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Proposed bow hunting ordinance in Manchester met with opposition from aldermen

By: Bonnie Krueger

An ordinance amending the city of Manchester’s deer control policy and hunting regulations was introduced by Alderman Ben Tobin [Ward 3] at the Aug. 20 Board of Aldermen meeting.

The five-page ordinance stipulates that only bow hunting, no firearms, will be allowed during the deer hunting season as set by the Missouri Department of Conservation [MDC], or during such times as authorized by the city of Manchester and the MDC.

Bow hunting is permitted on tracts of land over 1 acre in area and includes adjacent property owners combining parcels of land [up to four total] to meet the 1-acre requirement.  A hunting permission form must be provided to the city, signed by the hunter or hunters and participating property owners. As part of the permission form, the hunter must acknowledge having an individual liability insurance policy that is no less than $1 million dollars.  The policy provides indemnity for all claims of damages resulting from the act of negligence of the hunter, or unintended damage from the deer culling.

Alderman Nelson Nolte [Ward 1] objected to the $1 million dollar policy, stating that it was unreasonably high and would discourage hunters from participating. He suggested a policy of $300,000, which is frequently the amount of a homeowner’s insurance policy.

“There is a very low chance of incidents arising from bow hunting,” Nolte said. “Driving poses a greater risk of injury, yet you only have to carry a $25,000 policy. This seems unnecessarily high.”

Alderman Rich Baumann [Ward 3] disagreed. Since some neighboring municipalities require a $2 million policy, the $1 million seems appropriate, he said.

Alderman Megan Huether [Ward 2] would like potential hunters to provide proof of the insurance, even if it is more work for city employees to approve the hunting applicant.

Under the proposed amendment, individuals under the age of 16 can hunt, provided they are accompanied by a properly permitted hunter 18 years of age or older. After the meeting, Baumann said he is adamantly opposed to allowing minors to hunt, noting that he is not aware of any nearby municipality that allows minors to hunt.

The second reading to approve the ordinance will be on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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