Why It Matters: As deer seasons are opening across the Southeast, sportsmen and women should not rule out urban properties to hang a tree stand or set up a ground blind. Several states in the Southeast offer urban archery seasons which expand deer hunting opportunities and help to manage human/wildlife conflicts. Urban archery seasons are typically longer than, or occur outside of, traditional statewide bow seasons, giving hunters expanded opportunities to participate in the time-honored tradition of archery hunting.
- Urban areas often have problems with deer overabundance, and hunting should be utilized as the preferred management tool for managing human/wildlife conflicts rather than government sharpshooters or contraception and sterilization programs.
- With their increasing popularityduring the urban archery seasons listed below to expand opportunities to groups unable to use a traditional compound or recurve bow.
- Urban archery seasons help keep hunters interested and support hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation.
It is probably safe to say that when most hunters begin to scout for next season’s hunting adventures, they may look for large parcels secluded from human activity that would be the most conducive to support a healthy deer herd. However, many hunters may not consider the small acreage property that sits behind their house as a prime hunting opportunity. The growing popularity of urban archery seasons, coupled with increasing urban and suburban deer populations, is changing the way hunters fill their freezers.
Urban archery programs typically work by different towns and cities enrolling in their state’s urban archery program developed by their respective state fish and wildlife agency. Each participating community may have its own specific rules and regulations in addition to general rules and regulations set forth by the state. Since most urban archery hunting will occur on private lands, it is important to secure permission from the landowner before going afield and to follow all state and local regulations for urban archery hunting.
A significant barrier to urban archery seasons is often discharge distance restrictions that restrict hunter access based on unfounded safety concerns. Broad archery discharge distance restrictions reduce hunter opportunity. Nevertheless, in many states without onerous discharge distance restrictions, urban archery programs provide excellent opportunities for hunters to spend more time afield.
If you are interested in expanding your deer hunting opportunities, see below for a list of Southeastern states that offer an urban archery season: