Archery club may resume Fargo’s riverside bowhunting program – InForum

FARGO — Fargo’s riverside archery program might have a new life after all.

After the city commission nearly shut down the program last year, negotiations have taken place and a new partnership between the Sandhills Archery Club, Fargo Park District, North Dakota Game & Fish Department and the city is in the works. ’emerge.

“We’re making progress, but we’re not there yet,” City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said.

Deputy city administrator Mike Redlinger said the groups have met and are planning a revised schedule that will require final approval from the city commission and the park board.

City commissioners unanimously approved the program late last month.

The park board will discuss permission to continue using its park property for deer bow hunting at its 5:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, June 14.

Some of the most significant changes being considered are:

  • Shortened hunting season after concerns were raised about people using the parks year-round, and particularly in the fall. The current season runs from September 3 to January 31.
  • Removed three nature parks from the program on the south side of the city that are parks but not within the city limits. The three are Orchard Glen, Heritage Hills and Forest River.
  • Arrange for the archery club to take over the bulk of program operations under the supervision of the State Department of Game and Fisheries.
  • Remove the city’s police department entirely from the program and have the city play only a limited role. The city has a nearly 20-year-old ordinance that governs how the program operates, and Redlinger said it should be adjusted with the help of the city attorney’s office.
  • Increase the required height of tree stands from a minimum of 10 feet to 12 feet to allow for a better downward angle on all shots.
  • Replacement of current program signs with updated signage with access to online program details.
  • Have bowhunters use lighted nocks on arrows to locate them more easily so they don’t get left in parks.
  • Outlining the training program, which would include a shooting test, passing a 20-question written test, learning about hunting safety and ethics, and viewing a presentation on the details of the program.

Redlinger said they will refine the program in the coming months and hope to have more details by the end of the summer.
The Park Board, in a memo from project manager Craig Bjur, said it was in favor of keeping the program, which was renewed for one year last season.

He said the program has been around since 2006 and was designed to help control the urban deer herd in the city.

The program has been limited to approximately 45 bowhunters per year with a success rate for shooting a deer of approximately 45% to 50% with 21 to 38 deer captured each year for the past 10 years.

City Commissioner Tony Gehrig, who supported the continuation of the program, said at the last meeting that the city “took a long time” to develop the new program, but with partners he believes it will be improved.

“I think we should let it go and see how it goes,” he said.

However, not all townspeople are in favor of keeping the program going. A petition started by residents Richard Thomas and Chris Coen garnered hundreds of signatures last year to end the program over safety concerns.

Police Chief David Zibolski also recommended the program end on public safety grounds. He said the police department’s involvement in the program takes time away from other needs.

Earnest A. Martinez