Thursday, November 3, 2011

Driver Education Reduces DVAs

Here's a press release from the Mayor of Rochester Hills describing how their driver education program has significantly reduced DVAs.

In Solon, our so called "comprehensive" plan makes no effort to use this type of low cost non-lethal approach. The only public "education" program revolves around justifying the killing program (counting deer, DVAs, and deer damage complaints).


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Friday, October 14, 2011

How Many?

We hear there are "too many" deer, how many is too many?  The city pretends to know, but the truth is they do not know by their own admission!  They moved forward with the USDA contract to spend $128K to kill 400-500 deer (Aug 15 Council) and admitted on the record that they DID NOT have a deer count, just an estimated projection of about 1000 (they cancelled the aerial survey in March that the new Deer Mgt Plan requires).

The main justification for the killing is DVAs. Russo asked the police chief what the DVA count was, he admitted that he hadn't looked since May.  But that didn't stop the city from moving forward not only with the USDA contract but the Deer Mgt Plan that requires them to have annual deer counts and DVA counts.

The Deer Mgt Plan claims the city goal is 206-309 (final revision pg 11), so the city's goal is to kill 700-800 deer.  If the USDA killed 400, then bow hunting would need to kill as many as another 400.  If the USDA killed 500, bow hunters would have to kill at least 200.

The $128K only includes sharpshooting, it doesn't include support costs (considerable support issues, see USDA post), police overtime, and processing costs for sharpshooting.  And while the city won't be paying the bow hunters, it won't be free!  There will be costs to administer the program, to test the hunters, to insure compliance, record keeping, and of course more police overtime.

So maybe the real question isn't how many deer are too many, but how can the city commit this much money  when no numbers are really known?  You have a chance to decide by voting YES on Issue 94!

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

City clarifies non-lethal alternatives


At the end of the short Oct 3rd council meeting, Russo asked Stanek several leading questions on the deer issue in an attempt to refute claims that the city's Deer Management Plan only paid lip service to non-lethal methods. The Oct 3 meeting is here (for now, changes occurring at city web site), Russo's comments are at 19:20 to 26:44, over 7 minutes on the deer issue which WAS NOT on the agenda.

Russo first started talking about deer being killed by DVA during mating season and how many accidents were avoided by killing them first and then a much longer diatribe about the "non-lethal" methods that were HOMEOWNER responsibility and not the city's. While listing each of the non-lethal methods, Stanek claimed that they were homeowner responsibility so that the city had no involvement in non-lethal methods. Noticeably absent from the list was any mention of the city "maintaining the Strieter Lites".

This makes the comprehensive plan just a killing plan, and that is what we've been saying all along.

A great letter to the editor is on the news site here.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's official, killing delayed

At the Aug 15th Council Meeting we heard Public Works Commissioner Jim Stanek say he could have a pilot bow hunting program in place by Sept 24th, the start of deer hunting season.

In a private conversation before the Safety and Public Properties meeting, Stanek indicated that the city would NOT move forward with any killing before the election.

At the end of the Safety meeting Chairman Russo talked about Deer Mgt, which was not on the agenda. He wanted to correct some "falsehoods" (interesting word, seems he got that from; He then said there would be "No culling before the election". He was interrupted and asked for clarification on hunting vs killing by any means, including a pilot program, he responded that there would be "no hunting, no bow hunting, no culling" before the election.

So it's OFFICIAL on the record, the city will not kill before the election. They've heard the public, make sure they hear you again on Nov 8th by voting YES on Issue 94.

For more details see the meeting on video here at 7:19 pm 1 hr 29 min 26 sec to the end of the meeting

It has been Russo's habit to use his position on council to discredit those who disagree with him.  He brought up the following points:
  • DVA accidents since culling stopped
    Police chief said he had no new data since May at which time he thought they increased significantly, but had no exact figures
  • Choosing properties
    is done on a volunteer basis, but must meet certain criteria
  • Safety protocols in place
    A dedicated police officer to make sure no one enters a culling zone (they'd be trespassing)
  • Hunting or Wandering
    No one will be roaming the city with deadly weapons
  • Scaring the public
    by saying people are roaming the city with deadly weapons is a "falsehood"
  • No "culling before the election"
    taking necessary steps to move forward IF we are going to cull
  • Presumptuous to assume that everyone who signed the petition is for hunting ban
    Russo knows a number of people signed it so it could be settled once and for all
  • Taking steps to insure that we can take steps during THIS hunting season without another year going by
And as usual, Russo made mis-statements too.

