St. Louis County to allow archery deer hunting in public parks later this summer

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – If you visit Queeny Park or Jefferson Barracks Park, chances are you'll see deer. That’s because their population is growing.

St. Louis County councilmen Tim Fitch and Mark Harder said the county has approved an ordinance to allow some parks—Queeny, Jefferson Barracks, and Creve Coeur—to conduct managed archery hunts to lessen the deer population.

“They would be done from elevated stands,” said Dan Zarlenga, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “No shooting across. Just down to the ground. The limited range of a bow is typically 30 yards.”

The first hunts would start in September. Hunters would apply in advance and selected by random drawing with a fixed number allowed to hunt.

“We have watched our population grow from 26 (per square mile),” said Manchester Mayor Mike Clement. “Three years ago, it was 42 deer per square mile. We're taking it again this year and expect it to be between 55-60 deer per square mile.”

The Missouri Department of Conservation said anything over 30 becomes a nuisance, unsustainable, and dangerous. Police said car crashes involving deer are up and so are the calls for impaled deer on residential fences.

State officials said not only is the managed archery hunt needed but it’s nothing new to the area.

“We have had a number of these in Sunset Hills and the Rockwood Reservation in the Wildwood area,” Zarlenga said.

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