A public hearing on urban deer hunting here drew only one speaker Tuesday night, but he offered plenty of reasons he thinks the plan is a bad idea.
Wake Forest commissioners are considering allowing bow-and-arrow deer hunting during the state season and a special urban archery season in the following months. The proposal aims to thin the population of garden invaders.
Resident Mark Rosche said the towns rules wouldnt do enough to keep people safe from stray arrows. The proposal restricts hunting to five-acre tracts of land, at least 150 feet from a home or road and 300 feet from schools, churches and parks.
That brings bow hunters dangerously close to the population of Wake Forest, and if you do not have absolute control of your arrow, someone might find themselves on the receiving end of a not-very-nice Christmas present, Rosche told commissioners Tuesday.
Rosche also takes issue with a provision that prevents hunters from chasing a wounded animal if it runs off their approved hunting ground. Instead, theyd have to call police. The police are hired by the townspeople to be the policemen, not secondary hunters chasing after wounded animals because of accidents created by the hunters, he said.
The plan would require hunters to shoot from a 10-foot stand or higher. And they have to take a state-sponsored hunter safety course, but Rosche doesnt think thats enough to ensure safe shooting. You are not necessarily a qualified archer who knows where your arrow will go, he said.
Since Rosche was the only speaker, town commissioners will hold a second public hearing Jan. 15. In earlier discussions, the board itself was split on the issue. Commissioners voted 3-2 in August to draft an ordinance governing the hunt.
Commissioner Frank Drake voiced support for the idea, saying the town was being overrun with a pestilence of deer. But Commissioner Anne Hines voted against it, pointing out that other hunter-friendly North Carolina towns are more rural and still dont kill many deer. In the Triangle, Smithfield and Pittsboro have programs with varying levels of restrictions.
An extended season in Wake Forest likely wouldnt start until 2014, because the town would have to apply next April to participate in the extended urban archery season in January and February, which is managed by state wildlife officials. Shooting during hunting season, which is in September, could start as soon as the town approves the rules.
Rosche urged the commissioners to vote no. If you are a hunter, go to the mountains where there are no people, and hunt to your hearts content.