BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The City of Ballwin became the latest city in west St. Louis County to allow hunts on deer.
City aldermen passed the law, which has been in the works since January, by the count of 6-1 on Monday night. Alderwoman Kathy Kerlagon was the lone dissenter.
The law was first discussed after a resident was critically injured when a deer ran into her while she was standing in a parking lot along Manchester Road.
Linda Gebhardt had to be put in intensive care at a local hospital for three days following the encounter. Gebhardt has since made a full recovery, but is an example of why Ballwin leadership got moving on controlling the deer population.
“My girls heard a thud and hooves and my youngest looked out and saw me unconscious,” Gebhardt said.
Doctors had to remove a piece of Gebhardt's skull because her brain had swollen.
“The doctors didn’t know what was going to happen to me, if I was going to remember people the next morning,” Gebhardt recalled.
Her fight became the catalyst for Ballwin aldermen to control the deer population. The Missouri Department of Conservation estimated the deer population around Ballwin could be as dense as 60 deer per square mile. Officials say drivers often avoid certain streets at night because of the deer.
Under the new city ordinance passed Monday, residents will be allowed to bow hunt on their own property. The property has to be one acre or more. Residents can cooperate with contiguous neighbors to combine their landspace to form one acre if needed.
Resident who plan to hunt must notify the city and local police of their hunt days and times. Residents will not be allowed to hunt on city property or within certain distances of schools, playgrounds, churches or golf courses.
Read the text of the Bill here.