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River Hills approves bow hunting restrictions

July 23, 2014

River Hills — Bowhunters are now prohibited from shooting within 100 yards of a building, unless they have the permission of the building's owner, under an ordinance approved by the River Hills Village Board last week.

A state law passed last year prevents local governments from prohibiting bowhunting within municipal limits. The change means River Hills, which had previously banned bowhunting, can't stop hunters from hunting on public or private land, assuming they get permission from private property owners or own the land themselves.

River Hills joins most other North Shore communities in taking advantage of a caveat in the bill that allows local governments to prohibit bowhunting within 100 yards of a building, unless the owner of the building gives permission.

Acting Police Chief Todd Cowie said the police department has received many calls from bow hunters asking about restrictions on hunting deer in River Hills. Having a distance restriction in place would help safeguard families from having bowhunters near their home, Cowie said.

"It wasn't all that long ago that some of the biggest deer in Wisconsin were in our community, and I think some people think those deer are still here," Cowie said. "I think we're going to have hunters knocking on doors asking for permission to hunt properties this fall, and that's concerning to us."

Trustee Bill Walker abstained from the vote, saying he doesn't believe government should be regulating the use of a resident's private property.

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