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Parks Board Unanimously Approves Deer Sharpshooting Plan

The Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners voted 4-0 to hire a sharpshooting firm to kill up to 100 deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

Deer

Photo: Sam Greenhalgh

Up to 100 deer will be killed in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve between November 2014 and February 2015.

The Board of Park Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of a contract to allow a sharpshooting firm to kill up to 100 deer in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve at their meeting Tuesday night.

The $31,000 contract will allow Connecticut-based company White Buffalo to kill the deer over a nine-day period sometime between November 15 and February 28.

The divisive method to combat reported deer overpopulation at Griffy Lake was initially proposed by a deer task force led by city council members Dave Rollo and Andy Ruff.

The city council passed a resolution allowing for the sharpshooting plan back in April, but Mayor Mark Kruzan vetoed the resolution as “a matter of conscience.”

A week later, however, the city council overturned the mayor’s veto, sending the proposal to the Board of Park Commissioners for final approval.

Parks board member Joseph Hoffmann said he trusted the research done by the deer task force and the city council.

“At this point, as an untrained individual, for me to challenge or disagree with the report that we’ve been given by the best minds we have in this community, would seem to me like a not very appropriate thing for me to do,” Hoffmann said.

Several residents spoke during public comment, including Sandra Shapshay, who has been a vocal opponent of the sharpshoot. She and several other concerned citizens formed a group, Bloomington Advocates for Nonviolent Innovative Deer Stewardship (BANIDS) in opposition to the proposed plan.

“We are disappointed in the parks board decision,” Shapshay said.  ”I feel in particular that a couple of points that were raised by various members of the community, the vast majority of whom spoke out against this contract, that those points weren’t fully considered.”

Shapshay says she and her fellow members of BANIDS will continue to fight the plan.

The contract will now be entered into, however the city can terminate it at any point, subject to paying White Buffalo for any work that’s already been done.

Will Healey

Will Healey is a reporter for WFIU/WTIU News. He has studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at Fordham University in New York and Journalism at Indiana University's School of Journalism. He is excited to be part of the team and report on issues that impact the lives of Hoosiers.

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  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/105261762884252609022/about/p/pub Bruce Michael Anderson

    I think the Idea to let hunting in Griffy Woods and around the lake is a good Idea. Yet I question the Hunting rights limits of land with in City limits in the jurisdiction of the state under the State and or federal DNR to regulate hunting as now so been done. I dis agree with the contracted use of a out side lone being to have the rights to hunt with out limits a non endangered species to any person from out of state. The Idea in my view should remain with the temporary hunting tags for those out of state that is the normal Legal State and or federal regulation. I think its wrong out right reject any person living with in the state the right to hunt with all normal seasonal means Bow to Fire to Arms with limits, I think it is wrong can and should be challenged in the courts.

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  • Rork1

    Interesting picture. From a park near London, England. Look like European Red deer – more related to our elk.

  • Mytwo Cents

    What a gross waste of resources. Apparently the city of Bloomington has $31,000 to throw away. Living deer not fenced in will reach a carrying capacity for Griffy lake and then the population will level off. Any biologist worth their salt knows this. Second, if they are convinced they must cull the herd, a simple three day archery only season with local hunters would not only be free, it would provide meat to the community as well. Shame on these public employees, for squandering public funds and wasting the natural resource of the white tail deer. By the way, the deer must be sooo plentiful at Griffy lake that you have to use a photo of European Red Deer instead, really?

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