Thursday, June 22, 2017
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Deer Hunting in the ‘Burbs: Urban Archery Seasons Open Across the Country

Two-point buck in the orchard

Archery hunters in Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas and Minnesota may not have to go far to find their deer this year, some will walk out their back door and climb into a tree stand in their own backyard.

These states have all instituted Urban Deer Hunting programs and the trend is spreading.

The Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance started hunting in Duluth, Minnesota, over nine years ago. When the urban hunting program started, they anticipated a “Not in My Backyard” response from the residents. But what they heard was ‘Why NOT in my backyard?'” said group president Phillip Lockett, according to a Minnesota Public Radio article by Dan Kraker.

“It’s kind of surprising, you get these little old ladies that you don’t think would be furious with the deer, but they’re almost bloodthirsty,” said Lockett. “They’re just like, ‘we want them all gone!'”

Rural hunters know the frustration of seeing deer grazing the fields the day before hunting season opens, only to find that they can’t find a buck or a doe anywhere for miles once it is legal to start hunting. For urban deer, it’s a different story.

I showed the photo of the two-point buck (above) taken in my own backyard to a suburbanite friend. He said, “That’s nice, but you should come by my house. They all lay around the yard chewing their cud like cows after a good meal. I’ve given up on trying to grow roses in my garden.”

Whodda thought a rose bush — aka deer candy — could become a useful tool in baiting deer? And I can see it now, angry gardening grandmas taking over the neighborhood kids’ treehouses, applying camo paint instead of makeup every morning to stalk the doe that ate her hosta.

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