Urban Deer Hunting Coming to One Region 8 Town

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR (KAIT) -- Some hunters won't have to leave the city limits in one Region 8 town this fall.  Cherokee Village is participating in an urban hunt with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to try to thin out their overpopulated deer herd in the area.

"There's a large number of deer out in the streets.  They cause a lot of accidents," said Cherokee Village Police Chief Scott Goodwin.

"All you have to do is drive around here in the evening time and you see deer all over the place," said Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley.

Because of the overpopulation of deer, there will be an urban deer hunt this fall inside the city limits.

Hefley said the citizens actually voted to have this hunt in the city and says it won't pose any danger to people who live here.

"The whole idea here is for them to come in here and have a successful deer hunt without even being noticed by the citizens," said Hefley.

But one thing that is being noticed is the deer.  Betty Hundley said the deer are almost to the point of taking over.

"I think it's a good idea because we are really being over run with them here.  Sometimes I'll come outside and there will be twelve or fifteen of them out in the front yard and it's kind of scary," said Hundley.

Not only do deer pose a danger for drivers out on the road, but they also can be very frustrating for homeowners in their yards.

"They eat anything. They've eaten all my tulips, they've eaten my red roses, they ate my tomatoes," said Hundley.

Many residents we talked to say they love watching the deer but understand that something does need to be done.

"I do understand that you have to keep the numbers down in order to keep them healthy.  It's just like with any animal, they can overtake and then you're whole ecosystem is messed up," said resident Laurie Dunn.

Each of the two hundred hunters that are chosen from the application process will have to pass a proficiency test with a bow and arrow that is required for the hunt, that way the animals aren't just wounded.

There are other Arkansas cities having urban hunts of some sort, but this is the only one that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is handling the application process for.  The chosen applicants have to pass the international bow hunter education course before attending a hunter orientation class and passing a shooting proficiency test.