This article was in today's paper.
I tried posting a link, but my post count is too low. You can find it by Googling "Will Co. panel says no to bows for deer".
Will Co. panel says no to bows for deer
May 6, 2010
By STEWART WARREN
Officials decided Wednesday not to allow bow hunting of deer in Will County's forest preserves.
At the suggestion of Commissioner Jim Bilotta, R-Lockport, the members of the operations committee voted against that type of hunting. So that recommendation will be sent to the full board of commissioners. They have the final say on the matter.
Ralph Schultz, director of planning and operations with the Will County Forest Preserve District, talks with residents in April on the proposed plan to allow deer hunting to help control the local deer population.
Although the commissioners will talk about the matter again during other meetings, the decision seemed to relieve some people.
"One down," said Jacqueline Traynere, D-Bolingbrook, after the unanimous vote.
Like Bilotta and Denise Winfrey, D-Joliet, Traynere doesn't seem to back any kind of public hunting in the forest preserves.
But that's exactly what the commissioners have been talking about since February. There are too many white-tailed deer living in the county's preserves, causing problems, they say. The animals are killing or damaging valuable plant species. They can spread Lyme disease and cause vehicle accidents. If the population growth isn't checked, the health of the herds could be affected by chronic wasting disease.
So officials have been talking about a deer management program that might include different ways of culling, or decreasing the number, of deer. County police could be used to kill some of the animals or some kind of birth control could be administered to does.
But much of the talk over the past few months has revolved around the possibility of allowing bow and shotgun hunting in the preserves. Forest Preserve District President Cory Singer, R-Frankfort, is perhaps the biggest proponent of that plan. Singer was out of town Wednesday and wasn't at the operations committee meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, several New Lenox residents who live near Hickory Creek told the committee they opposed public hunting.
Barbara Healy has lived in the Lincolnwood Hills subdivision for more than 50 years and often sees deer walking through her yard. "They will walk within 30 or 40 feet of us," Healy said. "It would be kind of like shooting fish in a barrel."
She also wondered what would happen if a hunter wounded it but didn't kill it. Who would put the animal out of its misery?
Walter Krzak, a local veterinarian who lives at 2651 E. Lincoln Highway in New Lenox, noted that the forest preserve district's study of the situation seemed skewed toward hunting. And he made a point that might seem obvious -- the land is a preserve. Perhaps it would be better to let nature take its course.
"Man shouldn't interfere," he said.
Alice Krzak, of 400 Northeast Circle Drive in New Lenox, Krzak's sister and another veterinarian, attended one of the public forums and noticed something about them:
"I felt (the meeting) was definitely pro hunting."
Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort and chairman of the operations committee, said he doesn't hunt.
"I personally have mixed feelings," Moustis said. "But currently I think (Singer) would like us to consider these methods."
Bilotta doesn't feel the same way.
"I think we should take the public hunting aspect off the table," he said, adding that it could turn out to be a nightmare for the forest preserve district. Maybe the other options for controlling the problem would be better, he said.
"If it costs us money, it costs us money," Bilotta said. He asked for a vote against any kind of hunting, but that failed 6-4.
After more than an hour of discussion, the group decided to make several other recommendations to the full board, including one that would include the possibility of volunteers administering birth control to does.