An urban archery program approved by the King City Council in April 2014 opened on Saturday, Jan. 9, and will run until Saturday, Feb. 13.
King City Manager Homer Dearmin said the city had not received any complaints about the season since it opened.
In 2014 the City Council, on a 3-1 vote, agreed to allow the season as way to help deal with a growing deer population problem.
At the time, the Council agreed to allow the limited winter urban archery season instead of creating a full season in the fall, but some members indicated they would consider a fuller fall season if the winter season was successful.
Hunters participating in the urban archery program are required to follow all state and local deer hunting regulations, required to have a hunting license, prohibited from using firearms, required to hunt only on private, not city, property and have to have written permission from the property owner.
Regulations for the season also require hunters to only discharge a bow from an elevated stand located at least 10 feet above the ground, only allow hunting on parcels of land greater than 1.5 acres, and prohibit discharging a bow within 250 feet of a house, school church or other occupied building, street, road, park or recreation area.
“There is a lot of protection built into the guidelines,” said Dearmin. “We want people to take advantage of the opportunity, but to be safe and be familiar with the laws that apply. We do not anticipate any major issues, but we just want folks to use common sense and be safe.”
Dearmin said if landowners find unauthorized hunting on their private property they should contact the city police department.
“If folks are following the law and hunting in a safe manner from an elevated platform there should not be any concern,” he added.
Over 50 municipalities in North Carolina are participating in the urban archery season this year.
The program will be monitored by state wildlife agents who say the intention of the urban archery season is to enable cities, towns and villages to reduce urban deer populations through increased hunter opportunity.
The urban archery season does not obligate private landowners to allow hunting on their property, nor does it eliminate the ethical requirement for obtaining permission from the landowner before hunting. Hunters are legally required to obtain written permission to hunt on posted property.
Season bag and possession limits for both antlerless and antlered deer, including Bonus Anterless Harvest Report Cards, that apply to the general archery, blackpowder, and gun deer seasons also apply to the Urban Archery Season.
Deer of either sex may be harvested in participating areas during the Urban Archery Season. Hunters harvesting an adult buck that has dropped its antlers should validate the kill and insert the harvest authorization number on an authorization space specified for an antlerless deer on the hunter’s Big Game Harvest Report Card or Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Card.
More details on the city ordinance and a map of land which, with the landowners permission, meets the hunting guidelines can be found at http://www.ci.king.nc.us/index.asp?SEC=5C8AA142-1D43-4431-BE85-B03BC84AF161&Type=B_BASIC.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.