Dunwoody residents infuriated by residential deer hunting

Several people living in Dunwoody are furious about dead deer found in their yards. They said the way the deer are being hunted in their neighborhood could put their families in danger.

Hunting deer with bows and arrows is legal in Dunwoody, but using a bullet to hunt is not. Residents said they heard gunshots one night and found a dead deer on their property the next day. They want this kind of residential hunting to become a thing of the past.

There isn’t much-separating homes in the Spring residential area in Dunwoody in which houses are so close together, many of them are only separated by driveways.

That’s why Melissa L’Abate said deer hunting shouldn’t happen here.

“If an arrow from a crossbow can kill a deer, it can kill a little boy, or a little girl, or your dog,” L’Abate said.

She said a man in an unmarked car knocked on her door late at night, demanding she allow him access to her property for something he called “deer management.”

“He got irritated when I didn’t let him,” she said. “I said ‘Well, do you shoot them with a gun,’ and he said ‘Yes.’”

That’s not allowed. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said it is illegal to hunt deer at night, to hunt from a public road, and to discharge a firearm within 150 feet of a public road. DeKalb County is an archery-only county for deer hunting, and it is illegal to hunt on another person’s property without permission.

L’Abate said that’s where things get messy.

“Someone found a dead with an arrow in it by their mailbox,” she said.

This isn’t news to Mayor Lynn Deutsch, who grew up in an area with hunters.

“Hunting is for sport and it doesn’t seem sporty to set up a stand in a Dunwoody backyard so the deer are there,” the mayor said.

Dunwoody City Councilwoman Stacey Harris is aware of the random carcasses too, someone told her about an issue.

“It certainly has come to the forefront this fall because we’ve had several different episodes of deer hunting in Dunwoody,” Harris said.

Just this week, neighbors erupted on social media after finding a deer shot in their yard.

“You cannot shoot a gun like that in Dunwoody…our police department is investigating,” Mayor Deutsch said.

City leaders said they’re aware other nearby communities have made adjustments to their hunting regulations and hope to apply similar ordinances in Dunwoody.

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L’Abate said she hopes action happens fast before someone gets hurt.

“Moms and dads are afraid for their kids to be out. This activity has ramped up completely,” L’Abate said.

The mayor and city council members said they’re taking action. There is a council meeting scheduled for November 30. The public is welcome to attend and comment.