City hunting program gives hunters new options and experiences

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — Like many hobbies, deer hunting has changed over time. Many land owners now lease property to be hunted, leaving some hunters without land to hunt. Sherry Mick was nearly one of those hunters.

“It’s hard finding hunting ground,” said Mick. “Any place that was hunting ground probably has a house sitting in the middle of it.”

Mick and most of her family have been hunting their entire lives. They also run Broken Arrow Archery year round.

“Locals are leasing these properties and it’s getting very hard to find a good place to hunt anymore,” said Sue Martin, who owns and manages Broken Arrow Archery.

But for Mick and many like her, Newark’s Urban Deer Hunting Program solves that issue. After an application lottery, hunters are selected to hunt land within city limits.

“I’ve watched these deer down here for several years while I was working and there were some monster bucks coming through there … I said, ‘I would love to be able to hunt in the city,'” added Mick.

Mick got her wish – and it’s a growing trend. Neighboring cities Granville and Heath have similar programs. Hunters and land owners both have a say who can hunt where, as cities and counties continue to battle deer population in Central Ohio.

“It needs thinned out,” said Mick. “There’s a lot of deer in Newark. A lot.”

This will be the sixth year Newark has allowed hunting in city limits, which only allows hunters to use bows. Bow season begins September 26.

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