To the Editor:
I was at the Nov. 15 Council meeting to discuss the proposed Ordinance regarding bow-hunting in Avon Lake.
From the comments that came at the Nov. 15 meeting, all but one was anti-hunting. It is apparent that the residents of Avon Lake do not want "hunting" within the city limits. But by the same token, they realize the need to control the deer population.
I believe the Ordinance as drafted focuses on "hunting" as opposed to "culling" the deer herd. To me, these are two different things. Hunting is a sport. Culling is a means to an end.
I found the proposed Ordinance to be extremely broad in its language. It leaves the door wide open to allow bow hunting at any time - given the discretion of the Mayor. It does not designate specific areas. It does not specifically outline the qualifications or expertise level of hunters applying for permits. I find the broadness of the Ordinance very troubling.
In my opinion, if we are to have an Ordinance on the books that addresses measures to control the deer population, then the Ordinance should be very specific. Here are some of the issues I think should be covered in any Ordinance that is considered:
- Culling should be done only for a short period of time - maybe two weeks at the height of the deer season.
- Culling should be carried out by professionals (since we can't afford sharpshooters, perhaps culling can be carried out by members of the Avon Lake Police Department or City employees who are experienced hunters).
- Firearms and bows may be used in the culling effort, but only used by members of the Avon Lake Police Department or City employees who are experienced hunters and only during the designated culling period. Hunting by bow or firearms is not permitted within the city limits at any time - EXCEPT during the designated annual culling period.
- Culling should be carried out in a "designated" area far away from schools, shopping, and residential areas. Preferably this can be done on City land.
- Weeks before the designated culling period, feed should be placed as bait so that deer get in the habit of coming to a designated spot to feed. Drawing the deer into a designated culling area decreases danger to residents, and increases the outcome of the culling effort.
- Large, visible signs should be posted around the designated culling area that display the dates and times of culling.
- During the designated culling period, hunters from elevated deer blinds will have a clear shot at their targets - thus decreasing wounding deer and humanely killing them with one shot.
- Deer blinds will be removed within one month after the conclusion of the culling period.
- The albino deer should be exempt from culling. (The last thing we want are groups of hunters from outside our community coming into Avon Lake to "HUNT" for a trophy. )
- Will the meat obtained from culled deer be given to local food banks and shelters? Or will the meat be sold? I'm sure there is a cost associated with preparing the meat taken from culled deer. This should be researched.
- Notice of the annual culling period will be posted throughout the City at least two weeks prior to the start of the culling period. Notice will also be given via the City's website, the Patch website, and emergency notification systems (like the automated phone and email notifications that were generated during Hurricane Sandy).
- Lastly, the purpose of this Ordnance is to cull the deer herd, NOT to allow hunting in Avon Lake.