  • He tried to say DVAs are up to justify moving forward this year, yet there are no numbers available.
  • In the past neighbors could "veto" a property being used, in this USDA contract, it isn't readily apparent.
  • While no one will be roaming the streets with deadly weapons, if a deer isn't killed it can wander onto someone else's property and hunters may track it off the approved property.
  • It isn't about guessing how many of the 1600 will vote for Deer Preservation Act, its about ALL 1600 expressing their right to DECIDE instead of city hall.
  • In order to TAKE STEPS one should have data, there IS NO DEER COUNT and no current DVA count.
  • Russo erroneously thought the hunting season was Jan-Feb, its actually Sept-March.  One should know these things before they decide on them.

At 7:33 1:23:40, Russo was asked to clarify the "no culling", he responded, that there would be "no culling, no crossbow, no lethal methods".

Status: Third Draft

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Solon Contracts with USDA

City council voted 6-1 (Pelunis disagreed) to enter into a contract with the USDA.

Here's my first cursory review of the contract
  • Stanek is the point man for the city (no surprise, it could have been Viland though)
  • Meetings are by invite only of Stanek or USDA
  • They can amend any time without public notice or council action (eg add captive bolt)
  • They likely would have to go to council for approving more than $128K (I will get the legal ordinance language)
  • USDA will kill on public and private property with needed ODOW permits
  • No provision is included to require adjoining property owner permission, it seems this is at the city's discretion
  • USDA will supervise their own people and activities
  • All media discussions about this MUST be approved by the city AND USDA (gag order)
  • Any legal conflicts with USDA are governed by Federal Tort law (making any legal action must less likely)
  • USDA told Solon there are private suppliers (wonder if they mentioned anyone other than WB)
  • Only 2/3 of the cost ($87K) is for the killing activity the other $41K is for Vehicle, Travel, Supplies, and "Program Support" (Management overhead?).
  • The cost is capped at $128K for USDA billing, however the city will incur significant costs over and above $128K for items listed below.
Items that will take city resources in addition to the $128K
  • City must obtain ODOW permits
  • City project coordinator must be accessible by USDA via cell
  • Stock bait sites a week before and each day of killing
  • City Police need to ensure areas are closed and empty
  • City Police need to be present while USDA is killing
  • Eviscerate, clean, store deer and ice carcasses after each day's kill
  • Transport deer to processing plant within 24 hours
  • Maintain records and produce reports for ODOW (didn't WB do that)
Check back for text of contract
See Patch Article on this issue

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Aug 15th Council

Despite objections to moving forward, council discussed the plan and had it on first reading, no action was taken, the full council was not present.  Next council is on a special date Sept 7 at 7:30 due to labor day.

The meeting video is here, public comment from 10:30 min to 13:20 min, the plan discussed (item 9)  from 25:20 min to 29 min and comments from Russo from 57:20 min to 58:50 min.

Stanek forwarded an agreement with the USDA WS to the law director for review.  The quoted price of $128K was to kill 400-500 deer.  Stanek further said that if the city of Solon had to cancel the program they would only incur costs up to that point and not for cancelling the contract.

Russo asked Stanek to correct a misstatement by the Solon Sun who editorialized that lethal and contraception methods should be used together.  Ohio law doesn't allow this effective method to be used.

Lobe warned that the ballot initiative would repeal any inconsistent measures they pass, he said he's not telling them not to go forward, he's just stating that it could be repealed.

Russo discussed how much food banks appreciate donations of venison.

Near the end of the meeting, Russo also disputed the claim that the plan concentrated on lethal alternatives, he claimed it was better than previous plans that did not mention non-lethal, that last point may be true, but it doesn't answer the initial concern - Why doesn't this plan give equal consideration to non-lethal methods. Russo defended the council's decision to move forward because the city can't assume the Deer Preservation Act will pass and need to be prepared to move forward.  The point Russo was missing is that 1600+ people spoke up to ask for this to be on the ballot.  His response was that some of the 1600 people may be against it, but again he's missing that ALL of them wanted it on the ballot.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Solon Videos

Frequently in these posts reference will be made to the time stamps within city video.  Recently I noticed that the Firefox and Chrome browsers no longer displayed these time stamps at the lower right corner.  Internet Explorer still does.  So for convenience of locating and fast forwarding, you may want to open these links in Internet Explorer.

