MASON CITY, Iowa – Mason City has had urban deer hunting take place in town for the past three years, but is it working?
Seeing deer in the backyard is the “norm” for Mick Baker.
“Yes they are a nuisance but as I mentioned it’s all about food. They have to exist also, they were here first,” Baker said.
Baker loves where he lives. He enjoys the big backyard and the critters that stop by, for the most part. He’s completely ok with people bow hunting several feet from his home.
“I don’t want to watch them do it. I wish they wouldn’t have to do that but I realize we do have to do something about the deer population,” Baker said.
24 people signed up for in-town hunting in 2014 and got 5 deer. Last year the same amount signed up, but when a proficiency test was thrown into the mix, Mason City police say many dropped out because they had to pay to complete it.
“We see a lot of deer out here. People joke around you can hit a deer with the golf cart cause they don’t move or a golf ball,” Brian Pauly, Superintendent of Recreation.
Pauly says the main goal of this initiative is to help keep places like Highland Golf Course looking nice and control the population.
“In past they would have to use their own tag but now that these are just tags that don’t count against their license, I think we will see a positive impact at the golf course. Hopefully the damage from the deer, those costs will go down,” Pauly said.
Golfers don’t have to worry about the hunting. The hunting doesn’t start at Highland Golf Course until golf season is over.
36 have signed up to take the proficiency test this year. Money for the test goes toward the Mohawk Archery Club.