July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Sheffield Council OKs deer-hunting ordinance

SHEFFIELD — A new deer-hunting ordinance designed to reduce poaching and trespassing is on the books.

The ordinance, passed unanimously by Village Council members Monday, requires hunters to present forms from the village to police with written permission from landowners before hunting on their land.

Relatives of the landowner, such as spouses, brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren, would not be required to carry permission slips.

Beside the slips, hunters also must present police with copies of their driver’s license and hunting license along with their vehicle registration prior to hunting. The stricter ordinance was in response to complaints of poaching, trespassing and discarded deer carcasses. Each deer-hunting season, police receive dozens of calls about poaching and trespassing but are unable to make arrests.

Since 2008, when a new police computer system went online, there are no records of arrests for poaching or trespassing by hunters.

There also have been complaints of increasing deer-vehicle collisions. Police Chief Larry Bliss said after a February Council hearing on the problem that most of the 50 collisions involving vehicles and animals involved deer.

Ohio ranked 15th in the nation in deer-vehicle collisions between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, according to State Farm Insurance Co.

The ordinance got good reviews from a few residents at Monday night’s meeting.

“I know everybody’s not going to be happy about it, but I hope everybody can live with it,” said resident Dan White, who praised Council members working with hunters and residents.

Council member Kevin Markovich said the changes were a compromise. He said the original draft of the new ordinance was “off-base” and thanked citizens for asking Council members to make changes.

“We’ve come a long way,” he said. “Once we move forward with this year, we can always tweak some things.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.