ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – The St. Louis County Council has approved a bill allowing controlled deer hunts in county parks.
In November, St. Louis County councilman Mark Harder proposed a change to the county parks ordinance to allow archery hunts in the parks to help reduce the deer overpopulation. Many municipalities in West County allow bowhunting of deer, including Wildwood, Ballwin and Manchester. Town and Country uses a licensed sharp shooter to deal with their deer problems.
At the time of the proposal, Bob Shelton, the city administrator for Town and Country, said their biggest concern is public safety. They had 57 accidents involving deer in 2019. In Ballwin, seven accidents were reported. Both cities said deer are coming from the parks, specifically Castlewood and Queeny parks.
On Dec. 10, the County Council approved a bill that would allow the Director of the Parks Department to permit the Missouri Department of Conservation to facilitate an archery hunt in county parks to reduce the number of deer. According to officials, the law went into effect on Christmas Day without the approval of the County Executive.
“We received so many calls about the overabundance of deer from constituents and municipal leaders that we had to do something. This legislation still allows council members, who do not want a hunt in their district, to block it if they prefer. That’s what responsive government looks like,” said Councilman Harder who co-sponsored the bill along with Councilman Fitch.
The Missouri Department of Conservation will reportedly start notifying prospective hunters of hunts planned for 2020 in February. The bowhunts will take place at Jefferson Barracks Park, Love Park, Greensfelder and Queeny Park.