Deer populations in an Ohio city were out of control, so authorities implemented limited archery hunting and sharpshooting.
Mentor is small Ohio city near Cleveland. Sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, it has plenty of wildlife jammed into its now-sprawling urban developments, which have popped up in the last three decades. Where there were once large tracks of woods and industrial lands forgotten by time and home to animals, there are now homes, factories and retail stores. The deer have now become overpopulated, migrating into tiny backyards and city parks and causing an increase in car accidents. Something had to be done.
The hot topic of what to do with the now-exploding whitetail deer population was a heated one. Limited archery hunting was allowed on certain parcels with enough land to support it. Officials then called in police sharpshooters to snipe the overpopulated deer in park areas.
That was five years ago. According to The News-Herald, hunters and police harvested 1,474 deer and donated 20,000 pounds of venison to local food banks. Back in 2010, there was an average of 33 deer per square mile. As of Jan. 1, that number is 14 deer per square mile.
There were 96 total deer-vehicle accidents in 2013, and only 27 reported accidents in 2017. The results speak for themselves.
With the use of sharpshooting and archery hunting, this Ohio city was able to see positive results. Cities facing deer overpopulation issues should examine this success story for their own deer management practices.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.