December 22, 2014

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Avon Lake deer control ordinance takes effect

A mother deer and her two fawns play at Bleser Park in Avon Lake.An ordinance allowing residents to manage deer populations through bow hunting takes effect today. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

A mother deer and her two fawns play at Bleser Park in Avon Lake.An ordinance allowing residents to manage deer populations through bow hunting takes effect today. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

AVON LAKE — The city’s municipal deer control permit ordinance officially takes effect today, although it will still take some time before landowners can apply for one.

According to Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka, the police chief is putting the final touches on the procedure to obtain a permit.

“We will find out in due time what the specific rules are,” Zilka said.

Under the ordinance passed by City Council July 14, property owners must apply for a municipal deer control permit through the Police Department, in addition to a deer damage control permit through the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The Police Department then will visit properties to determine whether hunters will be allowed to cull deer on that property.

“Landowners contact the Division of Wildlife, who inspects and determines if there is deer damage,” Zilka said. “If they determine there is, they issue a permit, or several, for culling deer. Then the landowners must have the police department inspect properties for the possibility of culling.”

If the Police Department deems it safe to cull deer on a specific property, the landowner can use archery equipment to shoot deer, or have someone else come on their property to do so.

Police Chief Duane Streator said the department is reviewing the city’s permit rules with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and they soon will be forwarded to the city law director for final review.

“We are hoping residents will be able to take care of their problems in other ways before going to the next step and applying for a permit,” Streator said. “But I do foresee issuing some permits.”

Zilka said once the municipal control permit rules are determined, all information pertaining to the process will be posted on the city’s website.

“I hope this can start soon and we will see how many people come forward who are truly interested,” Zilka said. “The emphasis will be on safety and people will need to have hunter’s license, take safety courses and meet all the requirements. The police will monitor this, and I’m confident they will do a good job.”

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