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Don't Feed 'Em: New Law Aims to Stop Attracting Deer

Spreading more than half a pound of feed within six feet of the ground would be considered illegal feeding.

City leaders will be looking into creating a citywide law that will prohibit the feeding of deer in Avon Lake.

The Avon Lake Environmental Affairs Advisory Board (EAAB) will be addressing deer management issues at its next public meeting Feb. 1 where they will consider forwarding an ordinance to council for approval.

“The EAAB is charged by the Charter to consider environmental and natural resource issues impacting the city and its residents,” Councilman Rob James, the current Environmental Committee chair, said. “Over the course of at least the past year, EAAB has been studying the deer issue with members of City Council, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Cleveland Natural History Museum, the Cleveland Metroparks, members of the community and others.”

Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch, the previous council representative to the Board, brought up the issue at a December Environmental Committee meeting.

“The Department of Natural Resources is saying ‘don’t feed the deer,’” Fenderbosch said in December.

Fenderbosch has been a strong proponent of controlling the number of deer in Avon Lake. In the past year, overpopulation concerns have moved to the forefront in the city with the number of deer being cited as the cause of deforestation and a high number of traffic accidents, including

The city has had at least one complaint of deer feeding last year.

“I got a call that someone in Brittania Estates had 50 pounds of corn for feeding out,” Fenderbosch said. “It was starting to rot and there were a lot of droppings around the tree.”

Fenderbosch said that after the homeowner removed the corn, the stench remained.

“He was ordered by the city to dig up and replace the dirt,” Fenderbosch said.

The councilwoman said legislation she reviewed recommended allowing no more than ½ pound of feed under the height of six feet. Feed placed higher than six feet would be considered squirrel or bird feed.

Fenderbosch was using legislation approved in Onalaska, WI as a possible template for Avon Lake legislation.

That legislation says, “No person may place or allow any device or any fruit, grain, mineral, plant, salt, vegetable, or other material to be placed outdoors on any public or private property for the purpose of attracting or feeding deer.”

The legislation also states there is a presumption that the placement of fruit, grain, mineral, plant, salt, vegetable or other materials in an aggregate quantity of more than one half gallon at the height of less than six feet off the ground is for the purpose of feeding deer.

James said the community is welcome to attend the meeting and offer input. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 at , 32756 Lake Rd, Avon Lake.

Andrea S January 24, 2012 at 02:26 PM
What if you have a three sided compost pile which contains fruit and veggies? Or what about gardens? You may not intend to attract deer but someone else may argue that you are. Just a thought about what they have to do to prove you were intending to attract / feed deer.
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm January 24, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Seriously. Seriously. A law not to feed deer as they strip the parks and our gardens of vegetation, walk in the roads and create accidents and often death, spread disease. Government must think we are too dumb to realize deer need to be culled not fed.
Nicole Davis January 24, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Andrea, I agree that the legistlation sounds very vague. How are they going to differentiate between compost/garden/feed? I understand the committees goal here, however I think such a broad statement may have unintended consequences. This reminds me of the fencing legislation they were going to push through last year that would prevent many people from protecting their plants/gardens from deer and other animals. Not to mention that if you look around the city, there are many bird feeders that are not 6 feet in height. Would this new legislation prohibit these bird feeders?
Lori E. Switaj January 24, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Valid questions. I would recommend you attend the meeting or forward questions to Councilman Rob James at rjames@avonlake.org ahead of the meeting. To make it to legislation will require it to move from the EAAB to council, have several readings where public input is welcome and then move to a vote by council.
Kathleen count chocula January 25, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Kathleen we all know the government is too big and is killing jobs. When did your busisness fail? It was during the bush years right? The truth is there are some republicans that need to be culled too, but in the meantime if we just dont feed them maybe they will quit interferring with our beloved obama. P.s berner lost he is a loser and so are you and the other tea party whack jobs
Nick B. Fernando January 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM
It's great that this news site is keeping track of all the issues with the deer in this community. This is becoming a serious problem. It's time that the deer be exterminated once and for all! The roads and parks of this city will be safer once the deer are gone. Deer are dangerous, wild animals!
Frank Krempasky January 31, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Now that the city has opened up a public discussion, I hope they actually take this seriously. The deer are a big problem in the residential neighborhoods. They no longer have fear and I hope it does not take someone getting seriously hurt to open the city's eyes on this topic.
Patricia Vinch January 31, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Thank you Frank you are so right. Now maybe I can step out my front door at night and not get bitten by a very large dog and even drive down Walker without getting dizzy looking left,right,front, all at the same time.....Pat
Sandy Smith February 08, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Killing deer will not solve the problem. Deer regulate their numbers themselves. Culling deer will only induce more to fill the vacuum from the surrounding areas.
joeykash September 03, 2012 at 05:44 AM
hunting regulations, and bag limits are all carefully planned to keep overall deer herds health and numbers in check as well as generating money for a struggling economy. hunters would pay out of there own pocket at a chance to bowhunt deer populations that we have to hire special teams to help keep under control. vehicle accidents and starving deer living off food that people put out are results of overpopulation and lack of area wildlife management. yes they are beautiful and provide life via protien for families. a renewable resource for the health of deer and people. there is only so much natural food in any given area to feed a herd of deer, too many deer mean more deer relying on peoples food piles. just my 2 cents
MZ September 03, 2012 at 12:09 PM
We, culling republicans now? I knew that liberals were all for killing the unborn but assumed that ideological differences could be debated.
MZ September 03, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Sandy, your comment is simply not factual. The only way for deer to "regulate their numbers" is by starving which is likely not a conscious decision by the deer. Are you implying that after a cull more deer than before would be present or that deer would come back rouglu the same numbers?

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