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"Minnesota airport says bow hunting program thins out deer"
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- Subject: CAA: GA News, "Minnesota airport says bow hunting program thins out deer"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 13:05:46 -0700
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Thursday, September 6, 2001
Airport says bow hunting program thins out deer
By Chris Foster
The Albert Lea (MN) Tribune
Area drivers are accustomed to watching carefully for deer on the
highway, especially in the morning and evening. Local pilots have had
the same concern, according to Jim Hanson, manager of the Albert Lea
"Those deer live out there in the trees, and they'd venture out onto the
runways. That can present a real problem if you're landing or taking
off," Hanson said.
To avoid the dangers of deer on the runway, the city is allowing bow
hunting on the 116 acres of the airport for the fourth straight year.
Engineer Steve Jahnke said the program is paying off, and area hunters
continue to participate.
"Just the presence of hunters seems to be keeping the deer out of the
area," he said. "The hunters aren't getting many, but the deer haven't
been as much of a problem since we started this."
The city drew about 40 names of licensed bow hunters Wednesday to
participate during the normal season from Sept. 15 to Dec. 31, Jahnke
said. The Bancroft Park area is also included, but not until Nov. 1.
As word gets around about the program, more bow hunters are hoping to
"The interest is there every year. We had over 60 applications this
year," he said. "We've heard a lot of positive comments about it."
The program is limited to bow hunters because the airport land is
bordered by homes and businesses.
Jahnke said the city council determined firearms would present a danger
to the public.
"We're making sure the program is safe, and not a nuisance of any kind,"
Though hunters bagged only three deer last season under the program,
Hanson said the potential is much greater. He thinks the deer population
"We've counted as many as 28 of them," Hanson said. "Allowing the
hunters access to the land makes more sense than trying to put up a
14-foot fence around the whole area."
Airports have always dealt with animal problems, Hanson said. Besides
deer, seagulls and geese have been a chronic problem.
"It comes with the territory, I guess. We're bordered by all that open
land, so it's no surprise that animals are in the area," he said.
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