When North Olmsted Had Deer (2014)



In 2014, the Mayor of North Olmsted introduced an ordinance which, on its face, allowed the elimination of deer from North Olmsted.

Requirements:  If you want to come to North Olmsted and shoot deer, you don't need much: 

  1. A bow and arrow

  2. Buy a hunting license and get a state deer culling permit

  3. Complete an on-line hunter safety course (or take a eight hour instructor-led course)

  4. Get the city permit and verify you notified neighbors

  5. Shoot yourself a deer

How long to prepare:  That's it, that is all that is necessary. Once you get the state permit, you can go from knowing nothing to shooting deer in a day.  It sounds like getting the state deer culling permit will take a bit of time.

When:  There is nothing in the law.  As with other laws, like Avon Lake, it is open season, year round.

Who can hunt:  It is for anyone from anywhere.  You can be from Europe and come to North Olmsted, as long as you can get the license.

Donated meat:  Nothing of the sort in this law.  You keep the meat.

No "sharpshooters":  There is no such thing in the law as a "sharpshooter".

No treestands or elevated positions:  In the law you can shoot horizontally or vertically; there is no need for a treestand.

Click here for a link to the proposed law.

Here are some thoughts I have regarding the ordinance


When you bow hunt deer, it is entirely foreseeable that the animal will not die when shot.  When in a forest, like if you are in Ohio's Salt Fork State Park, you follow the dying animal until it finally dies.  North Olmsted is a second ring suburb to a major Ohio city.  We are densely populated.  Our traffic is heavy.  Our sidewalks are used.  When a hunter shoots a deer in North Olmsted, it is entirely foreseeable that that injured animal will interact with people as it runs away in the process of dying.

The possibility of that animal causing property damage, causing physical injury or death is entirely foreseeable.

When that property damage, physical injury or death occurs, those affected will look to be made whole again.  They will look for the person that is responsible for the property damage, physical injury or death.

The first person that will be named are the hunters.  They knew this was possible.

The second person that will be named is the land owner.  Due to the foreseeabilty of the loss, the landowner is a vital part in allowing the damage to occur.

The third party to be named will be the City.  But for the City's action, in light of and knowing about the foreseeable risk, the City is a full participant in the resulting damage.

Why any of these three parties would undertake the risk to those around them is quite beyond me. 

Deer as a boogie monster

In order to shoot deer, the mayor, city council and proponents will have to make deer into boogie monsters, a fictional evil that will threaten the health and safety of the population … if we let it. As deer have been populous for at least forty years, the city can't look back.  Outside of a few car accidents and the loss of a few hostas, deer haven't been a problem.

So they will have to convince us that deer pose a threat. And during each and every claim, I find myself hearing the implied preface to the claim of, “Deer haven't been a problem yet, but ...” and then they continue with the stated claim.

Ticks and horrible diseases:  Head south around Columbus and you'll see lots of ticks. Up here, with our hard freezes, not so much so. As there is nothing to suggest people have been dropping over the last forty or so years, the claimant will have to admit, “It hasn't happened in North Olmsted yet, but ….”

Aggression and stalking: Outside of a doe who just gave birth to a fawn that is under some tree, deer run away. This claim is usually followed by great concern about a small child being stomped to death. Then there is concern the deer might stalk someone, like a fur-covered-Chucky-monster hunting its next victim. “It hasn't happened in North Olmsted yet, but ….”

Starvation: They will run out of food. No they won't. North Olmsted's “Save Our Hosta Society” will insure that. And then the claimant goes on, “It hasn't happened in North Olmsted yet, but ….”

Hostas: They murder hostas so they should be murdered. Yeah, they ate your hostas, you got me on that one.

Experts like the Cleveland Metropark on deer culling

The Cleveland Metropolitan Park is a managed ecosystem. Nature is bent and moved in order to fit Metropark's version of “nature”.

They are constantly spraying to kill off new species that find their way into the park. In another area they plant species they think should be growing. They have to wrap it in a wire cage because that same ecosystem really doesn't want them to succeed. They are managing a particular vision.

They clear cut the deer population yearly. After they “cull” you won't see a deer down there for a long time. Then they do it again twelve months later. They are managing the park, managing their vision.

If the park could talk, it would tell Metpark to back off and leave it alone. Spraying a few acres to kill an intruding plant is silly when there are 20,998 acres left untreated. The fact that the deer return year after year, only to be slaughtered year after year, suggests that deer are supposed to be there, and in greater numbers.

Metpark isn't nature, it is a painting of a version of nature which Metpark believes is appropriate.

Still, it is pretty and a nice place to walk. Even if they are spraying and killing plants all around the bridle trail I'm walking on. Even if they are planting shoots that have to be wrapped in wire mesh cages so that that same ecosystem doesn't eliminate their work.

Given that, I'm not sure I need or want Metpark's vision to be transferred to the North Olmsted's ecosystem. Metpark has no voice.  Luckily, North Olmsted residents do have a voice.


Metropark is already hunting in North Olmsted

Metropark is heavily baiting along it's borders and into the yards of North Olmsted residents in an attempt to lure deer from North Olmsted into the park.  Metropark is already hunting in North Olmsted by baiting the deer in this fashion.  They are killing them in the park (also North Olmsted property).

This opens the question as to whether the baiting done is by the park or the people and employees that the park is allowing to shoot the deer in the park.


What is to be culled next?

Recently, the City made it illegal to own a duck, pot bellied pig, or a micro pig.  Because of a resident who had a menagerie of animals, the City swung a heavy hammer and eliminated that problem.  The brush to craft this prohibition was very broad.

We are a community closely managed by our government.

As they move on, to paint more of the government's vision, what will be shot and killed next?  If killing off the deer population is OK, why not the groundhog population?  How about those nasty chipmunks?  Squirrels?  Birds that had the audacity to poop on a car belonging to the spouse of a city employee?

What is to be culled next?


Is this a hunter's rights issue or a public safety issue?

In the Facebook group "You know you're from North Olmsted, if ....", the people who strongly support shooting deer are most often hunters wanting to hunt.  In other words, supporters are looking toward their own interests.  They like to kill and eat deer.

This issue is not about hunting rights.  It is about the safety of the people in and around the area in which the deer is shot.  It is about the deer taking off, as bow-hunted deer most often do, to die later and at some other location.  It is about the interaction of the wounded animal with innocents on the streets and in cars.  It is about the public safety of the citizens.


Bye bye deer!  Notes from the October 14, 2014 Council as a Whole meeting

Bye bye deer. The Council as a Whole meeting on October 14 showed people wanting the deer shot outnumbered those that did not more than two-to-one. Fourteen spoke in favor, citing fears for their grandchildren, lost vegetation and just wanting to hunt as reasons. Five spoke against and two were undecided. What this means, in political language, is that the ordinance is going to pass, quite possibly as it is written. Kudos to the City for stating the issues as they were, the good with the bad. I disagree completely, but I have to say the City handled this meeting with administrative professionalism that is rarely seen in North Olmsted politics. Bye-bye deer, I did enjoy your company at my backyard fire.


Specious promises - attractive-sounding promises that are not written into the law

That being said, there were some ill-advised promises made at this meeting.  For example, the Mayor stated that he would require shooting from elevated platforms and good sized lots.  Nothing of that is in the law.  While this mayor can make those promises, that same mayor can change his mind.  Should another mayor be elected, which will happen at some point. the new mayor will care less about the promises made by the old mayor and may or may not change the character of the shooting.  A promise outside the text of the law is worth as much as the politician making it.


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