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Local Hunter-Led Deer Cull Approved For Griffy Lake Preserve

Deer-Crossing-Sign.jpg

The Bloomington City Council voted to approve a proposed amendment to the city’s hunting and firearm code during a public hearing Wednesday night. (WTIU/WFIU News)

Bloomington is moving forward with another deer cull at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

The City Council voted Wednesday night to approve an amendment to the city’s hunting and firearm code.

The amendment will allow the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to move forward with an organized deer cull led by local hunters. 

The new amendment allows hunting at the preserve under specific guidelines. Hunters will also undergo training by sharpshooting company, White Buffalo Inc.

The council considered an alternative amendment which would approve the cull under three new conditions.

The Parks and Recreation Department would need to provide an updated deer count, receive written commitment from Indiana University to help manage the deer population and submit an evaluation of the impact from the cull conducted last December.

Council member Dave Rollo called the stipulations unnecessary and says they would have blocked the cull from happening this year.

“And that jeopardizing the gains that cost us $43,000 last year. Sets us back, it will increase the deer population which would mean we will have to kill more deer next year," says Rollo.

The council voted down the new amendment and passed the original proposal by an 8-1 vote.

Many residents opposed to the plan call the cull unnecessary and an invasion of the Griffy Lake area.

Officials from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department say they are unsure how many deer are in the preserve, but there is evidence of excess feeding on plant species by deer within the preserve.

Steve Cotter is the Natural Resources manager with the Parks and Recreation Department. He says hunters will complete a thorough application and training process before the cull begins.

“Part of the training will be making sure that they are good shots, that they can hit their target," he says. "And part of it will be to make sure that they agree with the ecological goals of the CHAP hunt.”

Cotter says although they are recruiting hunters from the Bloomington area, the program will accept applications from hunters across the state.

Hunts are tentatively scheduled for November 17 and 18, 24 and 25, and December 1 and 2.

This story has been updated.

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