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Will Solon Use White Buffalo Again for Deer Sharpshooting?

Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek is investigating other sharpshooting options, but said White Buffalo is still interested in working with Solon

Will White Buffalo, the controversial sharpshooting company that culled deer for Solon a few years ago, take aim again at Solon's deer herd?

Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek said the Connecticut-based company remains interested in working with Solon as it moves forward on its .

Stanek has told city council that he hopes to have cost estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to manage Solon's deer program by Monday's meeting. 

And the USDA has a relationship with White Buffalo. Stanek said that Andy Monteney, the Ohio USDA official he is in discussions with, trained Anthony DeNicola, White Buffalo's president and CEO.

One difficulty for the city is that White Buffalo is a lightning rod for anti-hunting activists. The other problem is that White Buffalo may be the only professional option if the city wants to use sharpshooting.

Ward 6 Councilman Ed Kraus said White Buffalo was the only bid city officials received earlier in the decade when they started sharpshooting, and may be the only professional option available in the United States.

Stanek said he is searching for other companies comparable to White Buffalo, and has interest from others, but safety and professionalism are a big concern.

"There are people interested in doing that, but I'd be concerned about experience and credentials," Stanek said.

Solon's original White Buffalo contract angered animal rights groups and residents against lethal deer culling, who argued that there are more humane ways to manage the deer population. They protested at meetings and came out in force to fight the decision.

In January 2006, Solon resident Belinda Geiger was arrested and accused with menacing, stalking and threatening DeNicola.

The criminal case against Geiger was dismissed in 2007, but Geiger also sued the city and DeNicola. That lawsuit was settled in 2008 with the city and White Buffalo paying Geiger $12,500 each, according to the newspaper.

From 2004 to 2009, White Buffalo killed more than 1,000 deer in Solon, cutting the herd from more than 900 in 2004 to about 450 in 2009.

The number of deer-car accidents dropped as a result from 165 in 2004 to 45 in 2009. 

Stanek has said that sharpshooting is the most efficient way to cull the deer herd, but the downside is that it's expensive, costing about $400 per deer.

For example, bow hunting, another lethal method city council is considering, is essentially free, because the costs are offset by fees charged to hunters.

Lucy McKernan June 17, 2011 at 07:15 PM
And another thing: I've spoken with a number of wildlife professionals, humane agencies, vets, etc. -- all of them agree that the net and captive bolt -- akin to repeatedly stabbing a deer until it hits the right mark on the forehead, because that's actually what they do, repeatedly impale the deer while it thrashes around terrified and should never, EVER, EVER, EVER be misconstrued by any media outlet as "euthanasia," for which the literal translation is "merciful death" -- should not be used. Also, bow hunting has been condemned by wildlife biologists and agencies bigger and better than the old-school, greedy, special interest-mired Ohio Division of WildDeath, who regularly sends out agents to sell bow hunting as a deer population mangement tool. What the heck difference does it make when wildlife biology dictates the science? Rebound. Rebound. Rebound. Only difference is, one kill method is somewhat less hideous and cruel than the other. Is this 1011, or 2011?
Lucy McKernan June 17, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Solon. Has. Run. Out. Of. Options.
Belinda June 18, 2011 at 06:02 AM
Regarding the lawsuit, the city had filed a "cross claim" seeking to make DeNicola and White Buffalo, not the city, responsible. McClelland (City of Solon Attorney) confirmed that the city filed a cross-claim. It's our position that if anything was done inappropriately, it was DeNicola, not (the city)," McClelland said. Proof was provided that Mr. DeNicola committed FALSIFICATION in his original report to Solon Police (thereby also resulting in PERJURY) , however, the city refused to prosecute. Perhaps too controversial to expose the fact that the city had contracted with an organization led by someone capable of these crimes and not quite so trust-worthy? With professionalism being of such concern to Stanek, how could he possibly consider White Buffalo ? As for sharpshooting costs, none of the legal expenses were included in the culling costs. The city skirted the issue by claiming it wasn't deer related. And as we all wait for the often promised costs of hiring the USDA, how can it be insinuated that bow-hunting costs will be offset and essentially free ?
Belinda June 18, 2011 at 06:05 AM
I also agree with Lucy. There is no room for the euphemistic use of the word euthanasia. The city does not permit video taping of culling activities for fear that exposure will turn even the most diehard culling advocate. While it is true that videoing captive bolt torture will be difficult due to the use of covers over the cages/nets, it will be impossible to stop the audio recording of the horrendous bloodcurdling screams of the deer. And it won't be necessary to remain a mere 500 ft beyond the site. Are these violent scenarios truly what Solonites want ? I think we deserve better.
Heinz Knall June 18, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Solon hired White Buffalo. Solon provided police protection for them and sided with them against it's own citizens. Solon stripped it's homeowners of certain rights to use and enjoy their property. I wondered at the time exactly who City Council was representing. I'd say they both got off easy. With regard to lethal management, the taking of a life is an act of violence regardless of the species involved. Generally that act is only justified only in the acquisition of food, or in defense of one's own life. I don't believe there are any people going hungry in Solon and I don't see gangs of deer going around mugging and threatening Solonites, in fact, its quite the opposite. There is already enough incidental violence in Solon, we don't need or WANT to invite any more in. Those that want to hunt deer with primitive weapons are free to do so, elsewhere! Those who say “kill them all”, need to do some serious soul searching.

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