Avon Lake's Proposed Gun, Bow Hunting Ordinance
Full text of proposed amendment to Avon Lake's hunting ordinance.
BY: Mr. James TEMP NO: ____
ORDINANCE NO. _ ______
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING TOOLS TO MANAGE THE WHITE-TAILED DEER
POPULATION WITHIN THE CITY OF AVON LAKE
WHEREAS, the overpopulation of white-tailed deer within the City of Avon Lake negatively impacts public health and safety primarily due to an excessive number of deer-related vehicular accidents, as well as destruction of natural habitats and biodiversity, increases the risk of disease transmission to humans from deer parasites, and damage to private and public property; and,
WHEREAS, the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board considered and studied various options to control the deer population, with the assistance and input from Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and other municipalities, and conducted public meetings to assess public opinion on a deer management program; and,
WHEREAS, the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board recommended to the Environmental Committee of City Council to adopt a comprehensive deer management program; and,
WHEREAS, City Council has studied deer overpopulation through a joint Environmental and Safety Committee, by soliciting professional assistance and input from the public; and,
WHEREAS, City Council believes a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to managing the deer population is the most effective strategy and continues to study additional tools such as education, contraception, and traffic safety efforts; and,
WHEREAS, a deer culling program has been in effect in the City of Avon Lake since 2004 that allows the hunting of deer under certain circumstances pursuant to Ordinance No. 165-2004; and,
WHEREAS, City Council desires to provide the Mayor, as the Director of Public Safety, with as many safe, effective, and feasible tools as possible to address deer overpopulation; now therefore,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AVON LAKE, STATE OF OHIO:
Section No. 1: That Codified Ordinance 618.12 is amended as follows:
(a) No person shall hunt with firearms or other weapons within the City. The Mayor shall cause signs to be posted in various locations in the City warning of this prohibition hunting is only allowed under specific circumstances. This prohibition shall not be construed to prohibit hunting by use of traps., except as follows:
(1) The Director of Public Safety shall, by the end of the 2013-2014 declared hunting season of white-tailed deer by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, and for each year thereafter as may be necessary:
- i. Develop and implement a deer management plan directing the Avon Lake Police Department or qualified employees of the City of Avon Lake to hunt white-tailed deer with firearms on any property owned by the City of Avon Lake under such circumstances and in such manner as the Director of Public Safety deems safe and appropriate, including, but not limited to providing adjacent and nearby property owners of multiple notices, cordoning hunting areas off from public access, and instituting police patrols around hunting areas; and,
- ii. Undertake such measures to secure appropriate hunting authorization from the state and to process deer carcasses; and,
- iii. Develop, in coordination with a university or research institute, a proposal which outlines a scientific research project and seek permission from the state to use contraceptives for scientific research on white-tailed deer within the municipality, and implement such contraceptive research project upon receipt of permission by the state.
(2) The hunting of white–tailed deer may be permitted when a permit is issued for such purpose by the Director of Public Safety, or his designee, upon the following terms and conditions:
- i. The hunting shall be conducted in accordance with the permit and only commensurate with the declared hunting season by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. The permit shall be subject to such reasonable requirements as are deemed necessary to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city and shall be conditioned upon the applicant complying with all laws, rules and regulations of the city and state. All applicants shall agree, in writing, to defend and indemnify the City for any intentional or negligent acts committed by the applicant while exercising rights granted hereunder. This agreement shall be part of the application, and signed by the applicant.
- ii. The applicant uses no firearms or other weapons except a bow and arrow, longbow, compound bow or crossbow.
- iii. Prior to the issuance of a permit, the Director of Public Safety, or his designee, shall make a determination that the applicant has complied with all laws, rules and regulations of the state and has the written permission of all property owners upon whose land the applicant intends to hunt.
- iv. The property owner(s) upon whose property hunting may be permitted shall be required to complete and sign an affidavit prescribed by the Director of Public Safety indicating the person or persons he is authorizing to hunt on his property for the current hunting season.
- v. No person shall enter upon another person’s property to pursue a wounded or killed deer unless the pursuing person has written permission to hunt or pursue the deer on that property.
- vi. For the year in which the application is filed, the applicant must provide proof of proficiency with a longbow, compound bow, or crossbow by such test or tests established by the Director of Public Safety or his designee. Applicant must provide written proof of the type of bow utilized in the proficiency test and that he has achieved the required proficiency.
- vii. Hunting of white-tailed deer shall be allowed only on parcels of five (5) acres or greater, or a combination of no more than three (3) contiguous properties, not separated by a public roadway, that in combination are equal to or greater than five (5) acres. There shall be no hunting within two hundred fifty (250) feet of a lot line that is not part of a parcel whose owner has given permission to hunt, or within two hundred fifty (250) feet of a driveway or roadway. The Director of Public Safety, in his sole discretion, may determine any property unsuitable for hunting, regardless of size and location, if he determines public health, safety, or welfare could be impacted.
- viii. Any person obtaining a permit under this section and any property owner giving written permission for deer hunting on the owner’s property shall have been deemed to consent to the entry upon the property by the Avon Lake Police Department and/or other persons designated by the Director of Public Safety to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- ix. Any person obtaining a permit under this section shall provide owners of property adjacent to property where hunting will take place under this subdivision notice of the time and date of any hunting and shall inform the Avon Lake Police Department of the location, date, and time of the hunting.
- x. All applicants must agree to hunt only from a fixed, elevated position at least ten (10) feet off the ground. Applicants shall not attempt to shoot at a deer upon or over a private driveway, public road or highway, or when that person can visually see residential structures, vehicles, or other persons in the background of his or her shot direction.
- xi. The first deer harvested by a hunter in any season must be an “antlerless deer,” as defined by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
- xii. Any hunter who kills a deer, shall report such a kill to the Avon Lake Police Department within twenty-four (24) hours of the killing and allow it to be inspected by the Avon Lake Police Department if so desired.
- xiii. The Director of Public Safety may promulgate any further rules or regulations to safely and effectively implement this subdivision.
(3) The hunting of white–tailed deer is permitted outside of the declared hunting season by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, upon the following terms and conditions:
- i. The owner of the property where hunting will take place has obtained a deer damage permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
- ii. The location where the hunting will take place is a minimum of five (5) contiguous acres of wooded or undeveloped property.
- iii. The method of hunting under this subdivision uses no firearms or other weapons except a bow and arrow, longbow, compound bow or crossbow.
- iv. Hunting under this subdivision shall only be conducted from a fixed, elevated position at least ten (10) feet off the ground.
- v. Hunting under this subdivision shall be in compliance with all rules, regulations, permit terms, and orders of Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
- vi. Owners of property adjacent to property where hunting will take place under this subdivision shall be provided notice of the time and date of any hunting.
- vii. Hunting under this subdivision shall be in compliance with all laws, rules and regulations of the state and the City of Avon.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by law, hunting by use of traps shall not be prohibited.
(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third first degree and shall be subject to the penalty provided in Section 698.02.
Section No. 2: That Ordinance No. 165-2004 is hereby repealed.
Section No. 3: That the Service Director shall post appropriate signs at various locations within the City communicating that hunting is only permitted under specific circumstances.
Section No. 4: That it is found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the adoption of this Ordinance were conducted in an open meeting of this Council and that all deliberations of this Council and any of its committees that resulted in such formal actions, were in meetings open to the public, in accordance with all legal requirements, including Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.
PASSED: _________________________ ____________________________
President of Council
POSTED: _________________________ ____________________________
ATTEST: _________________________ ____________________________
Clerk of Council Mayor