Safety concerns about new bow hunting law in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - It's a first for Hopewell. Bow hunting is now allowed in the city.

The new ordinance has raised safety concerns among residents including David Walker. He's called Hopewell home for 23 years.

"My biggest fear is that there is going to be -- well that somebody is killed or injured from this going on," said Walker.

The city is 11 square miles -- not a lot of space for hunting says Walker.

He adds, "I just think there are too many unanswered questions to allow this to occur."

We took Walker's concerns to Hopewell Police. The department will oversee and enforce the new bow hunting law.

"We will ensure this is done in a safe manner and for the purpose," safe Chief Steven Martin.

That purpose is to help reduce the deer population. Police say the animals have caused an increase in vehicle accidents and that deer have been feasting on flowers and other vegetation in resident's yards.

Hunters must have a state license to hunt. They must also fill out an application with the city.

There are two city owned properties where bow hunters can now hunt. One location is at the wastewater treatment facility. The other location is on 12 acres at the old Bluffs Apartment Complex.

When hunters hunt, they must be standing on a platform that's at least 10 feet off the ground.

"There won't be hunting by flatfoot on the ground shooting across property lines. There's no hunting allowed within 30 feet of a roadway or property line or 100 yards from a school or park," said Martin.

Land owners can also allow hunting on their property but there are several requirements involved. Those who violate safety aspects of the new law could face criminal charges.

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