Blue Earth’s inside-the-city-limits deer hunt is off to a great start.
That is the word from Blue Earth police officer Tharen Haugh, who gave the City Council an update during their work session last Monday evening.
“If the hunt was ended today, I would call it a success,” Haugh said. “We have had some of our hunters finding some success.”
Haugh has been in charge of the deer hunt since it was authorized by the council as an attempt to curb the number of deer wandering around the city.
“So far, we have had nine deer harvested,” he said. “We felt at the start that if we had five, it would be an acceptable number. And if we could get one deer per deer stand, which is 10, it could be considered very successful.
There are 20 hunters who have been given city permits. Two hunters share each of the 10 deer stands located around the city, mainly around Leland Parkway and Steinberg Park.
“I have the hunters report to me how many deer they see,” Haugh explained. “And so far they have seen three bucks, 59 does and 23 fawns. Now, granted some of these sightings can be the same deer seen several times.”
Two of the hunters have harvested two of the does each, which makes them now eligible to go after a buck if they want to. But that may or may not happen.
“Our biggest challenge is water,” Haugh said. “With all this rain, the river is high and flooding areas we had for hunting. We have adjusted (the location) of several of the stands, but it still is an issue where they can’t get to the stands until the water goes down. Even with chest waders.”
He said there have not been a lot of glitches this year, and said even putting the hunters into pairs went well.
“We have two hunters per stand,” Haugh said. “Some I knew were related or friends, and the others I just asked who they wanted to pair up with,” the officer said. “Then I basically had a lottery to see who got which deer stand, so it would be fair to all of them.”
Since this is the first year of the deer hunt in Blue Earth, Haugh said it has been a learning experience for him.
“I have learned a lot,” he told the council. “Because of everything I have learned, I know next year’s hunt will go lots smoother.”
One thing will be to advertise the hunt more, so they get more applicants and then be able to narrow it down to get the best shooters. Or the number of hunters could be increased.
Another item might be to have more flexibility to move the stands as needed.
The deer hunt this year could become even more successful than just the nine from the start. It does not end until the end of the year, on Dec. 31.