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Porterdale to consider bow hunting ordinance

PORTERDALE -- The City Council agreed to discuss a draft ordinance at the Feb. 23 work session that would allow bow hunting of deer inside the city limits.

At its work session last week the council reviewed a 2010 ordinance amendment approved by the Covington City Council that allows the discharge of archery equipment inside the city limits. Covington's ordinance also requires that state law regarding hunting is followed, meaning bow hunting would not be allowed within 100 yards of a residence, and only licensed hunters would be permitted to hunt deer during bow hunting season. Furthermore, only hunters who have secured written permission of the homeowner would be allowed to hunt on property. Archery season for deer generally runs from mid-September to mid-October for the entire state, with extended hunting periods for Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties.

Councilman Mike Harper initiated the discussion of bow hunting in the city limits due to the increasing number of nuisance deer in the city. Councilman Lowell Chambers supported the idea saying that nuisance deer cause a lot of damage to lawns and landscaping.

"They need to be controlled, and the only way to control them is through hunting," Chambers said.

Harper pointed out that there are some large tracts of land inside the city limits that are suitable for hunting, particularly the Whitehorse property. This tract was cleared for development of a subdivision, but due to the recession, no homes were ever built.

In other news, City Manager Bob Thomson reported to the council that work is set to begin to bring the city's sidewalks up to standard with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Public Works Director Robert Witcher said the sidewalk on all four corners of the Yellow River bridge will be redone, as well as the sidewalk from the bridge to Ash Street and the sidewalk at the intersection of Ga. Highway 81 and Poplar Street.

Staff reporter Crystal Tatum contributed to this report.