Chesterfield citizens voice approval of deer hunting in parks

Posted at 12:48 AM, Apr 03, 2013

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)—Most people in attendance echoed a similar sentiment at Tuesday night’s public hearing on allowing bow hunting for deer inside some Chesterfield County Parks.

"You see them in neighborhoods, in parks, everywhere," said one speaker in favor of bow hunting.

The vast majority of the crowd echoed his claim.

"I think it's a good idea, I think it's a great idea," said another speaker in favor of it.

The crowd showed overwhelming support for the idea and many of them believe it could help to better manage the enormous deer population, and even reduce car accidents across the state of Virginia.

"Fourteen hundred and sixty three since 2008, that’s a lot of motor vehicle crashes with a deer, that’s a lot of property damage,” said bow hunting supporter Kevin Carroll.

Members of the Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission are not weighing yet, only listening to the feelings of the community. Some members claim it was a bit of a surprise how one sided the room was after their email traffic tended to lean the other way.

"Most of the emails we've received have been against the bow hunting so this was a bit of a surprise," said commission chair Tim Mick.

Only two of the opposition’s voices out of roughly  40 attendees were heard at the meeting. One belonging of them belonged to Wanda Crockett. She argues that bow hunting is inhumane because when the deer are hit, they often don't die right away.

"The death can take days," said Crockett.

Crockett also told members that she's had neighbors who have watched the painful process as a deer struck by a bow hunter died in their yard. She sees no need to allow more of it, calling it traumatizing.

"I knew that there would be opposing views here but I feel very strongly that it's not something Chesterfield County needs to do," said Crockett.

Avid Chesterfield hunters think they can prove otherwise.

"If done right it can be an ethical way of managing a deer herd," said Carroll.