Urban hunting warrants further study

Published 9:25 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

They might be cute and inspire calls of “Look. Look at the mama and her fawn,” but ultimately, and in numbers that have swollen in recent years, deer in Ahoskie and surrounding areas have become a nuisance.

How to deal with the over-population is a vexing question that evades a clear answer. The Town of Ahoskie may choose to thin out the herd by the somewhat novel approach that only a few other municipalities in North Carolina have undertaken – allow the bow hunting of deer inside town limits. That would include a new and improved version of the standby of countless medieval battles, the crossbow.

It is an idea that at first may sound a bit off the wall. But, not all land within Ahoskie’s limits is developed or closely bound by dense areas of housing or commercial activity. There are a few large tracts that are heavily wooded and spacious enough to support large populations of deer during daylight hours, the time they seemingly rest up for nighttime forays into gardens, lawns and other unwanted places. It is within these large, isolated tracts that Ahoskie Town Council could allow bow hunting of deer.

To be clear, the idea only came before the board nine days ago, and no action was taken except to direct Town Manager Tony Hammond to do some research and report back to council. No bow hunting will be allowed in the Town of Ahoskie this year, if ever.

Council members were quick to say that significant precautions would need to be written into any regulations that may allow municipal deer hunting in the future. We concur with that 100 percent. We also agree that further exploration is warranted. The concept may have merit.

If it can be done safely, perhaps a trial run could be performed in deer season 2012. Nothing is to be lost by looking into the issue further, and potentially finding a solution that will handle a growing problem and make the area’s legions of deer hunters happy at the same time.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald