For the second year, the City of Farmington will be coordinating a managed archery deer hunt on city properties for several months, with four times as many hunters being drawn in the lottery selection compared to last year.
Farmington Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway said last year’s managed hunt saw a lot of response from the area’s hunters despite getting a late start on the process, with between 300 and 400 individuals’ names being entered for the lottery drawing.
“Last year we got kind of a late start,” Conway said. “We drew 12 hunters’ names and I believe out of those 12, one hunter did harvest a deer.”
The managed hunt lasted for one month last year and was restricted to city properties at the Farmington Regional Airport, a portion of Engler Park and property north of the West Sewer Treatment Plant off Highway 67.
This year, the managed hunt will last from Sept. 15 to Jan. 15 and will be divided into four “sessions,” with 12 of the 48 hunters able to hunt during each session.
“We are drawing names on (Sept.) 12 at 10 a.m.,” Conway said. “We’ll cut off registration at 9:30 a.m. to get our database in order and then we’ll do a random drawing through our computer program, and we’ll be drawing 48 this year. Those 48 names will be broken up into four sessions, essentially, with 12 hunters hunting in each session.
“We’ll be hunting the city property basically from Sept. 15 to Jan. 15 this season,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a few more deer than in the past. As the city administrator (Greg Beavers) has said in the past, it is a safety issue for the airport, with the amount of deer that run in and around the runways. It makes a hazardous situation for the pilots coming in and going out.”
Conway said the managed hunt is a safe and responsible way to manage the large deer population in the area of the airport.
After the return of the managed hunt was announced on Aug. 31, Conway said the community responded quickly to the chance to enter names for the drawing.
“By Saturday morning, the day after we made it public, we had already had 70 entries and I believe we’re over 100 now,” he said. “It’s pretty popular, but time’s running out. They’ve got a week to register.”
To register for the hunt, individuals can visit www.farmington-mo.gov, navigate to Parks and Recreation online registration and search for the event. Registration can also be completed in-person at the Farmington Civic Center. All Missouri Department of Conservation hunting regulations apply.
Conway said with only one deer being taken last year, the city hopes the extended period of hunting and the additional hunters will result in a greater impact on deer numbers in the area. The deer population is considered on a year-to-year basis, he said, with regard to the effectiveness of the managed deer hunt.
“That’s something we’ll have to manage on a year-to-year basis,” he said. “At this point, given that we only took one year last year, we’re hoping that we’re going to get several more this year to knock that number down. We’ll have to reevaluate that for the 2019-2020 season. It’s something we monitor on a year-to-year basis.”
Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.