“I’ve heard many complaints about property damage,” he said of private property owners who contacted the city about deer in their yards.

A plan developed in coordination with the Rochester Shooting Club will create a pilot controlled hunt program within the park system from September 18 through December 31.

Weidmann said the program was modeled on efforts in the Twin Cities.

Participants must be at least 18 years old, pass an arc mastery test and follow the requirements in the proposed plan.

“Safety is a top priority,” Weidmann said.

The number of hunters allowed will depend on the number of hunters that can be safely managed by the shooting club and park staff.

If approved by the city council and park board, hunting applications will be accepted in early August, with a random fee used to determine who is eligible to hunt in designated parks.

The Parks Department will use signage and other equipment to restrict public access to designated fishing areas during the approved period.

Weidmann said the proposed archery hunt is the most feasible way to address the safety and health concerns for humans and deer that result from increased deer populations.

“There are very few effective and financially obtainable non-lethal options with deer,” he said.

The City Council will receive the proposal during its 7 p.m. meeting Monday in Council Rooms at City Government Center, 151 4th Street SE.

The meeting will be broadcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and will be available on Spectrum Cable Channel 180 or 188 and Metronet Channel 80.

Meetings scheduled for the week of May 16 include:

Rochester

  • City Council Study Session, 3:30 p.m. Monday in City Council Rooms – County Government Center, 151 Fourth Street SE. The meeting will be broadcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and will be available on Spectrum Cable Channel 180 or 188 and Metronet Channel 80.

    City Council, 7 pm Monday in the rooms of the Government Center Council. The meeting will be broadcast live at www.rochestermn.gov/meetings/council-meetings and will be available on Spectrum Cable Channel 180 or 188 and Metronet Channel 80.

  • Civil Service Fire Service, 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in Room 104 at City Hall, 201 4th Street SE.
  • Library Board, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Conference Room C of the Rochester Public Library, 101 Second St. SE.

Olmsted County

  • The Committee on Health, Housing, and Human Services, at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Conference Room 2 at the city and county government center.
  • The Council of the Development and Housing Authority, at one o’clock in the afternoon, Tuesday, in the Board of Directors of the Governmental Center.
  • Physical Development Committee, 2 Tuesday afternoon in Conference Room 2 of the city and county government center.
  • Administrative Committee, at 2 pm on Tuesday in the rooms of the Board of Directors of the Government Center.
  • County Board of Commissioners, 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Government Center Board of Directors.
  • Parks Commission, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Public Works, 2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester.
  • Environment Committee, 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Environmental Services, 2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester.
  • Planning Advisory Board, 7 pm Thursday, Government Center Board of Directors.

Rochester Public Schools

  • School Board, 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Edison Building Assembly Hall, 615 Seventh Street SW.

Destination Medical Center

  • DMC Board of Directors, at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Suite 106 of Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE.

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