Archive for Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bow hunters bag few deer during Basehor’s first season

January 13, 2011

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A handful of hunters took advantage of the first season of legalized bow hunting in Basehor, causing little effect on the deer population and drawing no complaints from other city residents.

After 17 people took part in testing sessions in August, the city issued 13 permits for bow hunting within the city limits for the 2010 Kansas deer archery season, which ran from Sept. 20 to Dec. 31. The permits covered seven different properties in the city, most between Parallel Road and U.S. Highway 24-40, police chief Lloyd Martley said.

“We were very pleased with the turnout,” Martley said. “Being the first year that this process had been put in place, we weren’t really sure what the turnout would be.”

The city did not hear any complaints from residents about the program, Martley said, and it had not received any reports of illegal hunting within the city as it did last year.

As for the purpose of the program, which is to thin out the Basehor area deer population, Martley said the bow hunting probably had little effect to this point. Though it is difficult to measure the effect on deer population, he said the number of car accidents involving deer in the area had remained high.

“It's not going to thin it out too much, but it's going to help,” Martley said. “Anything helps.”

Basehor resident Joe Nick, who allowed three people to bow-hunt on his property this season, also said he thought the first season had not made any real dent in the deer population.

The City Council legalized bow hunting in 2010 after Nick asked the council for a permit for hunting on his property because deer had been destroying his crops. But he said the problem had probably only gotten worse this year.

“I don't think it will have a big enough effect to trim the herd the way it needs to be trimmed,” said Nick, who said he does not hunt.

He said hunters took only two deer on his property this year, one doe and one buck.

Both those were shot by Steve Martin, a Shawnee hunter who knows Nick's family. Martin said he hunted on Nick's property about three or four times per week this season, all to bag the one doe and one buck. Bow hunting yields results much more slowly than rifle hunting, he said, because of the close range required.

“Bow hunting's so much tougher,” Martin said. “It's a challenge.”

Martin, an employee of the city of Shawnee, said that city picked up as many as 175 deer dead from car accidents each year, and he said Basehor's population was similarly thick.

Martin said he planned to hunt more during the state's extended bow-hunting season for does only, which runs until Jan. 31.

Tom Mills of Basehor said he’d taken one deer while bow-hunting on his property off Parallel between 155th Street and Kansas Highway 7, though he said he and his wife enjoyed the opportunity to step out their backdoor and hunt on their own land.

Mills said he had heard nothing but support for his hunting from neighbors, hopeful for fewer deer wandering onto the roads in the evening.

“Everybody around here’s used to dodging the deer in their car at night,” Mills said.

Nick also said he hadn’t heard any complaints from neighbors. A few residents spoke out against bow hunting at City Council meetings this past year.

The city’s policy allowed bow hunting within the city limits on tracts of land three acres or larger. Hunters had to meet extensive requirements in addition to state hunting licenses to earn a permit, including passing a written test and archery proficiency test and showing proof of approval from the owner of the property where the hunting would occur.

Martley said hunters would have to undergo the application process again to be able to hunt in this year's deer season, and the city would again organize testing sessions for prospective bow hunters this summer.

“I’d like to believe that the implementation of the program has been a success,” Martley said.

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