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Rushford considers deer hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

As a topic of interest that’s been ruminating for some time, the city council once again discussed the possibility of allowing the harvesting of deer within its borders. The city and its residents have been the roaming grounds of an excess deer population and many believe their numbers should be cut down. Safety of such an allowance is the critical piece, as any deer that would be taken would be on an elevation and in close proximity to homes.

Other municipalities have allowed hunting within city limits, but they are served by specific ordinances on the issue. “I think those ordinances might be a little lax for what we need,” noted Councilor Vern Bunke.

“We have a unique set of circumstances,” added Councilor Mark Honsey.

The possibility would only allow for bow hunting and may be limited to a certain number of qualified individuals. Chief of Police Adam Eide, a bow hunter himself, was on hand for the discussion and suggested that perhaps an advanced bow hunter’s class could be a prerequisite.

If harvesting within the city limits were allowed, it would most certainly be limited to certain areas and public hearings would need to be held first. Some of the areas of discussion included Magelson’s Bluff, levee areas, and the stretch of green south of Highway 16, west of Kwik Trip.

“I don’t think the public has a realistic view of this ordinance,” cautioned Mayor Chris Hallum. “The last thing we want to do is give every household a permit to shoot deer. City staff will look further into other municipal ordinances and Rushford’s specific set of needs, as well as discussing the topic with the DNR.

In other news, Chief Eide discussed three part-time officers who are currently completing their training and licensing with the state. Derek Ellis, Ryan Quanrud, and Sheldon Hedke have passed their background checks and are fully-qualified for patrolling alongside Rushford’s officers. “They’re learning our procedures and how we do business,” noted Eide. This training will take various amounts of time, but other than the cost of conducted psychological examinations, has no cost to the city as the three are volunteering their time. “I think we have three people that are up and coming and will do a good job,” added Eide.

The council has directed Eide to proceed with getting Ellis, Quanrud, and Hedke qualified. The city will authorize them when the chief decides they are ready.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Monday, November 26, at 6:30pm, at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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