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IFallsRon

Bowhunt in St. Cloud

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St. Cloud's ongoing effort to control its urban deer herd continues this fall with its fourth archery hunt.

The city will issue a limited number of permits for archery deer hunting. Applications are due July 31.

Areas near St. Cloud State University, the Minnesota State Correctional Facility-St. Cloud, Neenah Creek, Serenity Park and in River Bluffs Regional Park will be open to archers Sept. 19-Dec. 31.

Chris Forslund, health and inspections coordinator, said he would have liked to add more areas, but the city doesn't have enough resources to keep a close eye on safety if the hunting areas are expanded.

"We're trying real hard right now to keep it at a manageable level with our time spent on it and keeping it safe, too," he said.

Hunters with the special permits have killed a declining number of deer in the past three years. In 2006, hunters killed 24 deer. They killed 21 in 2007 and 13 in 2008.

Forslund said he hasn't seen any more deer complaints than usual but "the deer are everywhere."

The city will issue 70 permits, giving preference to those who applied but did not receive a permit in 2008, Forslund said.

Once permit candidates are selected, they will be notified by the city and must complete a proficiency test administered by the St. Cloud Archers Association.

If candidates are not able to pass the test, one of 20 alternate candidates will be chosen.

The proficiency test requires the candidate to place five of six arrows within a 9-inch circle from a 5 foot stand 20 yards away.

Complete details including aerial photos of the hunt areas are available on the city's Web site: http://ci.stcloud.mn.us/MainTopics/archery2009/Default.aspx.

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