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Tubbs Hill deer hunting draws ire of neighbors

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 29, 2018

In this photo from 2017, Kim Ashbaugh picks up trash on Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday. Ashbaugh found a gut pile from an illegal deer hunt in the popular city park, setting off safety worries among neighbors. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
In this photo from 2017, Kim Ashbaugh picks up trash on Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday. Ashbaugh found a gut pile from an illegal deer hunt in the popular city park, setting off safety worries among neighbors. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A bow hunter who said he was unaware of Coeur d’Alene law outlawing hunting with city limits killed a deer on Tubbs Hill last week.

A neighbor found the gut pile while out for a walk.

“I just saw a blood trail that was on the concrete,” said Kim Ashbaugh. “I was just completely shocked because, well it’s not allowed. Like my husband says, It’s a duh thing. You don’t hunt animals especially in a city park.”

The man who killed the deer used a bow and arrow. A city ordinance prohibits the discharge of a firearm within city limits. That ordinance includes bows and arrows and crossbows.

The man has not been charged with a misdemeanor and was allowed to keep the deer, said Coeur d’Alene Police spokesman Sgt. Jared Reneau.

“When we started investigating, he told us that he’d contacted Fish and Game and was advised that he could hunt on Tubbs Hill,” Reneau said. “That’s why he hasn’t been charged at this point.”

Chip Corsi, Idaho Fish and Games regional manager in Coeur d’Alene, has a hard time believing anyone on his staff would have green-lighted hunting in the middle of the city.

“I can’t imagine anyone in my shop saying you can go hunt on Tubbs Hill,” Corsi said.

The hunter had a hunting license and deer tag.

“It’s not a poaching case, because deer season is technically open,” Corsi said. “It’s an unlawful discharge (case). It’s unlawful to do that in the city limits and the city makes that call.”

If the hunter had specifically mentioned Tubbs Hill, Corsi said there is no way someone on his staff would have told him that was OK.

And, even if it weren’t illegal, Corsi said the hunter displayed some spectacularly bad judgment. Tubbs Hill is a popular city park. One that people use at all hours of the day.

“There is a responsibility to kind of be paying attention to how you’re viewed,” Corsi said. “Hunting is not a spectator sport until it kind of becomes one. And usually when it does it’s not for the right reason.”

Neighbors are furious about the killing, Ashbaugh said. She wonders who is to blame.

Ashbaugh lives near the park’s east entrance. Nearly every day she walks the hill and cleans up garbage. Part of park’s appeal is that wildlife roam throughout. The deer Ashbaugh sees are not afraid of humans.

“As soon as they grow up around humans, they are not afraid of us at all,” she said. “It’s not sporting at all. It’s like going to a zoo and killing an animal.”

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