Dunwoody city council meeting is 'first step' to curbing residential deer hunting concerns

Dunwoody residents are taking concerns about residential deer hunting straight to city council.

While several neighbors said they’re concerned about stray arrows striking their children and pets, others said hunting keeps the deer population from becoming dangerously high. City leaders said they’ll consider legislative action and other restrictions to find a solution that fits for both residents and hunters.

"I am wearing a mask to protect you. I want to know what you are doing to protect me," a boisterous Dunwoody resident said during a virtual city council meeting Monday.

"I am an avid bow hunter and have been hunting in the city limits of Dunwoody since 2007 with zero incidents to any landowners," another said.

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The big divide in Dunwoody lies in whether deer hunting in suburban areas puts residents in harm’s way.

Mayor Lynn Deutsch made her stance clear at Monday’s city council meeting.

"It’s not contradictory to believe you have a deer population problem and also that urban hunting is wrong," she said.

Hunting deer in Dunwoody is legal, so long as hunters use bows and arrows, not guns and bullets.

The city also requires those hunters to ask landowners for permission to hunt on their property and gather their kill, but after neighbors found a carcass with gunshot wounds-- which is illegal--in late October and early November, concerns about residential hunting erupted online and in the meeting.

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According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, hunters cannot hunt deer after 30 minutes after dark and from, or across a public street.

"This is the beginning of the discussion from my perspective. We have a lot of research to do," Mayor Deutsch said.

City leaders said Monday’s meeting is the first step to considering a decisive change.

"The next step would be considering a legislative conversation and reviewing other localities restrictions," she said.

Hunting season is from mid-September until the end of January. As of right now, hunters who violate Dunwoody hunting laws could see a state court of DeKalb County judge revoke their license.

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