Chapel Hill resident starts petition to ban bow hunting in city limits

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s not unusual to see deer roaming in some neighborhoods around the Triangle.

Currently, it is legal for people to bow hunt for deer in the city limits of Chapel Hill, as a way to help control the deer population.

However, one resident has some concerns about safety when it comes to hunting for deer in her neighborhood.

Beth Waldron has lived in the Parkside subdivision in northern Chapel Hill for 17 years.

“The reason we moved here is that this is a safe place and it’s a warm and inviting community,” Waldron said.

However, within the last year, Waldron said deer stands and hunting blinds have become a common sight in her neighbor’s yard.

“I just assumed hunting wasn’t allowed in the town limits,” Waldron said.

But according to the town of Chapel Hill’s ordinance, you just need a hunting license to be able to hunt on your own property in the city during hunting season.

Waldron said with the homes close together in the subdivision, she doesn’t feel safe under the current ordinance.

“If a hunter misses their target, that arrow could just keep going until they hit something,” Waldron said. “Common sense says that’s not safe.”

Waldron decided to write a letter to the city council and start a petition to ban bow hunting in the city of Chapel Hill.

Waldron said she is also open to the town creating stricter guidelines, such as minimizing lot sizes where hunting can occur.

“We have to find perhaps a middle ground where we can balance controlling the deer population, but also that we can feel safe in our own homes,” Waldron said.

Waldron has collected more than 500 signatures so far and plans to speak at the city council meeting in Chapel Hill on January 8th. 

CBS 17 reached out to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for comment.

The commission emailed the following statement in part: 

“Deer seasons (including archery seasons) have been established in Orange County for decades. It has been legal to hunt deer in Chapel Hill pursuant to the open deer seasons. However, local weapons discharge ordinances often prohibit the use of firearms, and sometimes archery equipment, making it functionally illegal to hunt.”

Some people who live in Chapel Hill are not in support of a ban on bowhunting.

“We have a herd of deer who are routinely moving through,” said Chapel Hill resident Paula Greeno.

Greeno said she doesn’t want the deer eating her vegetables and she has some concerns about the diseases that deer may carry with them as they pass through her neighborhood.

“I don’t think there have been issues or injuries resulting from the hunting that is allowed and I think the other arguments outweigh the potential risks that are involved in allowing bowhunting,” Greeno said.

If you would like to sign the petition to ban hunting in Chapel Hill, it can be found here.

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