Published June 30, 2011, 08:00 AM

Two Harbors deer hunt closer to reality

A city-wide deer hunt is well on its way to becoming enacted, as Two Harbors city council members had a first reading of a proposed archery deer hunt ordinance Monday night.

By: Brittany Berrens, Lake County News Chronicle

A city-wide deer hunt is well on its way to becoming enacted, as Two Harbors city council members had a first reading of a proposed archery deer hunt ordinance Monday night.

Members of the Two Harbors Public Affairs Committee – Seth McDonald, Mary Rosati, and Chris Swanson – along with the local Drop Tine chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and the Two Harbors Police Department, have been working for months to develop an ordinance that will allow for a safe and orderly hunt within city limits.

Under the ordinance as read, the Two Harbors hunt will run within the same time frame as Minnesota’s archery hunting season. Those who wish to hunt within city limits will need to submit an application form to the chief of police.

With this application, hunters will need to inform police which areas they will be hunting on and seek approval and consent from landowners.

The application process will also include an archery proficiency test and consent to a criminal background check to be performed by the police department.

Hunters will only be allowed in designated areas of the city. They will not be allowed within 200 feet of any building, road, trail, park, school, or residence except in certain spots that have been deemed safe for hunting.

Acting Police Chief Kevin Ruberg, with the Drop Tine Chapter of Two Harbors, is working to create a map of areas where an archery hunt would be safe. They hope to have it ready by the next city council meeting July 11. Some hunting zones may include the wooded areas north of the city golf course and the Pamida and Harbor Hills areas.

A lot of attention was put on public safety when putting together the ordinance, Ruberg said. Hunters will not be allowed to stand on a back porch and shoot deer, he said, but will be confined to the designated areas.

“The goal is to make (the hunt) a positive experience for everyone, with the end result hopefully reducing the number of deer within city limits,” Ruberg said.

Ruberg said he consulted other area city and agency leaders about their urban deer hunts to come up with a list of pros and cons that he could use when putting together rules and regulations for Two Harbors.

While Ruberg feels the ordinance is pretty sound, he acknowledges that if the hunt is put in place, the rules may have to change. “I think we have a pretty good handle on it,” he said. “But there are going to be things to learn from and adapt to. We’re just going to have to learn as we go.”

It is still to be determined how many permits will be issued by the city, or whether or not the hunt will be limited to Two Harbors residents. Those decisions may depend on the amount of hunters showing interest.

Archery hunt discussions began in the past few years after a number of residents made complaints about deer destroying gardens and causing other damage. There is also a fear that deer are bringing dangerous predators into city limits.

The Two Harbors ordinance will have two more readings before a vote. Members of the public affairs committee hope to have a third and final reading of the ordinance at the last meeting in July, allowing time to organize for a fall hunt.

Drop Tine would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in a fall archery hunt in Two Harbors. They are asked to email their name, phone number, and email address to info@ or call (218) 206-2660 and leave a message with information.