Keokuk stays private in deer hunting

Due to deer overpopulation in the city of Keokuk, city officials legalized bow hunting on private property. The city started this last year as a way to control the population of deer in the urban area.

This year's hunting season begins on September 18th in Keokuk. Residents as well as city council members proposed the idea of allowing the hunting to take place in certain public areas as well as their own back yard.

Mayor Tom Marion doesn't see this as a possibility for this year. â??There is too much liability. There is even a liability when hunting on private property," Marion said.

City Councilman Mike Moore took part in last year's bow hunting season. Moore is also in charge of running the proficiency test for those looking to obtain a hunting license in Keokuk. The test includes standing 20 yards away from the target, and hitting it using a compound bow.

Moore thinks that the city has areas to offer for bow hunting, but understands this year may not extend the boundaries. "I think the city owns a lot of ground that we should be able to hunt on, but like I said. It's a liability issue we got to get straightened out," Moore said. "Hopefully maybe next year it's something we could do, but like I said, it's something we need to go over."

Liability is a large concern. Last year, forty-six people applied for a license, and forty-four passed the proficiency test. Moore said they took forty deer last year alone.

According to Mayor Marion, the rules are expected to be the same as last year. The previous year's rules included that you may only hunt on your own property, but if you are within 150 feet of another person's property, if you are within that zone, you must fill out a permission slip signed by your neighbors that allows you to use that area and then hand it in to the city council for approval.