Silver Village Council members said they favor implementing a deer population control program in a specific area and will soon examine a revised proposal for such an effort.
Council members said they wanted to set up a deer culling program on village-owned nature reserve property behind Village Hall and are now working on fine-tuning a draft ordinance that, if approved, would implement the initiative.
"That seems to be the consensus," said Council President Jerry Jones (At Large), after several Councilors expressed their thoughts. "Do something back here [behind Village Hall], with the bow hunters it gets down to how do we handle that with regard to the (Ohio Department of Natural Resources), whatever rules they may have."
Council member Christopher Scott (District A) said, "We can start there and see if it has an effect."
Jones asked Council members to review the draft ordinance issued by Mayor Bernie Hovey several weeks ago and send their suggested revisions to Solicitor Robert Heydorn.
Hovey said if Council reaches a consensus on what should be in the legislation, "it's possible that a revised ordinance may be ready for their review for the June 19 meeting."
The current draft ordinance proposes allowing only bow and arrow hunting from an elevated position. The mayor would be in charge of selecting and approving hunters. Residents would need to give consent for hunting to occur on their land; however, at this point, Council is only looking at allowing hunting on village-owned property.
If Council went ahead with the program, Hovey said he would anticipate giving four or five hunters the authority to hunt on village land. To qualify for consideration, a hunter would have to pass an archery course, show that they have experience with such programs, and meet other ODNR guidelines, according to Hovey. The hunter would be responsible for removing the deer, according to the mayor. At this point, village officials have said the intention is to have the cull only occur during bow and arrow hunting season, which runs from approximately September through February.
If a culling program was started, Resident Barb Tolliver suggested that meat from the deer could be used to feed the hungry.
"Perhaps that's a way where we could meet more people's needs," noted Tolliver. "They would feel better because the meat is going to feed homeless and hungry people."
Resident Vicky Marimon said she remains opposed to a culling program.
"You're going to be doing this every two years or every year," said Marimon. "Because the more you kill them, the more they're going to reproduce. It's a losing proposition."
She noted Rochester Hills, Mich. formed a coalition of residents that dealt with deer population issues, which included enforcing a no-feeding law with fines, establishing a deer education program, keeping track of deer-vehicle accidents and putting up road signs warning people about deer crossings.