ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The City of Rochester Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the Rochester Archery Club to hold a controlled archery hunt pilot program this fall in several parks throughout the city.
According to the announcement, the Archery Club will assist by administering the registration for the hunt and the Parks and Recreation Department will share responsibilities in implementing safety procedures.
The parks and trails will remain open during the hunting season. Some areas within parks will be designated as off-limits and signed accordingly.
The pilot program was approved by the Park Board and City Council in response to public safety concerns associated with the growing urban deer population.
The application process is open and will run through August 15, 2022.
Participants are required to successfully complete Minnesota Bowhunter Education and pass the MN Bowhunter proficiency test. Hunters will be expected to comply with all Minnesota Department of Natural resources deer hunting rules and regulations. Bowhunters who meet these qualifications can apply at the Rochester Archery Club site.
“The pilot deer management program in Rochester is similar to coordinated efforts throughout communities in Minnesota. We have adopted best practices that will ensure safety during the hunt,” Director of Parks and Recreation Paul Widman said.
Rochester Park and Recreation shared that over 200 deer-related vehicle accidents were reported in Rochester in 2021. Other issues with deer overpopulation include property damage from over grazing and public health concerns related to deer tick-borne Lyme Disease.
Bow hunting season runs from September 17 to December 31, 2022. Some of the park areas designated for the hunt may have a later start date in order to accommodate other recreation activities in the fall.
The program will take place in designated locations at the following parks and open areas:
- Bear Creek
- Essex Park
- Foster Arend
- Hadley Creek Golf Course
- Indian Heights
- Northern Heights
- Willow Creek Reservoir
- South Zumbro Trail natural areas 16th Street SW to Mayowood Road
- North Zumbro natural areas from Recreation Center to 37th Street NW
Additional information can be found on the City website.
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