Bow hunting approved in city limits

The Fairfield City Council passed the third and final reading of an ordinance Monday to allow bow hunting of deer in the city limits.

The ordinance allows bow hunting on private property during Iowa?s bow hunting season. All of the rules that govern hunting in the countryside will apply in town, too. For instance, hunters must have a signed document proving they have permission to hunt on the land from either the owner or tenant. They must carry this document either on their person or in their car.

In addition to the rules that apply to hunting outside city limits, the council imposed a few more intending to promote safety. Hunting is not allowed within 150 feet of occupied buildings or school property, nor within 75 feet of unoccupied buildings, a public street or a trail. Hunters will be required to take their shots from an elevated position, and at a distance no greater than 25 yards.

Hunters must prove their proficiency in archery skills, safety, and deer hunting rules as determined by local law enforcement and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Earlier attempts to control the deer population through bow hunts were canceled due to lack of participation. Hunters were restricted to hunting around parks such as O.B. Nelson, Jefferson County Park and Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Councilors hope that extending the hunting ground to private property will attract more participants.


School crossings

The council passed the third reading of a pair of ordinances that would remove crosswalks around the former Lincoln Elementary School. At an earlier meeting, the council learned that the streets department asked to remove the crosswalks from city code so it does not have to paint them. The department has stated there is no need for crosswalks around the former Lincoln school because it is no longer used as an elementary.

The ordinance would also add one crosswalk on North Fourth Street/Highway 1 between Hildenbrand Hall on the west side of the street and Maharishi School on the east. Maharishi School asked the council to add the crosswalk to accommodate boarding students who live in the basement of Hildenbrand.