Wednesday, October 11, 2006

IOWA NEWS: Ames Residents Oppose Hunting In City Parks

Hundreds of Ames residents are opposing an ordinance allowing bow hunters to kill deer in city parks.

A group of about 10 people calling themselves Ames Citizens for Non-Lethal Urban Deer Management obtained more than 350 signatures on a petition opposing the plan in just five days.

Ames city officials began examining the issue more than a year ago after 36 residents signed a petition in favor of deer management by bow hunting.

An ordinance establishing the city’s first bow hunting season was passed unanimously for the third time on Sept. 26. The opponents want the ordinance repealed.

The season officially opened Oct. 1. So far, only one urban bow hunting permit has been issued, said police Sgt. Brian Braymen. Rising deer-vehicle accidents were used as proof that something needed to be done.

However, Alicia Carriquiry, professor of statistics at Iowa State University, said Iowa Department of Transportation crash data shows that 85 percent of wildlife-vehicle accidents have occurred on the outskirts of the city in the past 10 years.

Conversely, less than four percent of the crashes have occurred near the deer management zones established by the city, she said. “It’s absurd,” said Carriquiry.

The group said other alternatives can be used to reduce deer-vehicle accidents, such as fencing along roads where deer typically cross and more warning signs.

Carriquiry said some petitioners have expressed fear of using parks where bow hunting is now allowed. The city has offered free orange vests to residents and their dogs and has posted informational signs at each park eligible for hunting. “There are some people who are truly, truly scared,” Carriquiry said.

2 comments:

kristin said...

Hi- Do you mind if I use this blog post in the human dimensions course I teach? Of course you will be credited as the source. I would like to have the students examine this issue in a class activity.

kristin said...

Oops, I just saw the "educational purposes" disclaimer at the top, so I assume it will be fine.

Thank you, and great blog!