Bow hunting applications available in City of Manitowoc

Deer suspicious in a Manitowoc city park, August 9, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WLUK) -- The archery season for Deer Hunt 2017 is about five weeks away, and some hunters in Manitowoc are signing up for another special hunt within city limits.

On a recent summer day, a cautious young doe fed in a park on Manitowoc's north side. Hunters say plenty of deer live in the city.

"Well, there are a lot of deer hiding in those areas, and it might be a little easier," said Chuck Remiker of Manitowoc.

Remiker is one of about a dozen archers interested in bow hunting on city property.

Police Lt. Mark Schroeder says the hunt goes back 11 years. The intent was to thin out the city's deer population and reduce the number of car-deer crashes in town. Three public plots have been identified. Hunters need to shoot from above.

"It's a huge safety thing. When you're hunting out of a tree stand with a bow, your average shot is 15-20 yards. And if it's on a downward angle, it's much safer for everybody in the area," Schroeder said.

Hunters may apply online or at the police department.

And new this year, there are some fresh guidelines. Archers are being asked to turn in their applications by Sept. 7. That way, police can process the paperwork before the season begins on Sept. 16.

Last year about 80 hunters participated in the program. Some hunters are just getting information.

"Just somewhere different to hunt. Seeing what's going on. I'm not going to get involved if there's too many people. I don't like fighting over spots, which is what's going on in the country," said Shane Kochorosky of Shoto.

But Remiker says he is ready for this season to start.

"Last year, I saw at least a 10-pointer. A couple of does. Just couldn't get them to come in by us. We'll have to try something new this year," he said.

Manitowoc police say deer cause problems for motorists. According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation, each year there are dozens of crashes within the city, involving deer. Looking at the past five years, the trend is increasing, from 45 reported crashes in 2012, to 53 in 2013, and 59 in 2014. Then there was a drop to 50 in 2015. But then in 2016, the number went up again, with 58 crashes.

And that's just in the city. Countywide, last year saw 704 car-deer crashes.

The archery season begins in Manitowoc and statewide Sept. 16, and runs through Jan. 7, 2018.

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