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To Thin Deer Herd, Fredonia Talks Bow Hunting

FREDONIA — Village Trustee Jon Espersen has taken a deeper look at the deer overpopulation problem in the village, and advocates setup of a database for bow hunters that could cull the herd.

“Two weeks ago, we talked about the deer problem,” he said at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “I’ve had more and more people come up to me and tell me how much a problem it really is. So (Police) Chief (David) Price and I did some investigation, and you can actually hunt within the village, as long as it’s not a firearm. Firearm is a crossbow or a gun, but bow and arrow is not a firearm, so you can hunt in the village with a bow and arrow.

“We looked at what other villages in the state have done,” Espersen continued. “Other methods that they’ve used are tranquilize and euthanize, using bait — you can’t use bait 300 feet from a roadway… we would need approval if we decided that is something we wanted to do. There is also (state Department of Environmental Conservation) approved sterilization that you could also ask them for assistance.

“But the first thing that all of these villages tried was bow hunting. Some of the villages maintained a database of hunters that were looking for a place to hunt inside the village, then they would connect them with homeowners that want a hunter on their property. You can’t shoot across the road and you have to be 150 feet away from a residence,” Espersen added.

Mayor Douglas Essek said, “Listen, people are hunting, it has to be on their own private property. It’s not a free-for-all for somebody to buy a bow and arrow and start just walking around the village.”

Espersen replied, “You can invite someone on your property to do it. As long as they have permission to be on the property, they can be on the property.” All hunting laws would be followed, including that the harvesting could only happen during bow hunting season.

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