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Bow hunting takes aim at reducing deer herds

Monday, October 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:25 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

For many mid-Missouri residents, fall is the season for hunting.

Although the majority of hunters uses guns, few Columbians channel their inner Robin Hood with the unique sport of bow hunting.

“Bow hunting is more precise.,’’ said Curtis Twellman, a Bass Pro Shop of Columbia employee. “You’re trying to get within 30 yards instead of 300 yards.

“You are in the woods at a different and better time than the rest of the hunters.”

Twellman also is an avid bow hunter.

This year, Columbia is installing many rules to control the rapidly growing deer population. Boone County, as well as many other counties throughout the state, has new plans to curb possible problems with its deer herd.

“With the deer population as it is, soon they will all have to utilize the same food and watering grounds,” Twellman said. “With so many deer using the same places, this can cause diseases such as tuberculosis to spread through the population.”

Counties have decided to encourage antler-less hunting. Doe hunting is nothing new to the true enthusiast, but it is quickly becoming a necessity.

“Soon we may have to go to an earn-a-buck situation,” Twellman said. “That’s where a hunter must take one to as many as two does before he can bag a buck.”Despite the desire for bucks, there are many requirements a hunter must have before he or she can shoot. Bucks must have four visible points on their antlers. Any less is illegal to shoot. For this reason, does are becoming increasingly popular.

Columbia is trying to solve the deer problem by opening up more opportunities for hunters.

“The bow hunting season has been lengthened,” said Stan Frink, a Columbia resident. “This gives people more opportunity to get in the field.”

The season is Sept. 15-Nov. 12 and Nov. 24-Jan. 15.

Despite the new regulations increasing season length, Frink says bow hunters alone cannot be responsible for controlling the herd.

“Bow hunting is not real effective in controlling the population,” Frink said. “We don’t have the number it takes to control the herd.”

Despite his doubts, Frink would rather have hunters keep the population in check than have the city resort to other means of control.

“Being an avid hunter, I would like to control [the population] that way,” Frink said. “It’s more expensive to trap and move them.”

According to gocolumbiamo.com, the city will allow bow hunting on four properties: Grindstone Nature Area, Twin Lakes Recreation Area, the sanitary landfill and the sewer utility along Perche Creek at Strawn Road.

Bow hunters will be allowed to hunt from Sept. 15 until Jan. 15 one half hour before and after sunset. Hunters who are permitted to hunt must have attended a meeting and be registered with the city.


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