Bloomington mayor vetoes ordinance allowing sharpshooters to hunt deer in nature preserve

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — The mayor of Bloomington has vetoed an ordinance that would allow sharpshooters to thin the deer heard at a city nature preserve.

Mayor Mark Kruzan said he couldn’t support the proposal and that he also opposed the start of deer hunts in Indiana’s state parks while he was previously a state legislator.

“I simply see the problem created by the killing of animals as outweighing the problem being caused to plants,” Kruzan said in a letter to the City Council. “That admittedly oversimplified position is based more on emotion than reason, but emotion is a critical component in characterizing the nature of a community.”

The plan approved by the City Council in a 6-2 vote last week would have the parks department hire sharpshooters to hunt in the 1,200-acre Griffy Lake preserve on the city’s north side. It doesn’t permit the general public to shoot firearms at the preserve.

Supporters say research shows an overabundance of deer in the area is causing ecosystem damage. Several opponents told council members last week they considered the sharpshooter plan a “massacre.”

Councilman Dave Rollo, who sponsored the hunting proposal, told The Herald-Times ( ) he expects the council will vote next week on whether to override Kruzan’s veto. Six votes would be needed for that step.

“(Kruzan) describes it as a matter of conscience, and I don’t dispute that,” Rollo said. “My conscience tells me something different.”

This is the first time Kruzan, a Democrat, has vetoed a proposal from the City Council during his 10 years as mayor.

A city task force has been looking at ways to reduce the number of deer around Bloomington, which is in the midst of a heavily wooded area. Opponents have fought its proposal to allow hunting of the animals around the city, calling it inhumane and possibly dangerous to people and pets.


Council votes to allow sharpshooting of deer at Griffy Lake


The Bloomington City Council voted to approve an ordinance to allow sharpshooting of deer at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

The council discussed the sharpshooting ordinance at its meeting for the second reading Wednesday, which elicited strong support and disapproval from the public in addition to the already publicized opposition from the Humane Society of the United States.

The council reached a vote of 6-2-1 to approve the ordinance after 1 a.m. Thursday after lengthy discussion and public comment.

Council members Steve Volan and Dorothy Granger voted against the ordinance, and member Tim Mayer abstained.

The amendment to the current ordinance, proposed by council member Dave Rollo, would allow only professional sharpshooters contracted by the city to hunt within the nature preserve.

Municipal code previously did not allow any use of a firearm within city limits unless it is discharged by a law enforcement officer or used in self-defense.

Council members Rollo and Andy Ruff’s concern is that deer overpopulation is starting to negatively impact other animal and plant species. Sharpshooting is the best option, Rollo said, because it is effective and humane.

Rollo began his presentation with a letter he received from the Board of Park Commissioners asking him to make “necessary decisions” to deal with deer overabundance in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

“Griffy Lake Nature Preserve faces a serious and eminent threat to its existence as a healthy and vital ecosystem. To put it bluntly, Griffy woods is dying and we need your help to try to save it,” Rollo read from the letter.

He then explained there is an abundance of evidence supporting that deer are having “severe and profound effects” on Griffy.

Read the Rest of this Post:  Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington deer hunt proposal at Griffy Lake

BLOOMINGTON – Sharpshooters could be allowed to hunt deer in a Bloomington nature preserve under a proposal being considered by city officials.

The plan’s supporters say the deer herd needs to be thinned out at the 1,200-acre Griffy Lake preserve on the city’s north side.

Five of the nine City Council members indicated support for the plan during a straw poll taken during a meeting Wednesday night, although a vote on approving the plan will be taken at a later meeting, the Herald-Times reported. Read more

DNR stocking fish back into Griffy Lake after it was drained.

5258636BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has delivered 22,000 bass to a Bloomington lake that is being replenished after being drained in 2012 so its dam could be repaired.

DNR fisheries biologist David Kittaka tells The Herald-Times reports the bass delivered to the city-owned Griffy Lake last week is the first of several shipments due this spring from state fish hatcheries. Other fish that will be part of the restocking are 81,750 bluegill, 27,250 redear and 21,800 crappie. Read more