Residents in the village of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, stand divided regarding how to handle the large deer population. Some residents have complained about deer causing damage to their landscaping and yards, despite their use of deer repellent methods. The issue will be placed on the November ballot and if approved, will result in a thinning of the deer herd through permission to hunt.
If the proposition is voted down, no killing will take place. A majority of Ottawa Hills residents interviewed by local television station News 11 were opposed to hunting. One resident, Rob Slater, developed a website, VillageDeer.com. On it, he stated that hunting will not solve the overpopulation issue. In Mr. Slater’s words, “Whatever reduction in the number of deer we do in Ottawa Hills will only be temporary because they will be back in full from other locations.” According to Mr. Slater, the deer live in the neighboring Wildwood Metropark as well as surrounding communities.
Those who are opposed to the hunting have suggested that Ottawa Hills upgrade its fencing to be more effective at deterring deer. They also recommended using better forms of deer repellent, including natural methods like animal hair, netting, soap, and rotten eggs. These will not harm the deer but send the message that the animals are not welcome in the area.
Residents in favor of the hunt feel that it is a necessary step to controlling the deer population. One hunting advocate stated, “The people in Ottawa Hills have to put up with the deer population. It’s something that needs to be taken care of.” They believe that any reduction, no matter how temporary, is warranted.
The debate goes on and the issue will not be resolved until the November voting results are counted. Even if hunting is permitted, some long-term deer repellent tactics may be warranted. This will allow the animals and humans to co-exist in harmony.
Source: Berry, Dick. WTOL.com. Ottawa Hills deer dilemma goes to the ballot.