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Wildlife Commission Considering Whitetail Deer Bowhunting

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is talking about a proposal to allow whitetail deer bow hunting in three North Texas counties.

The idea is gaining both praise and criticism.

David Sierra is with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and said there’s a reason why the proposal is being considered.

“The people there in Collin and those counties wanted a bow hunt season. They did not want a rifle season. They wanted a bow season,” explained Sierra. “And there’s no biologically justifiable reason not to let them hunt deer in those areas, because there are huntable populations in that fragments habitat.”

Proponents say the move would help control the deer population in suburban areas — that seem to be getting less and less rural.

“Might as well hunt them now,” said Sierra, “because as the metroplex keeps on moving whatever habitat is left will eventually be swallowed up by urban development.”

But Dustin Rhodes, with Friends of Animals, feels bow-hunting supporters are using deer populations as an excuse and that many suburban residents really just don’t like wild animals on roadways and in landscaping.

“That’s really what we’re talking about here –- that deer or other animals have become an inconvenience to humans,” said Rhodes. “There are measures that can be taken to discourage deer and other wildlife from eating shrubs and destroying peoples lawn…because that’s really what we’re talking about here.”

Rhodes said shooting and killing animals isn’t the only way to deal with wildlife growth and human ‘urban sprawl.’

“There are all kinds of ways to educate the public about how to coexist with deer, rather than choosing the option to annihilate them,” he said.

After public hearings are held, the Wildlife Commission will vote on the issue in March.

If the proposal is approved, hunting regulations similar to archery-only Grayson County would be extended to Collin, Dallas, Rockwall and Galveston Counties.

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