HOPE, Ark. – City officials in Hope are considering an urban deer hunting season with bows and arrows.
The high concentration of deer roaming the city's street has the Board of Directors seriously considering an urban hunt for the fall, which should be decided on by no later than March, said City Manager Catherine Cook.
If approved, Hope would join Bull Shoals, Hot Springs Village, Cherokee Village and Heber Springs as the only Arkansas cities with urban hunts.
In the past six years, 28 deer have collided with vehicles within Hope city limits, including one collision with a police patrol car, according to a report from Police Chief J.R. Wilson.
City officials say manicured lawns, flowers, fruit-bearing trees and shrubs within city limits lure the deer out of the woods.
Early last fall, Board Member Don Still proposed the city consider ways to deal with deer living in the city limits. The board soon after consulted with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, which suggested an urban hunt, incorporating the city limits into the regular bow hunting season and restricting feeding deer within the city.
"A special season was picked for this hunt. There is a no bag limit, although the goal is to bag at least 150 deer to keep up with the births from the previous year," according to a report from the Game & Fish Commission.
To participate in an urban deer hunt, hunters must be at least 16 and have an Arkansas Sportsman's License and an Urban Bow Hunting Permit; pay a $35 fee, which includes Arkansas Bowhunters Association membership and liability insurance; attend an urban hunting seminar and pass a shooting proficiency test; use only longbows, recurve bows or compound bows with at least 40-pound draw weight and at least 7/8-inch-wide arrowheads; have written permission from the landowner if hunting on private land; hunt from a stand elevated at least 10 feet; keep bow cased to and from stand; and stay more than 50 yards from a residence, house, trail, golf course, park, utility installation or paved road.
The first deer taken by a hunter must be a doe.
Deer taken in the urban hunts do not count in a hunter's seasonal bag limit, so the three-point rule does not apply.