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Coverage on NPR

The deer issue was covered on NPR radio here.  You can listen or download the broadcast and still can have the last word by adding your comment.

The coverage was rather biased toward deer culling, with the MetroParks speaking the most, followed by Councilman Russo, and than John Nolan challenging the deer culling.  Lane was a call in guest and also defended the deer, as well as some of the callers.

In the coming weeks, watch this site's Label NPR for further discussion on the issues raised during the broadcast.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bow Hunting close to home

Middleburg Heights: Neighbors help deer struck by arrow 

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS -- People in Middleburg Heights are searching for a deer that is in need of help. The deer has an arrow stuck in its neck. Someone shot the deer but the animal did not die

It's been seen in a Middleburg Heights neighborhood with the arrow still stuckThe sight has upset neighbors. People in the area say they feed the deer and say they are like pets to them. Police have called animal control officers to help locate the injured deer.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Comprehensive Deer Management

That's what we're being told we're getting, let's take a closer look.

They start with a little history, then discuss the major safety problem, Deer Vehicles Accidents (DVAs) and promptly state that none of the solutions are "proven". Later they discuss the other problem, landscape damage, list all the plants deer don't eat, then say that if there are "too many" then they'll eat anything.

How many is too many? Well they just pick an imaginary number (see Cultural Carrying Capacity), and the number they've chosen is half as many as we've ever had, even during the height of culling. Why?

If you pick a low enough number, then you'll always have justification for killing more deer.

They mention "public information and education" briefly, they admit this is a sensitive issue, and the solution is to "educate" the public. Clearly they don't really want critical evaluation of this sensitive issue, they've made that clear with their adversarial stance on all opposing views. Just think of this as the propaganda component of the plan.

Next they have the monitoring component. They'll measure citizen complaints about deer damage (DVA and garden). But they don't mention collecting info on culling/hunting accidents, suffering deer outside the hunting areas, compliance with culling/hunting regulations. In keeping with their one sided lethal agenda, they aren't monitoring things that aren't part of their lethal program. They also mention citizen surveys, again just the complaints about deer, not about the city sponsored killing.

They'll also count the deer, it will always be higher than the new low target, so they'll always be justified to kill more. And of course they'll count the number of deer they kill, so it looks like they are doing something useful for the hundreds of thousands of dollars they'll be spending every year.

Under non-lethal alternatives they mainly list plants deer don't like, then point out that deer will eat anything. They mention repellents and then say that they won't work if the deer are very hungry.

They also list a feeding ban on citizens so sharpshooters can be the only one to lure the deer with bait stations to their own demise.

Two very effective non-lethal methods (contraception and relocation) are listed as "non-traditional" because the hunting interests won't allow them in Ohio.

Then comes the real meat of the plan, the killing methods (Captive Bolt, Bowhunting, and Sharpshooting) with nary a downside mentioned.

Nothing about rebound, nothing about the prior 5 yr culling failure.

So in conclusion they mention everything, 
but will be doing only one thing - KILLING!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Still no costs

A plan was recommended to Council by the Safety Commitee, its been discussed for over a half year and still no specific costs are available.

Russo introduced the discussion of the plan commenting on how much work had been done.  Pelunis questioned what the plan would cost, Stanek still had no answer and was asked to obtain costs for the next council meeting on June 24.

Stanek said we need to decide how many deer to kill, but how will they do that when they haven't obtained an accurate count yet.

Russo insisted that bow hunting was needed to reduce costs of sharpshooting.  He compared costs of sharpshooting at $400 / deer and bow hunting "essentially" $0 / yr.  Kraus said he "isn't comfortable" with bow hunting.

See the Council Meeting here, discussion starts at 1 hr 2 min until 1 hr 12 min.  At 1 hr 18 min, two residents spoke in opposition to bow hunting until 1 hr 26 min, at 1 hr 28 min Russo challenged the public comments as Stanek did at 1 hr 35 min.

Russo stated that the hunting would be on city land, but App 1 C, pg 14, 2nd section talks about lands used with no such restriction. While Russo is quick to complain of other's misstatements, his own record of misstatements is poor.

