Gun, Bow Hunting Allowed in Avon Lake?
Meeting Thursday night is first to discuss amendments to city's current "no hunting" law to allow gun, bow hunting.
Draft legislation expected to be discussed at a meeting Thursday, Nov. 15, would allow deer hunting by firearm in 2013-14 if the legislation is approved. The ordinance is part of the city’s deer management program.
The legislation, drafted by Councilman Rob James, proposes that Ordinance 618.12, which currently prohibits hunting with firearms or “other weapons” in Avon Lake be amended. The draft says by the end of 2013-14, the director of public safety, the position currently held by the acting mayor, can declare hunting season of white-tailed deer by ODNR employees.
The ordinance allows the Safety Director to 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 along the Avon Lake Police Department or other qualified employees of the city to hunt white-tailed deer with firearms.
Avon Lake Police Chief David Owad said he would obey the law, if it were enacted, but noted that safety was imperative.
“If council passes this, it becomes law,” Owad said. “If directed by the Safety Director, we will fulfill our obligations under the law. If we’re directed, we’ll do it with safety being the primary concern.”
He added it would be “very premature” to make comments about how it would be enforced.
“I haven’t talked to the Safety Director and what he wants yet.”
Hunting with firearms would be permitted on city-owned property only, more than 5 acres in size.
Bow hunting Could Also Be Legal
The draft ordinance also allows for bow hunting, with a permit issued by the Safety Director.
Changes to the ordinance include:
- The applicant uses no firearms or other weapons except a bow and arrow, longbow, compound bow or crossbow.
- Hunting on private property is permitted with the property owners’ permission.
- If a deer is wounded, a hunter is not permitted to follow the deer onto another person’s property to pursue a wounded or killed deer unless the hunter has written permission to hunt or pursue the deer on that property.
- Hunting is only permitted on 5+–acre parcels, but the ordinance allows for hunting on a “combination of no more than three contiguous properties, not separated by a public roadway, that in combination are equal to or greater than five (5) acres.”
- Bow hunters must agree to hunt only from a fixed, elevated position at least ten (10) feet off the ground.
- Killed deer must be reported to the Avon Lake Police Department within 24 hours
If approved as is, the legislation would allow bow hunting out of season. Stipulations apply, including:
- 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.
- The location where the hunting will take place is a minimum of five (5) contiguous acres of wooded or undeveloped property from a height of at least 10 feet.
- Adjacent property owners must be notified in advance.
The proposal also recommends developing, 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.
Niether Zilka nor James were available for comment by publication.
The joint Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting is Nov. 15 in Council Chambers starting at 5:45 p.m. The meeting is a first step in discussing the amended ordinance.
Currently, hunting in Avon Lake is a third-degree misdemeanor.