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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chesterfield Defers Vote on Bowhunting Ordinance

Dozens of citizens turned out last night at the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting to express their concerns with a proposal that would limit shooting a bow and arrow to not closer than 600 feet from a building or residence. Most of those speaking were opposed to the ordinance.

One of those speaking in opposition was Kevin Carroll who was representing the Virginia Deer Hunters Association. Carroll told the Board:

This ordinance, as it's penned right now, would hamstring the ability for us to control and manage the deer growth in Chesterfield County, and it's already exploding in the Midlothian District.
Of course there were some that supported the ordinance. Resident Jennifer Lemler went a little overboard in her description of what the situation is:

In my neighborhood, kids run and play in the yards and the woods that border the yards, as it should be. I don't want to put blaze orange on them in order to go out in the backyard.

Commonsense was on display in most of the comments however with many residents talking about the hazard of deer/car collisions and how the proposed ordinance may cause these to increase. It was such commonsense that caused the Board to put off a vote on the ordinance for 90 days to further study the proposal.

Current policy in the county is to allow property owners to shoot bows and arrows on their property as long as they do not cross onto their neighbors property without permission. This allows people to cull deer that come on their residential property which has become an increasing issue in many parts of the county. It also allows things like Boy Scouts to practice archery in their back yard. If the proposal to limit shooting of bows and arrows is limited to areas that are at least 600 feet from another building or home, it will have consequences beyond what is intended. There is likely a compromise that can address the safety issue and still allow residents to address increasing deer populations in suburban areas.

VSSA will continue to monitor this issue.

You can read the Richmond Times Dispatch article here.

Update: The Times Dispatch reported that the vice president of the Home Owners Association (HOA) hired a bow hunter. That was also posted here. That is incorrect and has been removed from the post. It was a resident that hired a hunter and Mr. Molloy, the vice president of the HOA, stated that the HOA was adamently opposed to residents hiring hunters to control the deer in the neighborhood.


Angela said...

I was at the BOS meeting and it was a great turnout of folks from all around the county expressing a wide range of well reasoned arguments in opposition of this change. Imagine my surprise when I went to WTVR Channel 6 website and saw the massively biased and inaccurate story they ran on what happened last night. I will now be contacting their news director to lodge a complaint and hope others will do so as well.

VSSA President said...

It was refreshing to see that so many well reasoned people turned out. I was particularly surprised that one of the people opposing the ordinance was the vice president of the home owners association of the development in which those pushing this idea live.

tjrs said...

I would like to correct the mistake in your post. Mr. Malloy did not hire any bowhunters....It was a resident in the neighborhood who hired one, which Mr. Malloy adamantly stated that the HOA was against.

VSSA President said...


Thanks for the correction. That was also in the RTD report on the meeting. I have updated the post to reflect the correction.