The first reading of an ordinance to create an urban bowhunting program to control the city’s deer population received a 4-3 approval vote on Jan. 15 from the Fort Smith (Ark.) Board of Directors.

Because the board failed to secure five votes, the ordinance must also pass second and third readings before final approval.

As the ordinance currently stands, the parameters include:

  • Only bows and arrows will be permitted – no firearms or crossbows
  • The permitted hunting area will cover only the land at Chaffee Crossing
  • The bowhunter must be in a deer stand at least 10 feet off the ground
  • Hunting on foot or with the use of dogs is strictly prohibited
  • Qualified bowhunters must attend safety classes through Arkansas Game and Fish
  • Each bowhunter must successfully complete a test and possess a hunting license; and
  • If private property falls within the permitted area as determined by the Fort Smith Police Department, the hunter must have written permission from the property owner on his person.

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