Media Clips

Wolf’s Den: Hunting near city requires caution

Published on August 25, 2010 under Media Clips

DAVID WOLF |  Tuesday, August 17, 2010
For hunters, the state of Arizona is divided into hunt units. These divisions are important for wildlife managers as units help them manage distinct wildlife herds and habitats more precisely.

Metro units are created when hunting with firearms in close proximity to urban areas becomes unsafe. While there are rules against the discharge of a firearm within a quarter-mile of any residence without the property owner’s permission, hunting seasons in metro units are designated as archery-only simply because there are too many structures in every direction. This is why the area around Flagstaff is a metro unit.

Hunting in a metro unit places an extra responsibility upon the hunter. Last September, a Flagstaff resident wrote a letter to the editor. His issue was, as he was drinking his morning coffee, a hunter was crossing his property pursuing a deer.

Hunters must recognize that a hunting license does not give them permission to hunt on or to cross private property. A hunting license does give them permission to cross and hunt on State Trust land, land that is otherwise off-limits without written permission.

Hunting in metro areas is a part of wildlife management and helps keep the deer and elk wild by not providing them an artificial safe haven in a metro area.

The dangers of deer and elk becoming accustomed to people are varied and ranges from increased vehicle/animal collisions, increased property damage (elk love aspen and fruit trees), and increased spread of disease as animals congregate unnaturally in small areas. Hunting in metro units minimizes these risks.

Hunting season begins the end of August and bow hunters will be out and about in metro areas. Hopefully they will all take the extra burden and responsibility that comes with a metro unit tag seriously.