Cloquet City Council considers city bowhuntSuccessful bowhunting in nearby communities as well as interest from area residents, has Cloquet City Council members considering whether to pursue a bowhunting season in the city.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Successful bowhunting in nearby communities as well as interest from area residents, has Cloquet City Council members considering whether to pursue a bowhunting season in the city.
Rich Staffon, wildlife specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and Cloquet resident John Sanders spoke with councilors about the idea during their working session Tuesday afternoon.
Sanders, who lives on Boulder Drive, said he would like to hunt the abundant deer on his five acres of land.
“I know several people on Boulder Drive and we all get a lot of deer,” he said. “It seemed good to look into [the idea of bowhunting].”
Staffon and Sanders cited success with such programs in Duluth, Hermantown and Proctor. Some 300 hunters in Duluth take hundreds of deer per year, from mid-September through December, Staffon said.
“Hunters in Duluth have to jump through some hoops to participate,” he noted.
They also noted several local areas with heavy deer populations including Highway 45 near Sappi to Interstate-35, in the South Oak Street area and south of the DNR building near Highway 33. Numerous car accidents involving deer happen in those locations each year, according to council member and Cloquet Police Sergeant Erik Blesener, who expressed support for a bowhunt.
“People already rifle-hunt near Sappi and the Erickson Acres area,” Blesener said. “We always get calls from people concerned because guys in orange are in their backyards.”
He also said he has experienced people shooting bow and arrow within city limits just for practice.
“We’ve left them alone because neighbors haven’t complained much,” he said.
There haven’t been too many residential complaints about nuisance deer in Cloquet either, according to Staffon, who believes people are just “putting up with it.”
“There are bowhunts in many, many places now, with good results,” he said. “Safety has been a concern, but not a big problem overall.”
Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande was not present for the meeting but expressed concerns about a bowhunt in the city.
“I’m concerned about where exactly it would be allowed and am worried about firing weapons in city limits,” he said in a later interview.
Tuesday’s discussion about a bowhunt was the first for the council, who decided to meet with Lamirande and Scott Staples, a local DNR conservation officer, and do further research on bowhunts in other communities including Hermantown. They planned to reconvene on the matter in the near future.