The success of last year's urban archery hunt in Cherokee Village has led officials to consider repeating the hunt this year to help with the overpopulation of deer in the city.
Deer, when overpopulated, can cause vehicle accidents that can cause personal and property damage.
Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley said that last year, the residents voted to allow this hunt in the city by a 3-1 vote. Hefley said it is important to get the residents opinion on a hunt of this nature and their approval was overwhelming. The city council plans to continue with the hunt for another few years, as Hefley says "they (Game and Fish) say it takes three or four years to thin them down.".
Hefley has been in contact with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regarding the hunt and he said that they will do a spot check in August to get an idea of the overpopulation in the Cherokee Village area.
Hefley said "Last year's hunt went very well." Cherokee Village Fire Chief Mike Taylor said that approximately 200 deer were taken during last year's urban hunts.
Information obtained from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Web site says that these hunts are scheduled for Horseshoe Bend and Cherokee Village.
To qualify for the fall and winter archery only hunt, perspective hunters must submit an application and be chosen as one of the 250 participants in each area. They must then pass an International Bow Hunter Education Program and attend not only a hunter-orientation class, but also take tests for proficiency in shooting.
Those selected for the controlled hunt are required to either take an eight hour class or to take the online class at a cost of $20 and attend an IBEP Field Day. These field days will be held after each hunter orientation class in each city holding the hunts. By utilizing the online class, the bow hunter can then attend the field day and have earned the required credentials in one day. The Game and Fish Commission says that once the hunter obtains the IBEP card it, "is good for life."
For Horseshoe Bend, the shooting portion of the test is slated for Aug. 29 at Veteran's Park at 1 p.m. and for those in the Cherokee Village hunt, both the hunter orientation and shooting portion of the test will begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 29 at Baseheart Fire Station.
The Cherokee Village hunt will be held Sept. 8-15, 2009, and Jan. 1-31, 2010, with the Horseshoe Bend hunts being held on the same dates.
Although the urban archery hunt has no bag limit, some of the stipulations of the hunt include, the first deer taken must be a doe and it must be donated to the Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry organization. It is also important to note that these deer taken during the urban hunt do not count toward the hunter's seasonal limit.
For more questions concerning the urban archery hunt, or to be mailed an urban hunt application, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 501-223-6359.