City Council considers bowhunting restrictions
The New Richmond City Council again took up the issue of bowhunting within city limits at a special work session meeting on Monday, April 28.
A new law, Wisconsin Act 71, went into effect statewide on Dec. 14, and it prohibits municipalities from banning hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow within the community.
The city first discussed the issue in February during a public hearing about the issue of feeding deer within the city limits.
Though bowhunting can’t be totally banned in New Richmond, the city can enact ordinances to prohibit hunting on city-owned property and within 100 yards of a building on another person’s property.
At Monday’s meeting, Community Development Director Beth Thompson presented a color-coded map to the council showing areas with weapons restrictions (such as schools and parks), areas within 100 yards of a building and areas where no restrictions would apply. Those areas were marked in green on the map.
“We have some green unrestricted areas, and I think that’s what’s going to concern the City Council is those areas,” Thompson said. “They are in the city limits. It’s more out in the ag area that we have. Anyone who is going to be doing bowhunting in this area would have to get permission from that property owner. So, what I think we’re looking at is this downtown area and main areas, which say it’s not going to happen.”
City Administrator Mike Darrow said having a map is helpful and he suggested sending it to the DNR for input.
Mayor Fred Horne pointed out that hunting could take place in areas within 100 yards of a building if hunters get permission from all property owners within the 100-yard radius of their hunting area. He also said hunting within city limits would cause unintended problems.
“Almost certainly we’ll have an instance when a deer gets shot legally and trots off to an area where they didn’t want it to be shot,” Horne said.
Council members also discussed adding an authorized restriction requiring hunters to shoot only toward the ground from an elevated position, such as from a tree stand.
Darrow anticipated that the issue would be brought back to the council again in June.