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Chief gives BE Council deer update

By Staff | Oct 7, 2018

Things are progressing for making an in-city-limits deer hunt possible in Blue Earth next year, in the fall of 2019.

Blue Earth Police chief Tom Fletcher used some of the time during the City Council’s work session before their regular meeting last Monday to update the council on the progress so far.

Fletcher said that a notice that was sent out for people to serve on a citizens committee to work out the details of the hunt has produced three persons interested in serving.

And, Fletcher added that he is looking for a couple of officers, who are interested in hunting, to coordinate the actual hunt itself.

“I think we will be sending someone to New Ulm this fall, to see how it works there,” Fletcher said. “It is a big deal in New Ulm, and they have been doing it for a long time.”

The chief said there are 28 hunting sites in New Ulm and they issue 56 permits, with hunters harvesting between 60 and 70 deer each year.

The in-city-limits hunt will coincide with the deer hunting season.

“We will run ads in mid-summer to let hunters know about it,” Fletcher said. “New Ulm gets hunters from all over the country.”

Then in the first part of September, they will process applications and do testing. That could include shooting five arrows at a target from different distances, Fletcher added.

The hunters will use their own deer stands, but only locations set by the city. They will have to sign in and sign out when hunting and keep a hunting journal.

Fletcher said one thing that still needs to be done is to locate the possible sites for the stands.

“The success of this hinges on finding valuable spots for the hunters,” Fletcher said.

The city will make a formal application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in May to get a permit to conduct the hunt. The council had previously voted to budget funds in 2019 to conduct the hunt, but they have not formally voted to actually do the hunt yet.

Also as part of the work session before the meeting, Fletcher and Blue Earth Area School Resource Officer DJ Bullerman discussed some of the ways they cooperate as far as policing the school goes.

City councilman John Huisman had requested an update as to whether there is cooperation between the sheriff’s and police departments.

Both Fletcher and Bullerman reported they fully work together.

“I am at the school from 7 to 4 everyday,” Bullerman said. “So if something happens in that time frame, I handle it. But, I live in Wells, so if there is something that happens after that, like an accident in the parking lot, then the Blue Earth P.D. takes it.”

The sheriff’s office also is a backup, he added.

In case of a big emergency, such as an intruder in the school, Bullerman is already on site, but the Blue Earth police officers would also respond and assist.

“We are only a couple of minutes away from the school,” Fletcher said. “We would get there fast.”

Bullerman explained the new ALICE response program, in case there is an active shooter on site. He said he has been doing training at the school for staff and had invited any police officers to attend that wanted to.

When asked if they did attend, Fletcher said they had 100 percent attendance.