Russo also took the opportunity to plug the city's web site as a source for information about the deer mgt issue.

It was pointed out that an update at the last Safety meeting inserted words to the effect that we'd follow the ODOW rules, which is a lower standard than the proposed bow hunting which both ODOW and USDA WS referred to as "over regulated". Stanek mentioned something about "expanding" the bow hunting after people got used to it to save money. The way to expand bow hunting would be to reduce regulations to the state minimum.

While the lack of costs was a major reason why council could take no action, Kraus also mentioned the absence of Councilman Bell. Both these shortcomings are to be addressed at the next council meeting and it would be possible to pass it under suspension on that day.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Plan? What Plan?

Can you call it a plan?

First of all most of the content came from Granville a small rural town, add a new front page, throw in some Solon graphs and viola, you have a comprehensive custom Solon plan.  Kraus put this on the record at the last Safety Meeting.

And if copying from Granville weren't enough, they ask ODOW and USDA WS to edit the plan.  These two organizations depend on lethal methods for their budget, hardly an unbiased source.

But where's the meat?  No specifics, no implementation, no costs, no action plan.  What is council "deciding"?  They'll be "adopting" an idea, leaving the implementation to Stanek, an avid hunter.

Stanek was asked last month to obtain a cost for someone else (USDA WS) implementing the whole plan.  Stanek did not do that.  Russo reminded him of that request.

Kraus tried to remove bow hunting, Russo objected and wanted to recommend the "plan" to council.

Kraus asked about competitors to White Buffalo, Stanek said that there aren't many competitors, not with their "credentials" who would do it as "professionally".  But then Stanek admitted that if we were to consider White Buffalo, we may want to "exclude an individual", seeming to admit that the city has a problem with someone from White Buffalo.

Russo was concerned that they act in time to get this done this year.
  1. The first action would be "public education" and we've started that.  I think that is the "deer damage" form and MetroParks link on the city's home page.
  2. Next would be to start bow hunting late Sept 2011.
  3. Culling effort would begin early 2012.
At 58 min in, Russo put his foot down to discourage "cherry picking" and pushed for sending the "plan" to council tonight.  Kraus made a last ditch effort to not "recommend".  Russo made the motion to recommend.  Kraus clarified that he voted NO because of bow hunting.

For the original plan, twice updated since, see this article.

At the last safety meeting where the plan was unveiled, the "Deer Park" was removed because if we feed deer, ODOW will not grant a license to kill deer and Russo was insistent about needing to kill deer.

At this meeting, the following changes were made:
  1. On pg 6, A disclaimer that if there are "too many" deer they'll eat anything, so even deer resistant planting could be deemed ineffective.  Reinforcing the idea that killing is required.
  2. On pg 9, #2, Fixed a typo saying that a method was impracticable.
  3. Emphasized that "Trap and Euthinize" (Captive Bolt) requires an ODOW permit and that the city must be involved and that residents can't directly approach the ODOW to get a permit.
  4. Both Peters of the ODOW and USDA WS suggested that we are "over regulating" bow hunting.  Stanek believes this is "absolutely necessary" in the beginning because of citizens concerns.  This regulation can be viewed as safe guards to the residents.  Then in the next breath, Stanek contradicted himself and got the committee to pass an amendment adding that we would "follow ODOW standards in use in neighboring communities" (who don't "over regulate" to protect their citizens).

The meeting video can be found here, the deer topic runs from 37 min to 1 hour 1 min.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Long awaited Deer Management Plan

The Administration promised a "Comprehensive Deer Management Plan" in May.  Its May and we saw the plan.  Its unimpressive, especially when you consider that the only thing unique about it is a few graphs.

Councilman Kraus touched a nerve when he called Stanek on the fact that it seems word for word the same as the "Granville Plan", a small rural community nothing like Solon.  When challenged if comparing their needs to ours is "Apples to Apples", Stanek bristled stating its "Apples to Apples to Apples to Apples".

The plan predictably mentioned everything, but said nothing.  It mentions many non-lethal options, then promptly dismisses them as "ineffective".  They did say they'd "continue to maintain" the Strieter Lites which inexplicably have 500 ft gaps to reduce their effectiveness.

