Hunters did not have to travel far during the last hunting season because Ramsey had opened up portions of the city to deer, turkey and waterfowl hunting. But there was a problem.
As the 164 hunters, both shot gun and bow, came in to get their permits, it became obvious the 2009 city code was at odds with the permit process, said Ramsey Police Chief Jim Way.
At its March 12 meeting, the Ramsey City Council formed a committee to look at the weapons ordinance and to update the language.
“The existing language is confusing to hunters, especially given the code requires people to be 1,500 feet or greater from a structure before discharging a shotgun,” Way said.
The weapons ordinance also includes outdated information.
Although lead shot for waterfowl hunting has been banned in Minnesota since 1987, Ramsey code still allows the use of lead shot by permit.
When the ordinance is revised, it is likely the lead shot provision will be eliminated as the use is covered by state statute, said Way.
The existing ordinance can also be made much shorter, said Councilmember Jason Tossey, who is a hunter.
Permit hunting will continue while the city revises the weapons ordinance.
Requiring the permit for hunting is very helpful from a law enforcement aspect because they know where the firearms are being discharged, Way said.
The 2012 fall hunting season was the first for Ramsey’s permit program.
There were 164 permits issued for the deer season, with 105 of them to bow hunters, Way said.
Each hunter was sent a survey, which gave the city an idea of how many deer were culled.
From the 85 surveys returned, 50 deer were taken, Way said.
Unfortunately, 80 deer were struck by vehicles last year, including by Councilmember David Elvig and by one of police squad cars, he said.
“It would be nice to see that number reversed,” Elvig said.
The city also issued 36 goose hunting permits and two turkey permits in 2012.
Surveys were sent to all of the hunters, but only 10 of the goose hunters returned them.
The 10 hunters took a total of 10 geese.
Of the two turkey hunters, only one got a turkey.
“And it was not me,” said Tossey.
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