The managed deer hunt in Farmington may not have netted a large harvest, but city officials still see it as beneficial means to help control a growing population.
As of Monday — the last day of bow season — there was one harvested deer reported in the managed hunt held in Farmington.
Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers said the time frame for the hunt was under one month — but the interest shown in the hunt shows it would most likely generate interest in the future as well.
“I think, probably, next fall, we’ll do this for a more extended period of time,” he said. “We’ve learned a little bit more about how much interest there is in doing this and we’ll think about it and revise it some during the year.”
A growing presence of deer at Farmington Regional Airport is what prompted the city to take these steps.
“Deer in this area have not been harvested and deer easily adapt to new environments,” Farmington Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway said. “In a city environment, where you don’t allow hunting typically, you do experience overpopulation of deer.”
At the time the hunt was scheduled, Conway said several deer were struck on U. S. Highway 67 between Hildebrecht and 221. Pilots were reporting deer on the runway, as well as city and airport personnel spotting and video recording a handful of deer on the runway or in the vicinity of the runway.
The lottery for the 12 spots for the managed hunt was opened just hours after the Farmington City Council on Dec. 18 approved the managed hunt. There were 399 applications, with the 12 names drawn on Dec. 20. Of those drawn, six from were Farmington, three from Ironton and three from Park Hills.
“Managed hunts have been going on for a number of years,” Conway said in December after the hunt was announced. “What makes this hunt different is that it is by lottery only and is on property owned by the city.”
Conway said he understood the huge response received in the short amount of time the applications were accepted.
“For us, it’s really helping the city out to be able to do this and the sportsmen are getting a little fun out of it, too,” he said.
Signs near where all the managed hunts were held were put in place by the city to let the community know where there is an archery hunt in progress.
One of the three areas for the hunt included approximately 12 acres on the northwest portion of the airport — behind the mobile home park on Perrine Road. The hunting area also included around 20 acres between the east industrial park complex near U.S. Highway 67, as well as an area in Engler Park behind the new development going up at the corner of Perrine Road and Vargo Road.
Managed hunts within municipalities is nothing new in the state. Conway said similar hunts are held in communities in the St. Louis area as a way to control the population.
Conway says all Missouri Department of Conservation regulations regarding managed hunts applied in this special hunting session.