Urban deer hunt ends; local newspaper called out for poor reporting
Alderman Mickey Schneider brought to the City Council table Monday night a wrap-up discussion of the urban deer hunt and had harsh words for its critics.
"As it stands now," she said, "since we started this deer hunt in mid-November, 12 deer were bagged out of the 50 possible -- " 50 tags had been set aside for hunters " -- by three hunters. As far as safety is concerned, the hunt went very well. No injured children, no slaughtered pets, no deer stumbling into parades, zero incidents. None of the problems some people said would happen."
Schneider said one issue was brought forth by the Eureka Springs Independent a few weeks back (in its Jan. 3 issue), in which the front page showed a slain deer being thrown into the back of a truck, and the caption: "What a doe looks like when she is illegally hunted down -- The in-town deer hunt brought some of people's worst nightmares to front and center when this yearling was shot with an arrow in Harmon Park. Animal Control Officer Jim Evans said if the doe had been discovered earlier, her meat might have been used. Bow hunting in Eureka Springs is illegal in city parks."
"I don't know who wrote that," Schneider said, "but in my opinion they weren't reporters. They didn't check anything. They put down what they wanted. I talked to Animal Control. That front page article said that deer was shot in Harmon Park that Wednesday. In their paper and on Geekfest the assumption was made it had to be urban hunters. In talking with Jimmy Evans myself, he said first of all there was no way it was shot at night, nor is there any way to tell where it was shot -- it could've been a block away or a mile away. No proof of anything. It is wrong to jump to conclusions like that. I seriously doubt the 15 hunters who signed up for the hunt would've risked it by hunting after hours or in the parks. As far as the hunt actually went, there were no incidents or problems."
Schneider went on to castigate the foes of the hunt. "I have been working election polls for over 20 years and am adamant about voter rights. When an issue comes up for a vote of the people, one side wins. People vote, the majority rules. This is America. So the losing side in the deer hunt needs to suck it up. If you don't like the result of an election, you work harder next time to make things come out differently. What you don't do is decide to take matters into your own hands and do everything you can to kill what's going on in re: to a majority vote.
"It was passed, like it or lump it. You do not have the right when hunters are in their stands as permitted by law to stand out there with pots and pans banging them together. I'm an animal lover and a crack shot. I put my land up for hunting. I would never go out there and openly defy the law, which is what you're doing. This is sour grapes, childish sour grapes, and illegal. In the future, if I keep getting these reports, actions will be taken. This was all so rude and uncalled for. America. Majority vote. My #1 criteria. Learn it."