Controlled archery deer hunt in Rochester begins

Archery Club leaders say last season their crew harvested 36 deer.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:09 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s officially the first week of archery deer hunting season in Minnesota.

Over the weekend, hundreds of bow hunters headed out for the first hunt of the year, more than a month before statewide firearms season.

The city of Rochester has found a community partner to help control the deer population within city limits.

The Rochester Parks and Recreation department is partnering with the Rochester Archery Club for a controlled archery hunt this fall in several parks throughout the city.

It started last year and has seen a lot of success. Archery Club leaders say last season their crew harvested 36 deer.

There are more than 100 members in the club, and around 30 of them participate in the city deer hunt. Last weekend at the opener, members harvested four deer.

They hunt at a handful of different city parks including Indian Heights, Essex and Bear Creek to name a few.

In bow hunting, most shots are taken at deer that are less than 20 yards away from the shooter, which means that they can very clearly and easily identify the target.

“The deer that are living here in these urban environments, they are so much more accustomed to the human activity that take places around them. Oftentimes, as you’re walking, just milling around in the park, you’ll see deer in pretty close proximity to you and they may not necessarily be too scared,” Rochester Archery Club president Terry Spaeth said.

Bow hunting season runs from September 16 – December 31. Applications are closed for the city deer hunt, but you can join the Rochester Archery Club any time.