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Hunting in Ohio: 3 Things to Know About Urban Deer Hunting in Cities and Suburbs

By    |   Monday, 01 June 2015 09:27 AM

The Buckeye State is a popular destination for avid hunters who live in the Northeastern parts of the country. 

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Deer remains, arguably, the most popular game that hunters pursue.  As North American cities, towns, and municipalities don't have predator populations to keep deer in check, deer populations in suburban and urban areas have become a nuisance.  Hunting helps to stem the growth of populations in urban areas.

So can you go to Ohio and hunt in suburbs and cities?

1. Deer Management Programs
Towns and cities throughout Ohio such as Gahanna and New Albany have instituted deer management programs, which permits hunting on lands within the various city and suburban areas.

In these deer management programs, rules and regulations apply to both hunters and landowners and there is a certain amount of training and orientation involved. In other words, hunting within city limits is not simply a free-for-all. New Albany’s city website states specifically that, “Hunting in New Albany is prohibited unless the hunter and the land are part of the Urban Deer Management Program.”

Actions such as these appear to be working. The municipality of Granville, Ohio, which has also instituted a deer management program in 2004, has experienced a reduction in the number of deer accidents and reports of property damage.

The benefits would seem to be mutual for both landowners and hunters; hunters no longer have to venture to remote parts of the state for their game. As a result, the number of deer hunters in urban areas has increased. In a 2013 Columbus Dispatch article, it was reported that “The village [of Granville] is in its seventh season of allowing bow hunters to shoot inside its boundaries. In the program’s first year, 17 hunters killed 38 deer. Last season, 86 hunters took 137.”

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2. A Complex Issue
While deer management programs have worked in certain parts of Ohio, other urban areas still wrestle with finding solutions to the burgeoning deer populations.

The city of Akron, Ohio, is one of many in the state in which setting off a firearm is illegal. In a 2014 article for akron.com, Geoff Westerfield (assistant wildlife management supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources) discusses the complexities involved with both the city’s regulations and the need to quell the rising urban deer population. He states that, “We (the ODNR) can set all the regulations we want ... but if the city doesn’t allow it, it takes our management ability out of the picture.”

3. Other Methods

Aside from hunting deer, people in cities such as Akron have looked to control property damage caused by deer through nonlethal actions such as fencing, sprays, and nonsurgical reproductive control methods. These methods have all displayed varying degrees of success.

Apparently, only so much along those lines can be done, however. In the same article for akron.com one frustrated resident complains about deer easily adapting to non-lethal deterrents, saying that “you can spray till the cows come home ... it helps a little, but it used to help a lot.”

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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The Buckeye State is a popular destination for avid hunters who live in the Northeastern parts of the country.
hunting in ohio, ohio, urban hunting
Monday, 01 June 2015 09:27 AM
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