City to allow bow hunting in selected zonesExperienced bow hunter John Sanders, who owns five acres of land on Boulder Drive on the north side of Cloquet, approached the Cloquet City Council last fall regarding the possibility of a legalized bow hunt within the city limits.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Experienced bow hunter John Sanders, who owns five acres of land on Boulder Drive on the north side of Cloquet, approached the Cloquet City Council last fall regarding the possibility of a legalized bow hunt within the city limits. Since certain areas of the city were already experiencing an encroaching deer population at the time, the city agreed to give consideration to the idea.
This fall, following considerable work and collaboration by the Cloquet Police Department, the Department of Natural Resources and area deer hunters, Sanders will get his wish.
The Cloquet City Council unanimously passed an ordinance at its Tuesday night meeting this week that will alter the city code to allow for bow hunting in designated areas within the city.
“I think this will be an excellent opportunity for bow hunters in this area to help manage the deer population,” commented Sanders afterward.
The decision to proceed with the ordinance comes on the heels of a public hearing on the matter held Tuesday, Aug. 4. At that time, Sanders indicated he and other bow hunters could be ready to start hunting when the Minnesota state archery season opens in mid-September if an ordinance was passed legalizing the hunt. No significant objection to the plan was lodged during the hearing, though Cloquet police, who will be responsible for issuing and monitoring the bow hunting permits, requested additional time to fine tune the draft code.
Bow seasons have been successfully time-tested in the surrounding communities of Proctor, Duluth, Hermantown and Superior, giving Cloquet solid ground on which to base its own legislation.
Essentially, the newly passed ordinance requires hunters to adhere to all existing bow hunting rules and regulations established by the state of Minnesota and allows bow hunting only in areas of the city specifically designated by the city council. Hunters must apply for a permit in writing through Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande, and the application must include the purpose for requesting the permit, the type of bow to be used, the legal description of the land on which the hunter desires to hunt, and the signature of the owner or owners of that land. A processing fee will also be required.
Further, the chief of police reserves the right to deny a permit application if bow hunting in the proposed area is deemed a safety hazard. The police department may also limit the number of permits issued for any one designated parcel of land.
Only portable stands or blinds will be allowed and they cannot be located within 50 feet of the border of the permitted land without the permission of the adjacent landowner.
No bow hunting will be allowed within any park or industrial park in the city unless specifically allowed; and no bow and arrow can be discharged within 250 feet of any dwelling or other building. Hunting will also be prohibited within 500 feet of any property owned by the Cloquet School District or within 100 feet of any publicly maintained city trail or improved public roadway.
No hunting of bears with a bow and arrow will be allowed, and the use of ATVs for bow hunting is prohibited. Hunters must pay for any damage to the property of another resulting from their actions.
In addition, the new ordinance states that a hunter must first harvest one antlerless deer prior to being allowed to harvest an antlered buck, though harvesting more than one antlerless deer is encouraged. Hunters who are successful in taking a deer must report that fact to the Cloquet Police Department within 24 hours as well as to the Department of Natural Resources.
Lamirande will report to the city council on a regular basis regarding the number of deer taken, as well as any incidents, conflicts or problems that may arise concerning the new bow hunting ordinance with an eye toward modifying it as the need arises.
“We want to start small with this and then determine if and when it should be expanded in the future,” commented Terry Hill, assistant police chief.
“This is great news for those of us who have an interest in hunting,” said Sanders, “and it should provide a significant benefit to the community as well.”
For a map of this year’s permitted hunting zones, visit www.pinejournal.com or contact the Cloquet Police Department.