Bow hunter takes deer just above Old Town
October 26, 2012
A hunter armed with a bow and arrow killed a deer in terrain just above Old Town on Tuesday afternoon, the Park City Police Department said, prompting a complaint to the police and a criminal investigation.
Discharging a weapon in the city limits is prohibited. Using a bow and arrow qualifies as discharging a weapon, the police said.
The hunter was not arrested at the scene and the investigation is continuing. The man is 42 years old and from Francis, the police said. He was not identified.
"It’s potentially very dangerous," said Phil Kirk, a police captain.
A City Hall prosecutor on Thursday said the case is being screened. It was not clear when a determination will be made whether to file charges against the man.
Kirk said the police at 1:05 p.m. received a call from someone who said they saw a man loading a deer into a vehicle that was parked along the Mine Road.
An officer responded and saw the vehicle pass in the opposite direction on Marsac Avenue. The officer turned around and headed outbound. The officer pulled the hunter over along S.R. 224 in the vicinity of the Ute Boulevard intersection close to Kimball Junction.
Kirk said the officer found a dead deer in the bed of the pickup truck. The driver was the only person in the vehicle. Kirk said the officer also saw the archery bow.
The man acknowledged killing the deer with the bow and arrow, Kirk said. The deer was killed on land roughly bounded by the Ontario Mine bench, the Prospect trail, the Mine Road and Chambers Avenue, he said.
The man told the police he considered himself to be in a remote area and could not see any houses from the location where he killed the deer. The man held a state permit allowing him to hunt deer with a bow and arrow, Kirk said. The deer was a two-point buck.
Kirk said there is a "fair amount" of complaints of hunting in Park City. They are more often reported in places like Round Valley than just outside a neighborhood like the one on Tuesday.
There have long been concerns among some trail lovers during hunts, as they venture into the mountains at the same time the hunters are searching for deer. The Mountain Trails Foundation, an advocacy group, suggests people wear brightly colored clothes when they are using trails during hunting season.
Charlie Sturgis, the executive director, said he has come across six or so hunters with bows and arrows on trails since early October. Locations included Iron Mountain and Scott’s Bypass, which is off Guardsman Pass.
He said a place like Empire Canyon, which is located close to the spot where the deer was killed, was busy with people last weekend.
He said people have become confident in the idea that hunters are not searching for animals on or close to trails.
"We’d love to see no hunting up there. A lot of that stuff is still private land," Sturgis said.