ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH - February 19, 2012 12:00 am
Lou Salamone suffered knee injuries several times during his fire career, according to workers' compensation claims against the city.
He retired from the St. Louis Fire Department in 2007 with an injury to his left knee. He said after three surgeries doctors for the pension board told him he could no longer work as a firefighter.
Today, Salamone, 50, prowls the suburbs with a bow and arrow while earning a $44,203 annual disability pension.
As organizer of Suburban Bowhunters, his mission is to remove problem deer from west St. Louis County communities, where they pose a threat to motorists.
A Post-Dispatch reporter and photographer spent time with Salamone for a story in January 2009. The camo-clad ex-firefighter climbed a ladder to the top of a tree stand in a Clarkson Valley neighborhood and waited for hours without seeing a deer.
On a hunt with a photographer, Salamone hit a doe from a tree stand and carried the carcass out of the woods.
Salamone told the Creve Coeur City Council last May that if certain property owners gave him access to their land, "just me alone, I could reduce 15 deer easily, maybe 30, maybe 40."