September 23, 2014

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Avon Lake deer culling ordinance signed into law

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka discusses a recent deer attack as Police Chief Duane Streator listens. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka discusses a recent deer attack as Police Chief Duane Streator listens. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

AVON LAKE — The city’s deer culling ordinance was signed into law Tuesday after city and state officials laid out the details of how deer will be killed.

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka, along with members of the Police Department, City Council and the Ohio Division of Wildlife, held a press conference at the city’s safety center and said deer culling legislation enacted a year and a half ago was ineffective, restrictive and did nothing to address problems.

“The restrictions and limitations on it created a situation where virtually no property could be utilized for reducing the deer population,” Zilka said.

That prompted city officials to continue looking at ways to address the deer population and finally ink a stronger law to allow culling. Even without such a law, property owners able to show deer damaged their property had been able to obtain deer damage control permits through the Ohio Division of Wildlife to shoot deer with archery equipment any time of the year.

Under the city’s new law, property owners must apply for a municipal deer control permit through the Police Department, in addition to the deer damage control permit, and the Police Department then will visit properties on a case-by-case basis to determine whether hunters will be allowed to shoot on that property.

Ohio Division of Wildlife officer Randy White said when deer are killed, hunters must report the kill to both police and the state. He added that any type of deer — does, bucks and fawns — are up for grabs.

Avon Lake Police Chief Duane Streator said the new law will provide residents of Avon Lake the opportunity to address deer problems. He added that it won’t be open hunting season in Avon Lake.

“The landowner has to recognize they have the issue and the problem, and it gives them the avenues to address that,” Streator said.

Zilka said he empathizes with those who do not want to see deer shot within city limits, or those who fear wounded deer with arrows sticking out of them might wind up on someone else’s property. But such concerns are outweighed by the need to do something, he said, especially since deer have jumped through homeowners’ windows, run into cars and attacked one resident.

Zilka said there were three known cases of poaching within city limits in the past year, which he said highlights the need for regulation since some are already taking matters into their own hands.

“To do nothing is also an unsafe situation,” Zilka said.

City Council member John Schondel, referencing March 2013 helicopter surveys where deer were counted, said there may be more than 220 deer in the city. About 900 acres in the city could be considered natural habitat for deer, he added.

According to information provided by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, 90 deer damage control permits were issued to residents of Lorain County in the past three years. It will be at least 30 days before the new ordinance takes effect and the city begins to issue its own municipal deer control permits.

White said the majority of complaints he hears from Avon Lake residents regard browse and rub damage to landscaping.

“I try to tell people that deer in their natural habitat go around and browse on different things,” White said. “When you put in all this landscaping, you’re essentially planting a buffet for them.”

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or jwysochanski@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski. 

 


  • Jeff

    Fawns….REALLY ???? Has no one any morels ? ODNR, you need to be ashamed !!!

    • tommtomm

      and i bet people will do it too! there are some bery imorel people out there.
      i seen a post on archery talk.com where people are talking about this and some say odnr will take the horns from you if you get a buck. this is why most will do it. not for the meat but for the racks.

      • Jeff

        Don’t need the horns here…I have too many as is. Just want the freezer meat. If I obtain permission and I pass ( which I will ) on a fawn or dog size deer, will I not be allowed to hunt anymore or get fined for passing on the shot ?? LOL……
        Also, Can you image how many idiots are going to take 60-80 yard shots??? Tellin ya, it’s going to happen. There will be more dead deer that do not get recovered than anything else.
        On another note….my kid sent a message to PETA about shooting the fawns..lmao
        I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere what the hours or days will be. During season only?? 365 ???

        • tommtomm

          hudson ohio has the same program but they make you take a course with your bow from a platform and if you fail you dont hunt.

    • Bill Love

      I agree any hunter with respect wouldn’t shoot a fawn

    • mudlovinmom

      This is not about hunters, it is about homeowners that are sick and tired of having their property ruined by these animals. If the homeowner is ok with the herd of deer in their backyard eating all their shrubs then they don’t have to give anyone permission to dispose of them on their property. If a homeowner does give permission to someone, then it will be their choice on who they pick to harvest deer. This has nothing to do with the ODNR. Read the article entirely before you comment. Obviously the homeowners in Avon Lake are sick of the overrun population and are putting measures in place to trim the herd. The homeowners are in control, so bash them. And if you don’t think the deer are over populated in Ohio then you’re a fool.

      • Jeff

        Your right. It’s not about hunters. It’s about wildlife and wildlife management. This should have been happening 10 years ago the right way and now it’s an issue because the poor people are getting their plants eaten. This is just like the chicken and the egg….Which was here first. Only in this case there is a correct answer. I believe the deer win this one. WE are guest in their land, not the other way around.
        Remember the article about the animal control officer killing the kittens in N. Ridgeville ??? I bet you do. Which side were you on. ( That is not a rhetorical question ). Did you find it ok to kill baby kittens?? Is there a difference between killing fawns and kittens ??
        AS for the overpopulation in Ohio….I doubt you have a clue what you are talking about. Educate yourself before speaking, please.

        • mudlovinmom

          The kitten story is a totally different issue than this. You make no sense! You are telling me that I don’t have a clue because I said there is an overpopulation of deer in Ohio and I need to educate myself before speaking. The entire reason Avon Lake did this is because the area is over populated. Same in Hudson, Brunswick and others that have gone to similar measures to keep the herd undercontrol. Look at the bag limits in Trumbull and Licking county and it will tell you they are trying to thin the herds. You’re up in arms over fawns, but a respectible hunter would not shoot a fawn.

          • Bill Love

            you said it is not about hunters remeber

        • tommtomm

          hudson makes you take a test with your bow if you fail no hunting

          • mudlovinmom

            That’s perfect. Test to weed out the idiots.

      • tommtomm

        some of us hunters are worried about the carnage/ deer running around wounded because someone who thinks they are a hunter is going to shoot a fawn or pregnant doe. they need to do like hudson and make you shoot a target and take a test

    • Simon Jester

      Morels are delicious. (You godd*****ed moron)

      On that note, I believe I’ll go find a place that serves veal.

    • Simon Jester

      I got a “Prize fawn” with my car last summer…

  • Mr Fahts

    HOW DARE YOU SHOOT THOSE POOR INNOCENT DEER?!?!?!?!? Why yes, I would like bacon on my cheeseburger……

  • Tim Brookes

    There are more important things to do then to spend any more time on this until some time has passed, currently no data to base any worth on the endeavor.

  • Simon Jester

    In other news, apparently you need Morels to get a permit.

    Good on Avon, even if a certain jackass of a councilman did his best to derail it.

    • Jeff

      you are nothing but an internet troll like sis with nothing better to do with your life…be gone with you

      • tommtomm

        have you looked into the hunting yet? how may people are actually going to let people hunt

        • Jeff

          I was going to go there next week and get all the info and paperwok needed…if they have it ready.

          • tommtomm

            i talked with the chief and he said its not a open hunting season for the city, the landowner has to get a damage permit from odnr and then the police have to make sure its a safe area then they can hunt. i asked about hunting the coupke hundred acres the city owns and they said no its only for landowner damage.

          • Jeff

            ok….thx

      • Simon Jester

        I’m not the emotionally incontinent bleeding heart whining about deer culling here…