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COUNCIL REJECTS DEER SHARPSHOOTING PROPOSAL

12/26/2017

COUNCIL REJECTS DEER SHARPSHOOTING PROPOSAL

At its December 26, 2017 meeting, Seven Hills City council unanimously rejected the prior Council's proposal to hire sharpshooters to remove deer in Seven Hills. This decision was based upon expert testimony from the city police department and communications with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), both opposing the sharpshooter idea.

The police testimony was that sharpshooting is not the best option for Seven Hills. Many cities have experienced positive results by implementing in-house sharpshooting. However, these cities do not have an understaffed police department, do not have the same financial restrictions, and have greater amounts of city-owned land where the shooting can occur safely. We have a bow hunting program that is going well, but has not been given an appropriate amount of time to determine efficacy.

The stated opinion of using outside contractors was even worse. Their goals are their own, their responsibilities are their own, and the cost per deer in hard to justify (estimated cost at least $450 or more per each deer). Even if an outside contractor is chosen, it does not eliminate work for city employees. Police must be intimately involved, additional personnel will be required to help monitor, oversee, and guard against outside interruptions. Other city personnel will be needed for transportation of the animal, disposal of the waste, and other tasks that may be needed by the outside group. The amount of time, money, and personnel to plan and execute a sharpshooting program will be extensive.

Another point to remember is that we will likely be creating a sudden vacuum for the deer that have some ranges shared between Seven Hills and our neighboring cities. As areas decrease in deer presence, the overlapping ranges will shift to the new pockets. This does not mean the program is ineffective, just that it will take more time and money to decrease the regional population. With a bow hunting program being used by all the surrounding cities, the goal is to gradually decrease the regional population rather than one individual city population.

Below is the December 21, 2017 ODNR letter to Council President Biasiotta, also opposing sharpshooting at this time and suggesting that Seven Hills instead continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the current bow hunting program over the next several years.