Published on November 16, 2007
Proposed Deer Management Program: Proposed Deer Management Program September 19, 2007 Outline: Outline Need for Deer Management Program Multi-faceted Approach Recommended Non-Lethal Methods Recommended Bow-Hunting Program Pilot Program and Evaluation Need for Deer Management Program: Need for Deer Management Program In Granville, 62 reported crashes involving deer from 1995-2006 Total complaints involving dead or injured deer numbered 361 over that same period, with a high of 50 complaints in 2005 Actual numbers could be considerably higher because many incidents are not reported While the Village does not have accurate estimate of the size of local herd, Bill Bullard, Wildlife Division Officer from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, stated that the local deer population could easily exceed 1000 or more Residents in the eastern area of the Village have reported as many as 40 deer in a single sighting Need for Deer Management Program: Need for Deer Management Program If not actively managed, the deer population will continue to grow at a rapid rate. This statement is supported by scientific studies, many of which are cited in the publication entitled Managing White-Tailed Deer in Suburban Environments, a Technical Guide, published by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Office. Suburban environments create excellent deer habitat with an abundance of food and protection from hunters and non-human predators. Suburban areas provide a high-quality food source for deer. One study found the richness of the plant species in residential areas to be higher than in wooded habitats. Deer have high reproductive potential and populations can increase rapidly. In a fenced reserve in Michigan, there was a documented increase from six deer to 222 deer in seven years. Deer become very familiar with their home range, which enhances survival, and they seldom leave it. This allows for effective herd management on relatively small areas. Need for Deer Management Program: Need for Deer Management Program An overabundance of deer may cause: economic losses from damage to garden and landscape plantings and crops; bodily injuries and property damage from collisions with vehicles; health issues related to Lyme disease; environmental damage to the woodland ecology because deer feed on preferred plants and upset the natural diversity. Recommend a Multi-Faceted and Integrated Deer Management Program: Recommend a Multi-Faceted and Integrated Deer Management Program Promote and encourage residents to use non-lethal methods to make the Village habitat and environment less attractive for the deer. These non-lethal methods could be applied on a community-wide basis. Use limited lethal methods (bow hunting) in selective areas of the community where high populations of deer are already causing serious problems. Implement the program in cooperation with Granville Township and Denison University. Recommended Non-Lethal Methods: Recommended Non-Lethal Methods Use of Unpalatable Landscape Plantings Deer are selective feeders and their avoidance of certain plants can be an advantage in reducing the potential for damage to plantings. Browsing damage may be reduced by planting less-preferred species or placing the more desirable plants in protected areas. Whether a plant species will be eaten by deer is not an absolute, and can be influenced by fluctuations in deer populations, the availability of alternative foods, and weather conditions. Use of Repellents Repellents reduce the palatability of treated plants to a level lower than other available forage. Repellents are generally “odor-based” or “taste-based”. Research has indicated that odor-based products often out-perform taste-based solutions; plus odor-based repellents have an additional advantage in that the animals realize that the plants are treated before tasting. The effectiveness of the repellents can be weather-dependent. Some repellents are not long-lasting, even in the absence of rainfall. Also, deer are likely to ignore either taste or odor repellents when food is scarce. Recommended Non-Lethal Methods: Recommended Non-Lethal Methods Restrictions on the Feeding of Deer The supplemental feeding of the deer can enhance reproductive rates and the transmission of disease, encourage deer to concentrate in specific areas, and make the deer more tolerant of people. Feeding can also contribute to an artificially high deer population, especially during harsh winters. Regulations may reduce the number of people who feed deer, but feeding violations are difficult to detect unless a concerted effort is made. Dogs Dogs contained by an invisible fence have been an effective deer deterrent. Dogs are more effective than commercial repellents. The breed and disposition of the dog will influence the effectiveness of this technique. Dogs restricted by an invisible fence can keep deer out of an area if allowed to patrol day and night. Recommended Non-Lethal Methods: Recommended Non-Lethal Methods Warning Signs Deer warning signs should be posted and/or maintained along roadways where deer are frequently observed or where numerous accidents have occurred (for example, Newark-Granville Road, Jones Road, Fern Hill, Burg Street). Recommended Bow-Hunting Program: Recommended Bow-Hunting Program Non-lethal methods may reduce the amount of plant damage but will not reduce the reproductive rate of the deer herd. As the size of the herd increases, there will be more competition for the food that is available, causing the deer to ignore or resist the non-lethal methods. When the deer population becomes too great for the habitat to sustain and food supply becomes limited, the deer themselves will suffer. Therefore, the use of lethal control techniques to reduce the size of the herd should also be included in the deer management program. The staff is recommending that bow