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Carrboro could permit urban archery to lower deer population

With limited options for controlling the growth of the deer population in Carrboro, residents could soon be allowed to take matters into their own hands — armed with bows and arrows.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen will consider a resolution next month to allow archers to hunt deer in public areas.

The Democratic Party passed a resolution to address that in August, Hughes said.

The goal of the resolution is to reduce the urban deer population to fewer than 10 deer per square mile, he said.

The population stands at 24 to 35 deer per square mile, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

“For the most part, deer have no natural predators to cull the deer population,” Hughes said.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen has discussed the topic in the past, most recently at a meeting on Oct. 12, 2010.

Evan Stanford, a biologist at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said he agrees there are too many deer in urban areas.

Stanford said this overpopulation can be partly attributed to the lack of hunting in towns.

“The options are somewhat limited because there really isn’t any other effective way to reduce the deer population,” he said.

He said the two biggest complaints the commission receives are about deer-related vehicle collisions and property destruction.

But some residents worry that urban hunting is unsafe.

“There is a perception that hunting in general is dangerous and that archery is dangerous, and I don’t know where that comes from,” said Ken Knight, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission supervisor for the Piedmont region.

Stanford said in the history of his agency, there has never been a report in the state of an archer killing or injuring an individual.

The Hillsborough town government also considered implementing an archery program, but voted against it at a Sept. 12 meeting.

Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said deer-related collisions average about 5 percent of vehicle accidents in the town.

Hampton said 19 of about 246 accidents in 2010 were deer related. And this year, there have been six deer-related accidents out of 231 total accidents.

But Hillsborough Town Manager Eric Peterson said the lack of funding and staff for the program played into the resolution’s defeat.

He said that the program wasn’t a top priority at the time.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen will consider implementing the urban archery program at its Nov. 1 meeting.

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