Tubbs Hill deer hunt infuriates residents

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COEUR d'ALENE — A deer harvested on Tubbs Hill by an archer this week is drawing ire from neighborhood residents who wonder why nothing is being done to prevent hunting on Tubbs Hill.

The deer gut pile found Wednesday in the popular city park raised the concerns of Coeur d’Alene residents who fear getting shot by hunters within city limits.

They wonder why town deer are being illegally targeted.

City police said the deer was harvested with archery equipment by a resident who wasn’t aware that killing deer with bow and arrow in the city was illegal.

Residents of the East Tubbs neighborhood where the gut pile was located, however, wonder why nothing was done to prevent future hunting on Tubbs Hill.

“Many people go walking early in the morning,” said Kim Ashbaugh, who lives near the park’s eastern entrance. “I’m sure they go there thinking it’s safe.”

Ashbaugh said she isn’t against hunting, but laws to prevent hunting in town were disregarded in the latest incident. It was not the first time a deer was killed in the city park, she said.

“This has happened before,” she said.

A few years ago someone shot and left a deer on Tubbs Hill. Later its antlered head was cut off and the body was left behind, she said.

“If you want to hunt, go where it’s allowed, not in our city park,” she said.

Police spokesperson Sgt. Jared Reneau said an officer responded to the call Wednesday of a poached deer on Tubbs Hill.

Investigating officers located the hunter, who told police he had a tag to harvest deer, and was unaware harvesting within the city with archery equipment was illegal. The man was warned, but not cited.

“I don’t think he had any malice,” Reneau said.

Under city law, Reneau said, shooting animals in the city is against the law no matter how you do it.

“They can’t be shooting deer … with a rifle, bow or anything else,” he said.

Barb Moore of Idaho Fish and Game had not heard of the incident, but said killing deer within Coeur d’Alene city limits would fall under city codes, not Fish and Game laws.

Her department does, however, receive a lot of deer calls, and although it does not track deer populations in the city, urban deer are increasingly becoming a problem, she said.

Hunters in town seem a bigger problem for Ashbaugh and her neighbors.

“He shouldn’t be allowed to keep the animal if it’s poached,” she said. “Do we have laws or not?”

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