City moves to ban bow hunting

Minot City Council passes ordinance on first reading to ban bow hunting in city limits

Eloise Ogden/MDN Deer rest in an open grassy area by a residential area in southeast Minot on Tuesday.

The Minot City Council took the first step Monday toward banning bow hunting in city limits.

The council approved an ordinance on first reading that would make it an infraction, punishable by fine, to hunt using archery or crossbow in the city. A second reading will be required at a future date for passage.

Discussion of a ban grew out of safety concerns because the use of bows in Minot is not restricted currently. An animal nuisance committee has been considering ways to reduce populations of problem animals, and it was noted there is nothing to stop archers from hunting in Rosehill Cemetery, where deer exist in sizable numbers.

Commission President Mark Jantzer initially proposed a moratorium on bow hunting, noting it would not affect people shooting arrows into targets in their backyards. The council last year rejected an ordinance to ban bow shooting in town.

“What we are dealing with here is something a little bit different. It’s the possibility that somebody would be hunting deer,” he said. “The intent of this motion is to curtail that until such time as there’s a well formulated plan as to how these things can be done – if that’s what we choose to do.”

The city attorney had drafted an ordinance prohibiting hunting in the cemetery. Rather than proceed with a moratorium, the council decided to amend the drafted ordinance to be citywide.

The council heard from residents opposed to bow hunting for safety reasons.

“Why would any group of people assume that it’s OK?” asked Rose Farrell of Minot. “I certainly wouldn’t give my permission.”

Council member Josh Wolsky, who chairs the nuisance animal committee, encouraged people concerned about the issue to attend the committee meeting today at 12:30 p.m. in City Hall. He said the committee may bring back alternatives for dealing with deer. Even with a no-hunting ordinance, he said, “This is far from a settled issue.”