Mentor City Manager Kenneth Filipiak presented an ordinance to City Council Monday night that would, if passed, legalize the bow hunting of deer in Mentor.
The deer population has been a popular and occasionally divisive subject in the city for awhile.
Earlier this year, Council gave the city administration permission to pursue the permits needed to get a .
This latest ordinance is only part of the city's ultimate plan and not its totality, Filipiak explained.
"This is our first step in reducing the deer population in the city," Filipiak said.
Council did not vote on the ordinance Monday night. Instead, they will discuss it more during a work session before their next Council meeting Aug. 21.
This also gives Mentor residents the opportunity to review the ordinance (which is attached to this story as a PDF) and make suggestions, Filipiak added.
The ordinance proposes:
- long bow, crossbow and compact bow hunting of white-tailed deer in Mentor during the appropriate state-sanctioned hunting season. No firearms will be permitted.
- hunting would 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
Filipiak said that the ordinance will create opportunities for deer hunting in all four of the city's wards if approved.
Council Member Janet Dowling asked if the city would allow hunting in its parks. Filipiak replied that the city intended to open up its parks to licensed hunters during specific time periods with the proper safety precautions in place.
He added that a limited number of hunters would be allowed to hunt in the city's parks. However, that number has not been specified and probably won't be until the city has a more reliable count of the deer population in Mentor.
Filipiak said the ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable, healthy deer population in Mentor.
"We don't want to overhunt but I don't think there's any threat of that in the first year," Filipiak said.
The city manager said he hoped to see the ordinance, or a version of this ordinance, passed before this year's deer hunting season begins in September.
Also at the City Council meeting: