CARBONDALE -- In a meeting tonight the City Council will discuss allowing individuals to hunt white-tailed deer on Cedar Lake property.
According to an agenda item scheduled to be discussed at tonight’s Carbondale City Council meeting, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has been requesting for many years that the city allow the hunting of the deer. Currently the white-tailed deer may only be hunted on the south portion of the lake, where the property is owned by the United States Forest Service. Such hunting is prohibited by the city on its property adjacent to the north portion of the lake.
City officials say the primary objective is to decrease the population of white-tailed deer on property owned by the city in and around Cedar Lake during the bow hunting season for deer.
Officials say Carbondale city staff supports bow-only hunting of the white-tailed deer on Cedar Lake Property.
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City staff have offered the following reasons to why it supports hunting on Cedar Lake property:
• Surrounding property owners continue to suffer economic financial losses as deer migrate from city owned forested property to forage on private lands;
• A wildlife biologist must respond to these deer depredation complaints within 48 hours and assess damage and if necessary, issue lethal removal permits;
• Abundant deer populations on city owned property increase the probability of cars hitting deer the roads;
• Abundant deer populations can result in an increased numbers of ticks which, outdoor users are exposed to; and
• Deer populations inhabiting large forested tracts which are closed to hunting exhibit a tendency to destroy through foraging understory plant populations, reducing plant diversity.
LeRoy Yoder, Co-owner of Echo Valley Orchards in Carbondale, said the white-tail deer have been a problem to his business for a long time now.
“They have been destroying crops immensely,” he said. “They are so bad. Something has to be done.”
He said he is 100 percent on board with the hunting idea.
“This is an excellent idea,” Yoder said.
He said he has been using soap, sprays and other defense techniques on trees to stop deer from destroying growing crops.
In her online blog, Councilwoman Jane Adams urged Carbondale residents to come to tonight's council meeting and make their feelings be known on either side of this matter.
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