McGregor Council weighs need for special deer hunt

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Iowa DNR park ranger Rylan Retallick went before the McGregor Council at its regular meeting Dec. 16, seeking the city’s opinion on whether another special deer bow hunt is needed in Pikes Peak State Park and the McGregor city limits.

The last hunt was conducted four to five years ago, said Retallick, noting that “it got to a point where hunters weren’t seeing deer.” An outbreak of bluetongue disease also contributed to that, he said.

“Now, we’re starting to see more deer and more deer damage in Pikes Peak,” Retallick added. “It doesn’t take them long to rebound when the pressure’s off.”

Several council members noted that they often see deer in town and can’t grow anything in their yards without a fence.

Retallick questioned what time of year deer were more frequently seen. With a lot of woods and timber around the community, he said deer often come to the city during the winter looking for food, then disperse in the spring and summer.

To better gauge the population, Retallick said he would like to do a flyover. 

“We need to manage the population. We don’t want to decimate it,” he said. “It’s not a requirement, but I want to do it and the biologists want to do it.”

He hoped the city would be willing to cost share for the flyover. The council asked Retallick to check into the cost and let them know.

Retallick said he would have to know if a special hunt is a “go” by June 2016.

Walkway extension

Cathy Corpian and Lyle Troester, with the dock commission, requested
$23,843.10 in funding from the city to purchase a walkway extension for the area near the private boat houses on the riverfront. The dock commission is contributing $28,000 of its own funds for the nearly $50,000 project.

The public will be allowed to walk on it, noted Corpian, but will not be able to access the private boat houses.

“It will make a huge improvement on our riverfront,” she said.

“It’s been on our plan for over 10 years,” Troester added. “The biggest complaint at the riverfront is the unsightliness of the pushers, cables and chains. This will eliminate some of this. This is the second step to make the riverfront look pretty nice; the first was the rip rap [last fall].”

“We made a big investment last year,” said mayor Harold Brooks, “so it’s time to do this.”

Public hearing

The council set a public hearing for Monday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m., to take comments regarding the recent recommendation by the planning and zoning commission to deny the rezoning request by Trilogy Partners, LLC.

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