Deer Hunting Ordinance is Too Broad: Opinion

Resident says ordinance as drafted focuses on "hunting" as opposed to "culling" the deer herd

To the Editor:

I was at the Nov. 15 Council meeting to discuss the proposed Ordinance regarding bow-hunting in Avon Lake.

From the comments that came at the Nov. 15 meeting, all but one was anti-hunting. It is apparent that the residents of Avon Lake do not want "hunting" within the city limits. But by the same token, they realize the need to control the deer population.

I believe the Ordinance as drafted focuses on "hunting" as opposed to "culling" the deer herd. To me, these are two different things. Hunting is a sport. Culling is a means to an end.

I found the proposed Ordinance to be extremely broad in its language. It leaves the door wide open to allow bow hunting at any time - given the discretion of the Mayor. It does not designate specific areas. It does not specifically outline the qualifications or expertise level of hunters applying for permits. I find the broadness of the Ordinance very troubling.

In my opinion, if we are to have an Ordinance on the books that addresses measures to control the deer population, then the Ordinance should be very specific. Here are some of the issues I think should be covered in any Ordinance that is considered:

  • Culling should be done only for a short period of time - maybe two weeks at the height of the deer season.
  • Culling should be carried out by professionals (since we can't afford sharpshooters, perhaps culling can be carried out by members of the Avon Lake Police Department or City employees who are experienced hunters).
  • Firearms and bows may be used in the culling effort, but only used by members of the Avon Lake Police Department or City employees who are experienced hunters and only during the designated culling period. Hunting by bow or firearms is not permitted within the city limits at any time - EXCEPT during the designated annual culling period.
  • Culling should be carried out in a "designated" area far away from schools, shopping, and residential areas. Preferably this can be done on City land.
  • Weeks before the designated culling period, feed should be placed as bait so that deer get in the habit of coming to a designated spot to feed. Drawing the deer into a designated culling area decreases danger to residents, and increases the outcome of the culling effort.
  • Large, visible signs should be posted around the designated culling area that display the dates and times of culling.
  • During the designated culling period, hunters from elevated deer blinds will have a clear shot at their targets - thus decreasing wounding deer and humanely killing them with one shot.
  • Deer blinds will be removed within one month after the conclusion of the culling period.
  • The albino deer should be exempt from culling. (The last thing we want are groups of hunters from outside our community coming into Avon Lake to "HUNT" for a trophy. )
  • Will the meat obtained from culled deer be given to local food banks and shelters? Or will the meat be sold? I'm sure there is a cost associated with preparing the meat taken from culled deer. This should be researched.
  • Notice of the annual culling period will be posted throughout the City at least two weeks prior to the start of the culling period. Notice will also be given via the City's website, the Patch website, and emergency notification systems (like the automated phone and email notifications that were generated during Hurricane Sandy).
  • Lastly, the purpose of this Ordnance is to cull the deer herd, NOT to allow hunting in Avon Lake.

Linda Piscioneri

Avon Lake

rgnocp38 November 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I was willing to be open and take in this response, but when one starts to accuse public officials of supporting a council action intended to keep residence safe and save care repair moneys as a means to higher revenue from hunting licenses and to pad salaries..... Very petty response!
Curtis Weems November 20, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Linda Piscioneri has done an excellent job of creating a starting point for the City to establish rational guidelines for “culling the deer by bow.” She is exactly correct that “hunting’ and ‘culling” are not the same. Linda Fields make one good point in that “culling” needs to happen every year. Actually “culling” will reduce the deer population but “culling” will be required to maintain the population at an acceptable level. I’m not one who advocates eliminating the herd rather maintain them in a way that is healthy for them and safe for residents. The City Council needs to start with a plan that incorporates some of the ideas that Linda Piscioneri suggested. Incidentally, ODNR takes the position that it is up to the city to control the deer population not them. The rational that the ODNR wants a larger deer population in AL to increase sales of hunting licenses is fallacious since hunting in the city is not permitted. In 6 years, left unchecked, the deer population will double, what then if not culling? Sensors, birth control, sharp shooting, wolves, wild dogs, and electrified fences are surly not the answer as they are totally impractical and cost too much. “Culling by bow” is safe, low cost (could produce revenue for the city or food for the poor) and it is effective. All we need are citizens who care more about the health and sustainability of our deer rather than their visual pleasure!
French Swede November 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
We're not talking about Bambi here. We're talking about an 80 to 120 pound plus wild animal that could come crashing through your car windshield or maybe even your patio door. It is ridiculous to think that supporters of the deer culling measures do so to promote the sales of hunting licenses or to entice folks to take up hunting. That's like saying that the garden centers are behind the opposition to culling so that their sales will increase, with homeowners scrambling to replace the plantings these voracious critters have destroyed. I hope rationality prevails not just in Avon Lake but anywhere it's needed in this situation.
bev connors November 21, 2012 at 04:06 AM
all your doing is leaving the city open to law suits etc. not until somebody is shot or hurt by these deer hunters will you wake up and say omg what did we do?
Lindsay B November 21, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Let the deer live. Matthew 5:7


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