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Archery season opens within city limits

Hunting+grounds+in+Superior+include+the+Superior+Municipal+Forest%2C+south+of+the+Billings+Park+neighborhood.+%0A
Lily Holmquist
Hunting grounds in Superior include the Superior Municipal Forest, south of the Billings Park neighborhood.

Superior’s in-city hunting season launched Sept. 16, 23. Licensed and trained archery hunters are to reduce the population size of the city-dwelling deer. Ecology teacher Donald Polkinghorne provided some local insight on the reasoning behind opening the season, which takes place every few years. 

“The city has exceeded their [deer] carrying capacity,” Polkinghorne said. 

With wolves and other animals of prey not being abundant in town, deer have no natural predators to reduce the population naturally. Because of this, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is taking the situation into their own hands by opening hunting grounds in areas such as the Superior Municipal Forest. 

Polkinghorne elaborated more on why the city decided to do this.

“It’s all a win-win situation. It keeps the deer population down, families get fed, and the city makes money off of licenses. Plus, less damage to cars from deer in the road,” Polkinghorne said. 

Besides having food from the deer, families would be able to have a reliable garden. With less deer, there is less of a chance that there are deer eating it.

To just be eligible to hunt, participants must pay a $25 licensing fee, take an accuracy test, and receive a specific license from the state they are hunting in. Reasons for this is because of the close proximity to others these hunters will be working in. With houses and walking paths within line of sight of the hunter, they must be careful to not overshoot their target; hence the accuracy test. 

With Superior’s Municipal Forest being the third largest in the country, many people will want to use it. When asked about the decision of in-city hunting, mayor Jim Paine had some insight.

“Hunting is important to the [deer] population, but we have to balance it so everyone can use and enjoy the wilderness. Including the hunters. Superior’s wilderness is for everyone,” Paine said. 

Locations and areas listed by the DNR and City of Superior that are available for hunting are: Wisconsin Point, Itasca, Annex, Allouez, Hog Island, Municipal Forest, and Cenovus Energy site #6. For detailed information, you can visit the city of Superior’s website here. Take note of Cenovus Energy site #5 being no longer available due to land sales. 

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