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City expands archery deer hunt

Three deer are spotted near the intersection of Yellowhead Road Southwest and Lassie Lane Southwest near Bemidji in this October 2016 file photo. Pioneer file photo

BEMIDJI—The city of Bemidji is now accepting applications for a trio of special archery deer hunts this fall within the city limits, including a new area of town.

The hunts, following the timeline of the Minnesota deer archery season from Sept. 15-Dec. 31, will take place at the Bemidji Regional Airport, as well as in sections of Ward 5 and, new this year, in areas of Ward 4.

According to Deputy City Clerk Teresa Hanson, the Ward 4 hunt was added because of feedback from citizens.

"We were getting a lot of reports that the deer were unmanageable in that area, so we sent out a survey to residents in Ward 4," Hanson said.

"Residents responded and said the numbers of deer were high and they were doing a lot of damage. Our partner at BSU, professor Brian Hiller, and his students, then went out and did surveys in the fall. They also found the numbers up in that area."

The hunt in Ward 4 will take place in the city's west and southwest regions on public and private property. The Ward 5 hunt will also take place on public and private property, near the northeast side of Lake Bemidji.

The Bemidji Regional Airport hunt will be on the airport's property, outside of the fenced areas. For hunting across the city, 20 permits will be issued. Depending on the number of applicants, a lottery drawing may be held to determine who receives a permit.

The state allows those with permits to harvest up to five deer. Participants are responsible for purchasing the appropriate state hunting licenses and permits to hunt.

Those participating must be of legal hunting age, pass a criminal background check and successfully complete an archery proficiency test, a city release said. Individuals who've participated in the past must reapply. However, those who've had a proficiency test in the last three years don't need to take another test.

Applying for the hunt comes with a $10 fee. Applications, maps and other regulations are available either at Bemidji City Hall, located at 317 Fourth St. NW., or online at www.ci.bemidji.mn.us.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.

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