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Deer Plan Provides Lethal Options, But Decision Rests with City Council

The plan provides a list of options, including sharpshooting, crossbow hunting and combined trapping and euthanasia. Non-lethal methods are also discussed

Solon's deer management plan recommends a trio of lethal options to thin the deer herd plus a number of non-lethal methods to augment the effort.

What methods are used is ultimately up to the city council, which will begin debating the plan starting tonight at the safety committee meeting. That meeting is already under way.

The plan, put together by Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek, offers three lethal options: trapping and euthanasia, and sharpshooting.

Trapping and euthanasia would be used in areas where residents are concerned about safety and hunting is not an option. Crossbow hunting, the same program the city considered and scrapped earlier this year, would be attempted on city-owned property, and is the least-expensive lethal option. 

Sharpshooting – hiring snipers to attract deer to fixed locations and shoot them – is the . The city used a sharpshooting program between 2005 and 2009. The program was expensive but effective. More than 1,300 deer were culled during the program.

Eight non-lethal options are presented, including a ban on deer feeding, repellents, fencing and patrol dogs. But many of the options are dismissed as unproven or ineffective.

The idea of using "" – food-rich areas created to attract deer and keep them away from the roads – is being investigated. But one major problem is that deer parks can't be used with lethal methods, according to the plan.

The reason Solon officials are putting together a deer management plan is that the population has exploded in recent years, causing the number of deer/car accidents to rise. There were 450 deer and 45 accidents in 2009. In 2011, city officials project more than 1,069 deer and 91 accidents.

The plan says a safe level of deer density is 10 to 15 deer per square mile. In 2010, there were 34 deer per square mile in Solon.

"Decisions will need to be made determining what is deemed 'tolerable' as it relates to deer vehicle accidents and crop/landscape damage," the proposal reads. 

Check back to Solon Patch Thursday for more coverage of this issue. Also follow along with the meeting on Twitter.

