The Cayuga Heights Village Board of Trustees has passed a local law that allows residents to shoot deer on their property with a bow and arrow.
Taking deer with a bow and arrow or crossbow is now legal in the Tompkins County Village of Cayuga Heights.
In a 4-2 vote last night trustees approved the new hunting regulations.
The new law is aimed at reducing the deer population in the village. The Village has spent several years and thousands of dollars to reduce its deer herd. The effort has prompted arguments among residents and at least one lawsuit. The village won the suit and it was determined it has a right to control the deer population.
The village has a program in place to sterilize female deer as part of along range plan to control the population, so far the village has spent over $184 thousand dollars over two years on sterilization efforts.
Overpopulation creates problems especially in urban environment, too many deer mean more deer-vehicle crashes, increased Lyme disease, chronic wasting or other diseases, and damage to the environment.
The new hunting law does not call for an open hunting season hunting, residents are required to obtain a nuisance deer permit from the DEC, they must also secure permission from all property owners within a 500-foot radius, and must prove that they have taken a bow hunter safety course.
The deer must be hunted from tree stands at least 12 feet off the ground so any stray arrows will hit the ground.