Last night, the Warrensburg, Missouri city council indefinitely postponed a plan to allow bow hunters to kill deer from platforms inside the city’s Culp Park. There will be no deer hunt in Warrensburg this year.
The city’s change of heart reflects a concerted effort by Dr. Susan Pentlin, an emeritus professor at the University of Central Missouri, along with several other activists, including FoA activists and supporters. “We can all sleep better tonight,” Dr. Pentlin said.

 Mother and fawns

Mother and fawns

As the park would have remained open during the hunt, it would have also posed a risk to “hikers, pets, children, endangered birds, people in homes near the park and University of Central Missouri students,” Pentlin said.
All hunting is dominance taken to extremes, with bow hunting bringing a form of torture into the act: Arrows have razor-sharp points meant to bleed deer to a death that may be slow and painful.

Culp park, a peaceful oasis, was donated to the city by Leland Culp, whose will stipulated that the land be used to safeguard wildlife. “Leland Culp gave the land to the city for people to enjoy nature, not as a hunting preserve,” Pentlin explained.

Meeting last night, council members indicated a need for more information, especially about “how many deer there are and safety issues,” Pentlin said. At a previous city council meeting, Warrensburg Police Chief Bruce Howey reported only nine city accidents involving deer in 2006, a small percentage of the the total 600 accidents. Hunters can frighten deer, cause them to move into unfamiliar areas, including roadways, and would have likely raised the numbers of accidents. FoA has found strong evidence that hunting exacerbates roadway accidents with deer; about half of occur in just three months: October, November and December — hunting season.

In an interview today with FoA, Warrensburg City Clerk Cindy Gabel said town officials want to take more time to “thoroughly study the facts and take more time to consider everything involved with the hunt.” Gabel said the hunt may come up again next summer, but it could also be cancelled.

At the recent public hearings on the hunt, dissent was heard. “Several people spoke out against it,” Gabel noted.

The city council also held an e-mail forum on the hunting proposal. Said Dr. Pentlin, “The council did not indicate the percentage of public e-mail comments for or against, but I have a feeling it was not strongly in favor–probably 60-70% were opposed to a hunt inside city limits. That is the figure I heard.”

A special thanks to Lawyers in Defense of Animals.

What you can do:

Call or e-mail the mayor and city council and ask them to leave the deer — and Leland Culp’s memory — in peace.

Mayor Don Nimmer:
Call the town hall and leave a message for the town council members: 660-747-9131
Chair Pro-Tem Donna DeFrain
Council Member Charlie Rutt
Council Member Deborah Arwood
Council Member Jeff Terry