Mentor City Council Votes To Legalize Bow Hunting Of Deer
Council Members Robert Shiner and Carolyn Bucey vote against majority
A 5-2 majority of City Council voted for an ordinance that legalized bow hunting of deer in Mentor
The vote occurred during a City Council meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
The ordinance says:
- long bow, crossbow and compact bow hunting of white-tailed deer is legal in Mentor during the appropriate state-sanctioned hunting season. No firearms will be permitted.
- hunting will only be allowed on parcels of five acres or larger or a combination of no more than three adjacent properties that aren't separated by a public roadway and are five or more acres.
- hunters must have all necessary state permits, as well as a city permit issued by the chief of Mentor Police Department.
- hunters must have the permission of the property owners on which they hunt
- all hunters must agree to hunt only from a fixed, elevated position at least eight feet from the ground
- no hunting shall occur within 100 feet of a property line, driveway or roadway
- the first deer harvested by a hunter must be an antlerless deer
- any hunter who kills a deer, or any other animal, shall report such a kill to the police department within 24 hours
Council Members Carolyn Bucey and Robert Shiner voted against the ordinance.
Bucey said she agreed that the city of Mentor had a problem with deer overpopulation. However, she supported a full-on culling program as opposed to bow hunting.
Bucey noted that Rick Tyler, who oversaw the Cleveland Metroparks' deer culling program before he retired, suggested the city have a culling program in place before it legalize hunting.
Meanwhile, Shiner said the city should not legalize bow hunting and then institute a broader culling program. If anything, he said, the two should be started simultaneously.
"If you're going to do a plan, you should do it all at once and do it right," he said.
Mentor City Manager Kenneth Filipiak said the city still has every intention of instituting a culling program with sharpshooters.
"This is just a piece of our program," Filipiak said. "Our culling efforts will be focused on public lands where we know we have large herds."
Filipiak had previously laid out a 4-part program for controlling the deer population in Mentor, which included culling.
However, any deer culling program would require a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The city, with Council's permission, is pursuing that permit.
Council Members Janet Dowling, Ray Kirchner, John Krueger, Bruce Landeg and Scott Marn voted for the bow hunting ordinance. All, except Marn, also said they would support a culling program.
Landeg said that deer were overpopulated in the area.
"It's not healthy what we're seeing out there," he said.
Krueger took umbrage when Shiner said the ordinance was "a political ploy."
"I don't think the issue is political in nature," Krueger said. "I think it's a problem the city has had for awhile."
Dowling said that almost all the residents she has heard from on the issue want something done to curtail the deer population.
"I realize it's not an answer to the problem but it is a step further," she said.
Marn voted for the bow hunting ordinance. However, he also said he had some concerns regarding the potential price tag on a culling program. Marn said the city of Solon pays about $500 for each deer culled and spends $150,000 per year.
Mentor resident Dan Welker attended the meeting and said he had some concerns about bow hunting.
He said the pain the arrows caused the deer was inhumane. Furthermore, most deer would flee after being struck and be injured for minutes, hours, days and maybe even weeks before they died, he said.
"I understand there's a problem in Mentor with deer," Welker said. "There's too many of them but I think legislation allowing bow hunting is not required in Mentor -- not in an urban area. We just don't have enough space."