Medina council abandons non-lethal method to control deer population

MEDINA, Ohio — The city council continued discussions on archery deer culling at Monday’s (July 11) meeting, with several members expressing they still support a culling program.

It comes after the council’s select legislation committee last week passed a recommendation for a non-lethal scheme to help control the deer population.

The Board may return to the issue after its summer break for more information, as well as more community feedback.

“At the meeting of the special committee on legislation, the non-lethal option is put forward. I guess the question is, are we going to make a combined effort to advance the lethal and the non-lethal together? asked Council Chairman John Coyne.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell said he has publicly stated that lethal and non-lethal programs should run concurrently.

The lethal program would be a cull option in the city and the non-lethal program would help educate the community and explore more humane ways to control the deer population.

“The rules and regulations that we have have been reviewed internally with (the) administration as well as with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,” said Jansen Wehrley, director of parks and recreation.

Some of these rules and regulations, as Wehrley stated, include archery hunters notifying the police department before they go out each day and after they return, using legal archery equipment, wearing a valid hunter’s license and more. Those who do not follow the rules and regulations would face repercussions.

“I am of the opinion, as stated at the special legislation meeting, that I wanted to see some clarification in the ordinance,” said Jess Hazeltine, Ward 1 council representative.

“It was delivered, so I’m happy with what was delivered. I think it would work best in conjunction with a non-lethal program. But, this time, I’m in favor of the ordinance as written,” she said after hearing additional information from city officials.

Ward 2 representative Dennie Simpson said he favors both programs and that the size of the deer population should be considered.

“For the safety of the deer and the drivers that come through our town, I think we have to deal with the numbers,” he said.

Council General Representative Bill Lamb still opposes the lethal program and favors the non-lethal option. He said that during the hunting season, even if hunters kill 75 deer, there will still be 500 deer in Medina, which will still cause the same problems the city is currently facing.

“If there are 500 deer here, after all this talking and all this work, no one will see a hosta (plant) safe. No one will see a deer not pooping in your yard,” Lamb said.

“All these things that have been so aggravating for people, nothing at all will change,” he said.

He went on to say that the 500 deer would breed out of season, replacing the deer that were killed and leaving the town in the same position when the next hunting season begins.

He also questioned the safety of the cull program and suggested that if the rest of the board are convinced it is safe, then they should abdicate responsibility.

“Obviously my vote would be no,” Lamb said.

Discussions on this topic will continue in August when the Board returns from its summer recess.

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