The one item they definitely wanted removed though is the "deer park" idea, it is number "5 Supplemental Feedings" on page 9 of the draft plan. The ODOW would not issue a nuisance permit to allow killing deer to a city who was feeding deer.  This is a deal breaker for the city, they won't do something that will prevent lethal options.

In the lethal department, everything was on the table, Captive Bolt,  Bow Hunting, and Sharpshooting,  A question was raised about lethal options cheaper than Sharpshooting, one would think this would have been done, but Stanek said he'd look into it.

Captive Bolt, or as they refer to it, "Traps and Euthanasia", is among the cruelest methods, despite its nice name. The deer is caught in a trap, struggles to get free and then is shot with a bolt in the head.  The plan mentions that our Animal Warden could do this, he runs a side business in Pepperpike doing it.

Bow Hunting was raised again and it appears the same draft plan was added to the end of this new plan.  Our former police chief and our former deer sharpshooter (White Buffalo) both criticized this option. Russo said it won't be people "running around with bows and arrows", actually crossbows are more deadly.  It was also implied that large areas would be used, but Stanek said that was unnecessary when he discussed this a few months ago.

The implication was that this deadly activity would be on large remote lands.  The last program had nearly 70 kill sites, one may be near you!

The city's target deer population is 206-309, a new all time low that will require killing over 700 deer the first year,

The city mentioned other local communities with deer killing plans including ---

Deer Management Plan 1105a

A copy of the plan is on Solon's web site here.  The meeting video is here, Deer Mgt starts at 28 min in.  The issue is covered  as Deer Management under the Residents tab here.

The Solon Patch, made live comments here, you can follow the SolonPatch here, and published a breaking news story : Deer Plan Provides Lethal Options, But Decision Rests With City Council.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Height, or width, is probably the most important factor with deer fences, especially if high deer pressure. White-tailed deer can jump almost eight feet high, so effective upright fences against them should be this high. Deer may be able to jump high, but not both high and over a distance. So a fence may not be as high, perhaps six feet, but slanted outward. The deer will try walking under the fence and meet resistance. Such a slanted fence should be at a 45-degree angle, and may consist of fencing with a few strands of additional wire on top for extra height.

A variation can be used to convert a shorter upright fence. Merely add additional height to posts, and string more fencing or additional strands of wire between them. If the fence is about five feet high, you may also add additions to the posts parallel to the ground and on the outside of the fence. Add strands of wire between these to achieve the same effect as a slanted fence.

If you have a standard fence about four or five feet feet high, you can add a similar and additional one about four feet away. While not high, with this width deer usually wont like to try and clear both and perhaps get caught between or on them.

Out of sight, out of mind, applies to deer with solid wooden fences, or ones with overlapping slats they can't see through. Such privacy fences are quite effective, as deer can't tell what is on the other side. Even if they can smell what is on the other side, and it's attractive to them, they can't be sure that danger isn't lurking there as well.

One less expensive variation on the high fence is to use a commercial heavy-weight deer netting if the deer pressure is low to moderate. These products are quite popular for home gardens as they are easier to work with than wire mesh, are less expensive, and blend into the landscape. Another inexpensive solution is stringing single strands of monofilament twine (such as deep sea fishing twine) between posts, about six inches apart. If deer pressure is really low, you might even get by with a single strand about two feet off the ground. Deer bump into this, are surprised at something they didn't or can't see, so may flee.

Keep in mind deer can't see well (poor depth perception), so many advocate hanging streamers on the lower strands or netting so deer can see them and don't just try running through. Some recommend not putting such ribbon streamers on the top as this tells the deer the fence height. Some have even suggested adding streamers on extensions above the fence, to make deer think it is even taller and so even harder to jump. Some advocate using white streamers to mimic the white tail signal that deer use to warn of danger.

There are many variations of electric fences. You may begin with a single strand, about 30 inches off the ground. Some make this more visible to deer by using bright flagging tape, or conductive polytape. This also helps people avoid these fences by mistake. Make this single strand even more effective and attractive to deer by smearing peanut butter on aluminum foil. One taste wont kill deer, but it will surely discourage them from returning. Studies have shown, though, that using odor repellents in combination with an electric wire may be more effective than using the peanut butter bait.

Single strands of electric wire may work if low populations, but if more deer pressure you may need to add multiple strands. You may add these in various configurations as for mesh and strand fences, with the electric wires about a foot apart along the post supports. With any electric fence, use them only if children wont have a chance of getting injured. Some residential areas may even prohibit them, so check local ordinances first.

