Eau Claire (WQOW) - Constituents ask City Council members all kinds of questions, from taxes and roads all the way to turkey hunting.
Recently, an Eau Claire City Council member was asked what the rules were for hunting turkey within city limits.
We then wondered what city ordinances are on the books for urban hunting.
As far as the DNR is concerned the rules on hunting small game on private property are pretty simple.
"There are certain species of animals you can hunt without a license and without regard to season on your own property," said DNR Warden Jeremy Peery. "Those are unprotected species, beaver, fox, coyote, raccoon, woodchuck, rabbit and squirrel."
However, city rules differ from what the DNR draws up.
"There is a city ordinance that prohibits the use of firearms," said Community Relations Officer Kyle Roder. "The use of firearms is described as any type of gun. Shotgun, handgun, rifle, but it also includes air soft guns, paintball guns, pellet guns, and bow and arrow by definition."
That Eau Claire law also includes target shooting.
"I had a case where a neighbor was shooting a bow and arrow in his backyard getting ready for deer season. It obviously wasn't a good shot and it stuck into the side of a neighbor's house," Roder said. "So we get calls like that from time to time and that's really what this ordinance is in effect."
Even though you can't shoot anything in Eau Claire you can still trap. But city law gives one animal almost special protection.
"One of the interesting exceptions in squirrels," said City Attorney Steve Nick. "There is a prohibition against trapping squirrels. It dates back to the early 1970's. One of the other interesting code provisions says you can't harass or worry the squirrels. So as the city's prosecutor I've always wondered how I'd prove the mental state of a squirrel."
One exception to Eau Claire's law that bans urban hunting is a program that allows property owners with more than seven acres to apply for a permit for bow hunting on their property.