by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTONIA, N.C. - Bow hunting could soon be allowed in the city of Gastonia. The proposal will be brought up next week to City Council.
The plan is to target the growing population of deer in Gastonia, but a lot of people Channel 9 talked to said allowing bow hunting in the city limits is an awful idea.
"It's just stupid in my opinion,” said resident Scott Smith.
"I don't like it,” resident Zenia Borden said.
Borden lives in a rural part of south Gastonia. She said she often sees deer in her front yard, but never thinks of them as a problem.
“They are just animals, God's creatures,” Borden said.
Chester Brooks is an avid hunter who plans to go to the Gastonia City Council meeting Tuesday and ask them to vote against bow hunting in the city.
“Bow hunters get in around some of these houses, they'll shoot some kid by accident. It should not be allowed,” he said.
The city attorney said there would be some restrictions. Hunters can only hunt on a tract of land at least 5 acres wide. They can't hunt within so many feet of a school, playground, or a house.
City staff would decide the restrictions if the council approves the measure suggested by Kyle McNamara.
McNamara said it is safe.
He said cities like China Grove, Huntersville and Concord allow bow hunting and there has never been a bow-hunting accident reported in the state.
He said hunters would have to shoot from a deer stand.
The manager of the Great Outdoors said that would eliminate the threat from stray arrows.
"It's usually a shot from 30 or 40 yards so the arrow goes straight into the ground,” manager Tyler Beam said.
McNamara said the deer population is exploding, and more and more deer are causing accidents with cars.
"The takeaway is doing nothing, is not being ethical,” he said.
As of Friday morning, 207 people signed an online petition to allow bow hunting the city.