If you have just an isolated tree or few plants to protect, consider building a cage around them. You may drive stakes into the ground, stretching wire mesh or deer netting between them. Or you can make a portable frame of scrap lumber or PVC pipe, attaching netting to these. If portable, make sure such frames are anchored so deer wont push them over. Make sure such mesh has small openings, or is far enough from the plants, to keep deer from reaching the plants through the mesh.

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The Wireless Deer Fence® works alone or can be used with other deer deterrent methods such as spray-on deer repellents.

The simple design and the natural green color blend into your landscaping with minimal visual impact. The Wireless Deer Fence® looks good, there are no wires or fences to compromise the beauty of your property.

The Wireless Deer Fence® is a safe, non-toxic, environmentally friendly deer repellent product. It operates silently and efficiently to conserve your property and provide deer damage control for whitetail and other species of deer, without seven-foot fencing or an electric fence.

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Monday, May 9, 2011


Deer Off    

deer repellent is your ultimate
solution against destructive deer.

Prevent damage from destructive deer, rabbits and squirrels with Deer Off®! 
The only deer and animal repellent solution that offers:
  • Dual-action - patented deer repelling power
  • Immediate - instant protection after application
  • Long-lasting - economical formula that repels up to 3 months
  • All natural - safe for use around kids and pets
--Protects two ways -- by odor (from putrescent whole egg solids) 
and, in case Bambi has a stuffy noise, by taste (from capsaicin and garlic). 
OMRI certified organic. Dries clear.


Its long-term effectiveness is attributable 
to the tenacity of its 100% natural, vegetable oil binder in sticking 
to plants — even under severe snow/rainfall conditions: up to 
6 months over winter, 3-4 months in summer.

Plantskydd  works by emitting an odor that animals associate with 
predator activity.  Research has proven that odor-based repellents 
(Plantskydd) are more effective than other repellent systems; 
where the animal needs to taste treated plants before being repelled. 
Animals avoid plants before they bite—not after! 

-- Bloodmeal based; longest lasting over winter. Adds trace amounts of nitrogen 
to soil.   (Avoid overspray on white siding or sidewalks and expect a slight 
pink tint on white blooms for a few days.)

I Must Garden 

I Must Garden makes natural, pleasant smelling, 
easy to use repellents that are guaranteed to work.  
At I Must Garden we make the most effective Deer Repellents 
on the market.

--A minty blend of oils that release their potency over time for extended 
protection. Beneficial side effect: helps control insects. 
Lowest cost per ounce!

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Inhumane Death

The following is undercover footage of the Summit County Metroparks deer slaughter where the park employees are being trained by Solon's former sharpshooter, White Buffalo, President Anthony DeNicola. After shooting the deer, plastic bags were placed over their heads as in Solon.

WARNING This video contains graphic images

This video was shown at a public meeting at the Solon public library in Dec.'04 before the decision makers hired Mr. Denicola. Many city employees and public officials attended and did watch this video and yet they proceeded with their lethal plan.

After viewing SHARK’s video footage, all three vets declared that the deer in question was still alive minutes after being shot while a bag was pulled over her head.

Sandy Baker

Pepper Pike's Mayor Akers brought in Sandy Baker to teach a gardening class.  She is a national expert who discusses ways to have your garden coexist with the deer.  She is not your average 'how to protect your tulips'  expert. She is THE numero uno.

She was invited back by Angelo Pettiti. Eagle Creek Garden Center and Pepper Pike mayor plus a few other mayors paid to bring her back again where she presented at Daisy Hill Nursery and the Orange library to packed rooms. 

The Ohio State Master Gardeners Extension cohosted her at the Seven Hills venue. Master Gardeners consult wirh Her. Everyone loves Sandy. She also does backyard consultations where neighbors are invited.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ballot Initiative

After five years, $807,325.55 dollars – not including legal fees -- and the massacre of nearly 1,600 deer, Solon has witnessed rebounding deer populations, as predicted. Solon leaders’ poorly conceived, shortsighted ―management‖ plan failed.

Despite this failure, Solon seems to be ready to repeat this costly mistake.

Its time for Solon to take the lead and consider 21st century non-lethal solutions.

Let's put this issue on the ballot for a vote, join us on Saturday, April 16th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Solon Recreation Center, 35000 Portz Parkway, Solon, OH 44139.