hunting be allowed in selective areas to reduce the size of the herd in those areas. The bow-hunting program would be controlled and regulated by the Village and would be designed to be unobtrusive. Properties Selected for Bow-Hunting Program: Properties Selected for Bow-Hunting Program Properties selected for the bow-hunting program would be in those areas where the Village has received a significant number of deer-related complaints, such as Fern Hill, Jones Road, the Bryn Du subdivision, Burg Street, and the Maple Grove cemetery. Hunting would be on public property or on those private properties that have been offered for hunting by the property owners. Hunting would be restricted to properties, either assembled or unassembled, that contain four acres or more. This could be reduced if no negative impact on public safety. Approximately 25 property owners have already indicated a willingness to make their properties available for bow hunting. Hunter Qualifications: Hunter Qualifications Experienced urban bow hunters who desire to participate in the Village bow-hunting program would make application to the Village through the Granville Police Department. An applicant would have to meet the following qualifications: Must possess or acquire all applicable Ohio hunting licenses and deer permits. Must have attended a state-approved hunter safety course Must pass an archery proficiency test Must have documented bow-hunting experience, preferably in an urban area Must successfully pass a background and criminal record check: No felony convictions within the past 10 years No convictions of violence within the past 5 years No convictions for a game law violation within past 5 years Hunter Selection: Hunter Selection The Police Chief, Village Manager, and a Township Trustee would select the hunters to participate in the 2007 bow-hunting program. Selection would be based on total years of hunting experience, prior urban deer hunting participation, and/or a law enforcement background. Hunters who are selected would be assigned to a specific Deer Management Zone. The 2007 Ohio bow-hunting season runs from September 29 through February 3. Hunter Procedures: Hunter Procedures The hunter must complete all necessary agreements with the landowner(s) on whose property he or she wishes to hunt. The hunter must make an appointment with the landowner(s) for an inspection of the property, the identification of areas for possible stand placement, and a discussion of property owner’s expectations. The hunter will be encouraged to hunt from a tree stand, which would be a minimum of ten (10) feet above the ground. If using a tree stand, the hunter would be required to use appropriate safety harness equipment. The hunter may take a harvested deer to a Village-designated processing facility and the meat will be processed at Village expense and donated to a food bank or other similar charity. Hunting Regulations: Hunting Regulations The hunter would be required to comply with all state and local hunting regulations The use of firearms would be prohibited under the hunting program; only bow and arrow may be used. The hunter would hunt only within the Management Zone designated by the Village of Granville The hunter will park his/her vehicle in the areas designated by the Property Owner and will place the parking permit on the windshield of the vehicle The hunter will not hunt within 250 feet of an occupied building or residence unless specifically authorized The hunter will not shoot an arrow across a highway, roadway, sidewalk, bikeway, or pedestrian pathway; or beyond the approved area. Hunting Regulations: Hunting Regulations The hunter will not shoot an arrow from a motor vehicle. The hunter will wear hunter orange while on the hunting site and while walking to and from the site. The hunter will not trespass on any property adjoining the hunting area. The hunter will not video, film, or photograph any portion of the hunt. The hunter will assume responsibility for liability for any injury or damage to property or persons while a guest on the property owner’s land during the hunt. Hunting Regulations: Hunting Regulations The hunter will remove any harvested deer in a discrete manner and will transport any deer so that it is not visible. The hunter will not consume any alcoholic beverages within eight hours prior to the start of the hunt; nor will the hunter consume any alcoholic beverages while on the property owner’s property during the hunt The hunter will remove entrails from the property owner’s land unless the property owner agrees to the burial of the entrails on the land. The hunter agrees to take two does before one buck is taken. A hunter participating in the 2007 hunt must harvest two antlerless deer in order to be eligible to hunt in the program in 2008. The hunter will call the police department at the time that he or she arrives at the hunting site and will also advise the police department when leaving the site. Hunting Regulations: Hunting Regulations All deer harvested must be tagged and checked in accordance with state wildlife regulations. The hunter must call the police department to report the state tag number, the name of the hunter, the sex of the deer, and the date it was harvested. The hunter shall notify the police department immediately if a deer is wounded, but not killed or retrieved. The hunter may only retrieve the deer on adjacent property after obtaining the adjacent property owner’s consent. If the property owner cannot be reached, the hunter must be accompanied by a Granville police officer when going onto the adjacent property to retrieve the deer. Pilot Program for 2007: Pilot Program for 2007 Because of the lack of lead time prior to the 2007 hunting season, the staff recommends that a smaller, pilot program be instituted in 2007; followed by extensive review and evaluation before implementing a larger program in 2008.