Deer hunters will be able to take aim at Macomb’s Spring Lake this winter.
The city council approved last night on a 5 to 2 vote to allow an archery deer hunting season for residents from November through mid-Janaury.
Aldermen Don Wynn and Dennis Moon were the two no votes with Alderwoman Mellie Gilbert abstaining. Moon says this issue has drawn more public response than any other in his 12 years on city council.
Hunting will be allowed in about 250 acres of the park. The hunting areas are divided into three zones to the north, west and southwest of the lake. The trail system will not be impacted.
Alderman Clay Hinderliter says hunters will be provided with a GPS map of the area to keep them from trespassing on private property.
“We tried to come up with a program that was safe as could be because whether you realize it or not people have been hunting out there forever with guns, illegally," Hinderliter said.
Hinderliter said work to allow bow hunting at the park began in November of 2013.
One local resident questioned the need for deer hunting at Spring Lake with other options available within driving distance of Macomb including Argyle Lake and Big River State Park.
But, Mayor Mike Inman said residents should not need to travel out of town.
“That’s money leaving the community," Inman said. "I might make the argument that if we are keeping hunters that would otherwise go elsewhere to spend their money or in the off chance we are enticing folks to come to Macomb and hunt then that’s a plus for the economy.”
Inman said this year will serve as a pilot program. The city council plans to review the program at the end of the season.
Goose and duck hunting are already allowed at the park.