Ballwin to allow hunting on private property
By: Jim Erickson
Deer are now fair game in Ballwin.
The city’s Board of Aldermen has approved a ordinance allowing deer hunting by bow and arrow, subject to a number of rules and regulations. The new law is designed to control the deer population in the city and to protect persons and property from damage deer can cause, including traffic accidents.
Approval came at the Board’s Oct. 8 meeting on a 6-1 vote. Alderman Kathy Kerlagon (Ward 4) opposed the measure, saying she had received feedback from residents objecting to the hunting ordinance and that she personally enjoys seeing and watching the animals.
Among other things, the new law:
- • Prohibits the use of crossbows, allowing only longbows and compound bows.
- • Allows hunting only during the deer season set the Missouri Department of Conservation or other specific time set by the city. Hunting also is subject to all state regulations.
- • Requires that hunting be done on tracts of land of at least one acre. Adjacent property owners may combine their parcels to satisfy the restrictions prohibiting arrows from landing closer than specified to front, side and rear property lines.
- • Calls for property owners and hunters to provide liability insurance or an indemnity bond. The combined coverage must be no less than $2 million.
- • Requires hunters to receive permission from property owners to go on their land and to have completed an approved archery hunter safety course.
- • Demands that hunting be conducted from an elevated position facing into the property and requires that arrows be marked with the hunter’s state identification number.
- • Forbids persons from possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol while engaged in hunting.
- • Requires property owners to notify city police when hunting is scheduled on their land and who will be involved.
- • Contains provisions dealing with retrieval of wounded and dead deer.
Except for Kerlagon, no residents spoke against the hunting ordinance but the measure had several vocal supporters, including Lou Salamone of Suburban Bowhunters. A Ballwin resident, Salamone said the ordinance contained the safeguards, requirements and other provisions needed to ensure that hunting would be conducted safely.
While supporting the measure, Alderman Frank Fleming (Ward 3) asked the Board to approve an amendment to prohibit hunting in parks and on other city property. The original ordinance already ruled out discharging an arrow within 150 yards of any church, school or playground.
The Board unanimously approved the change.
Alderman Richard Boerner (Ward 4) said the threat of deer-vehicle collisions had made him reluctant to drive in some areas, especially at night.
Alderman Mark Harder (Ward 2) recalled an incident earlier this year when a local woman was knocked down by a stampeding deer in a commercial area. The woman was injured and had to be hospitalized.
The deer hunting ordinance went into effect with its passage by the Board and approval by Mayor Tim Pogue.