Janesville City Council proposes allowing deer bow hunting in Rotary Gardens, varying opinions from residents

JANESVILLE, Wis. — If you have a yard and live in Wisconsin, chances are, you’ve fallen victim to deer nibbling on your flowers and other plants.

Janesville City Council is introducing a resolution to solve that problem, but the plan is sparking controversy around the area. Chad Cox is one of the people saying there are too many deer in Janesville.

 “I know it’s a problem,” said Cox. “I see it. I walk on the bike path. It’s not only in the garden, but throughout the town.”

Based on the council’s agenda for Monday night, bow hunting could potentially be the solution for getting rid of the deer. It states the city will introduce the idea of allowing archery and crossbow hunting of deer on municipally owned lands leased to Rotary Botanical Gardens in the City of Janesville.

This move has some residents, who like seeing the deer, frustrated with the city for even suggesting the idea of hunting them.

“I’m just wondering if the city of Janesville has lost their minds,” said Janesville resident Valerie Richter. “Why should the deer should die painful inhumane deaths from having darts and arrows injected into them because they’re eating a couple flowers is beyond me.”

Chad Cox supports the decision to hunt the deer but says we need to be careful about who we allow to hunt.

“I think it should be done appropriately,” said Cox.  “I don’t think we should allow professional bow-hunters to come in. I think we need to take an opportunity and let the youth come in and do some deer hunting.”

Ultimately, this is an issue of safety for Richter as well. She says allowing the deer to be hunted could be dangerous.

“Let them eat a couple flowers,” said Richter. “That won’t hurt anything to let them eat a couple flowers. I wouldn’t even want to look at the flowers if animals had to die for them.”

The council will present the first reading of the resolution during a meeting on Monday night at 6 p.m. in the Janesville Municipal Building.