NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Residents will now be able to legally hunt the city’s burgeoning deer population with longbows or crossbows.
City Council approved a bow hunting ordinance Monday night by a 6-1 vote.
Nancy Buescher, R-1st Ward, cast the lone “no” vote, citing her concerns over the potential for accidents involving hunters or unintended injuries that could arise from hunters’ arrows or bolts being fired near the boundaries of approved properties that could travel into adjoining property and produce injuries to someone.
“I can’t reconcile my concerns within a bedroom community such as ours, and so I will be voting no,” Buescher said.
In approving the deer hunting law, Bob Olesen, R-at large, chief sponsor of the legislation, reiterated the necessity for bow hunters to pick up city-required forms from the Police Department.
Hunters must also receive written permission from property owners, as well as be licensed hunters by the state.
Hunting deer by longbow or crossbow can only be done on land that is at least 5 acres in size, and only from tree stands or other above-ground hunting platforms.
Owners of land adjacent to property where hunting is allowed are to be notified by the city, but that notification will be done by City Hall and/or police.
Hunting will not be allowed on land that is deemed too close to homes, schools, businesses, parks or daycare centers.
“The facts are indisputable when it comes to what the deer population is doing to our community,” said Dennis Boose, D-2nd Ward. “In the long run, this measure should reduce accidents and property damage.”
Before voting on the measure, Council heard from residents who supported the bow hunting law, citing damage to vehicles from collisions with deer, and damage to yards, most notably by hungry deer eating shrubbery, plants and flowers.
Resident Jonathan Schumacher said the hunting law should not only reduce accidents, but generate revenue from hunting license, and people who process deer meat.
Bill Netzell, a hunter who lives in the Waterbury development off Chestnut Ridge Road, talked of “spending the day in a tree stand and not getting anything. Then I come home and find 13 to 15 deer in the yard and I can’t take a shot at them.”
After the meeting, Buescher explained her “no” vote by saying she worried “about kids who go out to play” on adjoining properties to land where hunting is OK’d.
“The (hunting) season lasts four months,” she said.
Archery season in Ohio opened Sept. 24 and runs to Feb. 5.
Buescher said she preferred culling of the city’s ample deer population by sharpshooters before permitting bow hunting. “But the city can’t afford sharpshooters, so we have to look at other options.”
Buescher also expressed concerns over deer running to properties away from hunting areas where they could collapse and die after being wounded by bow hunters.
“Then that property owner is responsible for disposing of them,” Buescher said.
Owners of land where hunting is permitted will have to register with the city each year.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.