Officials in a northeast Iowa community have approved deer hunting on a golf course in order to reduce the deer population — and reduce damage to the golf course.
The Charles City Council approved a resolution allowing for bow hunting on Wildwood Municipal Golf Course. Roger Sutton of Charles City says it’s an inhumane way of solving the problem.
“These are the things that bother me greatly, not from a legal point of view,” Sutton says. “I’m arguing it from the point of view that we have to live with animals. I hate to say this, but it’s the Indian argument: deer were here first.”
City officials say there appear to be at least two does, two bucks and four fawns living on the golf course. Tyler Mitchell, the parks and recreation director for Charles City, says each day two city employees spend about an hour fixing the greens that have been damaged by the deer.
“The amount of money we’re paying these guys to fix the deer damage each week is $217.16,” Mitchell says. “This has been going on at least five weeks, if not more.”
Mitchell estimates the City of Charles City has spent $1350 in just the last month to fix more than four greens. Six bow hunting permits will be made available and, once approved, a hunter may harvest just one deer.
“Hunters come in and they take a doe or a buck, whichever they prefer,” Mitchell says. “We just want to lower the numbers and hopefully at the same time scare the deer a bit so that they’re not constantly on Wildwood (Golf Course), that way we don’t have this problem in the future.”
Hunters must take an archery aptitute test to qualify for one of the licenses. Charles City officials say they explored other options, like a noise maker or triggering water sprinklers, but Mitchell says other towns and staff in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources didn’t recommend those steps as long term solutions. Applications for the permits to hunt deer on Charles City’s golf course are due by October 15th.
(By Kellan Heavican, KCHA, Charles City)