John May 12, 2011 at 04:54 AM
Quite unimpressive, a political document saying very little, especially since it was copied from a small town. It's very clear no one wants to hold this hot potato, Russo asked Stanek, Stanek asked USDA Wildlife Services, they all claim our former police chief was wrong about safety. And now they want to outsource this to USDA WS, that will make White Buffaloo's cost of $500 per deer look cheap. Don't be fooled by Trap and Euthanize, it's one of the cruelest methods. See http://solondeer.blogspot.com/2011/05/long-awaited-deer-mgt-plan.html Thanks again Chris for your timely coverage.
Lucy McKernan May 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM
"What methods are used is ultimately up to the city council." Excuse me, but what do you call the petition we are circulating to get on the ballot SO THAT VOTERS CAN DECIDE? I think that intro paragraph says it all; we do not live in a democracy anymore and the poor, unfortunate animals suffer MOST. Dammit. "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore." I bet if council was compised of mostly or all women GOD FORBID, things would have never come to this. Solon council, you suck! I've spoken with hundreds of people inside and outside Solon while out there petitioning, and you would be so embarrassed to know the truth. Redeem yourselves before it's too late, and take this lethal plan off the table. You are acting like a bunch of Neanderthals and male chauvanists, except for maybe Kraus.
Heinz Knall May 12, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Congratulations on the City's success in what must have been a tortuous job of "cutting and pasting" the body of Granville's "Deer Management Program" into one of it's own documents. Solon gets no credit for original thinking and a "shame on you" for not at least footnoting Granville's original efforts and contributions to "Solon's" plan. Jeers to the disrespectful comments made by Mr. Stanek regarding the former Police Chief, who happened to oppose hunting in Solon. So I ask, who is better qualified to evaluate the safety issues involved with bowhunting, the public works professional, or the public safety professional? I think most would side with the Chief. I wonder if Mr. Stanek would have had the chutzpah to make that remark if Chief Godzich were still sitting in front of him at meetings? At no time during the presentation, or the questions that followed, were the thoughts of the current Police Chief solicited. Apparantly, his thoughts on the matter were neither needed, nor desired. It would have been nice, had he been allowed to comment, if only to assure the public that it's safety would not be jeopardized. My only regret about attending the meeting was that I could have been cutting the grass. Even at this time of year, the results would have lasted longer than Solon's deer Management Program and been a heck of a lot more gratifying.
Chris Mazzolini (Editor) May 13, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Everyone: I'm asking that you please keep the conversation civil. It's fine to disagree (and disagree strongly) but leave name calling and unfounded accusations out of it.
Lucy McKernan May 13, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Understood, Chris. Consider this perspective: "All is fair in love and war." We're talking about Solon leaders HAVING ALREADY UNNECESSARY killed thousands of innocent, sentient creatures here. What's a few "bad" words compared to that? Also, numerous studies indicate that hunting, an overwhelmingly male-dominated " bloodsport, is used to satisfy men's urge to dominate something beautiful, like deer. ; Let's not confuse the issue here: this IS hunting, not deer population management because Solon leaders know it's not an effective management tool to kill deer. Really let's PLEASE get off the rhetoric about this point; nobody likes having to repeat the obvious, esp. when decicion-makers continue to deny truth, and a dumbed-down public turns a blind eye. Also, it's true that Russo has attempted to stifle public outcry, a not-too-popular thing these days. Again, I don't thnk any "bad" words can compare to the murderous ways and blood on the hands of Solon city offiicals; I understand that this is a forum with language rules, etc. But let's put in perspective that the understandable feelings of outrage, disgust, frustration -- the very need to express these feelings -- is exactly what is called for here. Angry, offiensive words are borne out of the healthy recognition that one is being trampled on.
Rich May 13, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Chris, I haven't seen anything Laurel has written which could be called an "unfounded accusation". I think you need to update yourself on what the facts of this issue are. Your above comments indicate a real lack of understanding of the ballot initiative which is well on it's way to success. The only "uncivil " comments I've heard are the garbage coming out of Solon council. The behavior of Mr. Russo during the public comments on this issue was truly undemocratic and unprofessional. The so called master plan is an unfortunate result of the incompetence of those who maufactured it.
Larurel Alexander May 14, 2011 at 03:57 AM
I'm actually trying to RESTORE civility to Solon.
Belinda May 14, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Mr. Russo shows no respect for outsiders (nor insiders, for that matter), and yet... he's prepared to hire the USDA, who are, we all know, from Solon, right ? Our neighboring cities felt no need to hire the USDA to handle their deer, and yet Solon does ? This action will not restore your reputation. You cannot wipe your hands of the blood already shed, nor that to come, if you have your way. Democracy and civility in Solon is a joke.
Chris Mazzolini (Editor) May 16, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Folks: I recently had to remove a couple of comments because they violated our Patch's terms of use. (You can read them here: http://solon.patch.com/terms). Please read them and get to know the rules. We want to encourage a free flow of discussion and debate. We don't mind heated debate, but let's keep things civil. Thank you!
Barb May 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Killing deer in a densely populated city such as Solon puts citizens at risk, and is unacceptable. Saftey issues alone should preclude hunting in Sol0n, and, in addition, many Solonites find killing cruel and inhumane---especially BOW HUNTING, a killing method that hunting journals themselves tell us result in a kill rate of only 50%! So, if bow hunting is allowed, we can expect to see deer with arrows stuck in them, suffering and dying a slow painful death. Come on, we should be better than that! The refusal to allow public testimony from experts on non-lethal solutions puts the bias of most council members out on the table. Studies have demonstrated efficacy of non-lethal means to manage deer. Finally, it should be mentioned that it is clear during this petition campaign that many, many men are not in favor of killing deer in solon, and many men are helping with this petition drive to ban hunting in solon. So, hats off to those men who are man enough to know that killing a defenseless deer, not equally armed, says nothing about bravery, courage or skill!
Lucy McKernan May 27, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Kudos to you for your comment, Barb; couldn't agree more. And don't forget, readers, that words like "euthanize" or "euthanasia" as part of the language used to describe net and captive bolt -- it's an outright lie; the literal translation for euthanasia is "merciful death." Anything but merciful, few kill methos are worse than captive bolt -- designed for use on livestock/cows in factory farms (where brave documentary filmakers have proven even that kill method is far from humane, not even on cows). When used on prey species like deer that thrash around during the bolting/impaling process, it results in eyes and other parts of their heads to be pioerced. Literally, imagine looking out your kitchen window, and seeing peple capture a deer with a net, then repeatedly plunge a long bolt through various parts of its head and body before finally hitting the perfect spot on the front of the living, terrified creature's skull while it fights for its life; and that's just the first part. Now ask yourself this question: if Solon engages in this methods out of sight, say, on public or remote lands, is it OK with you then? Bow hunting is a close second. If you don't sign the petition THIS IS WHAT SOLON WILL DO!

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