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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.

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 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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