Solon Ballot Initiative Press Release

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If it's so humane why is it shielded from the public

Virtually all programs involving government-sponsored killing of suburban deer do not allow concerned citizens or members of the media to observe, much less document, the killing process or its aftermath. Consequently, the times, dates, and locations of the killing are not made public. Officials usually explain this as being necessary for safety reasons.

But Tim Setnicka, former Superintendent of the Channel Islands National Park, reveals a different motive. During his 30-year career with the Park Service, Setnicka supervised numerous large-scale wildlife killing programs. In 2005, he began to speak out against what he came to consider park superintendents "playing god."

"We never allowed the media to accompany the hunters to film the hunting activity. Safety reasons were always given as reasons for denial of their request. The real reason is that we wanted to avoid images of the ugliness of the hunt," admits Setnicka. "You watch the life drain out of their eye, which becomes dull as they die. This is an impossible image to sell the public or politicians, which is why no photos are allowed."

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Bow Hunting

Bow Hunting was proposed as part of the Deer Management Plan, this may seem attractive as a cheaper solution, but it has its share of problems.

Some issues are:
  • Bowhunting is inhumane and wasteful.
  • Bowhunters do not want to talk about the wounding issue and archery wounding is the most denied problem in bowhunting.
  • Wounding and crippling losses are inevitable.
  • Shot placement is, for all practical purposes, random due to the difficulty in shooting arrows accurately. There is absolutely no sure way to kill a deer instantly with a bow.
  • More often than not, poorly hit deer are lost and not recovered.
  • The main cause of infection in the wound is today’s multi-bladed Broadhead arrow
  • Almost all abdominally shot deer die a slow death from peritonitis with the average time of death measured in agonizing days or weeks rather than in minutes or hours.
  • The use of bowhunting as a method to control deer population densities is ineffective. Bowhunting is not a population control measure; it is a recreational pursuit.

Report on Bow Hunting


See related article here where our former sharpshooter speaks against bow hunting.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011


The word Sharpshooting is a misnomer. Actually, there is no sharpshooting involved, instead, it is the baiting and killing of deer.

Because most people are uncomfortable with killing mass numbers of deer the word "sharpshooting" is used to disguise the reality and to make the slaughter more acceptable. It is a false perception.

In a bait and shoot program in NJ

The public was told that Sharpshooters, who were off duty police officers, would be used because they were more responsible than average hunters. This was an important factor, because many people were uncomfortable with the sharpshooting concept, and the thought of the police being more responsible than average hunters helped the County officials push through the 'bait and kill' operation.

However, what the general public did not hear was what was said at the 1-18-95 meeting of the Fish and Game council. Charles Sigmund, Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation for Union County, testified that while the public perceives them (the police officers) to be more responsible, he does not necessarily support that.

Hundreds of pounds of food were put out for the tame deer of the Watchung Reservation. Every morning, the 'sharpshooters' killed deer feeding at these sites. After the first 30 deer were killed, Union County official Dan Bernier admitted that 3 deer were shot, but escaped into the woods, wounded. The 'sharpshooters' were shooting tame deer over bait sites, and still wounded 10% of the animals.

Since hundreds of pounds of food was now available for the survivors, this action surely wound up creating more deer than what would have occurred without the sharpshooting. Sharpshooting, like all other forms of hunting, is cruel, inaccurate, and only leads to increases in the deer populations that it supposedly seeks to reduce.

White Buffalo, Solon's former deer extermination contractors, trained the Summit County Metroparks.

Claims that the deer would be "euthanized" by highly skilled sharpshooters were exposed as lies when SHARK's undercover video cameras documented animals shot, but left alive to suffer. The deer were shot only once, even though in many cases they did not immediately die.

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Biological Carrying Capacity versus Cultural Carrying Capacity

Biological Carrying Capacity (BCC) and Cultural Carrying Capacity (CCC) are two very important terms that are used when dealing with deer and their habitat.

BCC is the number of deer that an area can hold based on the amount of environmental factors present, such as food, water and land.

CCC, on the other hand, is a fabricated number based upon no facts, just someone's judgment of what is overpopulation. It is a popular tool used by wildlife managers to get public support for hunting.

The truth of the matter is that CCC has no bearing on how many deer can live in an area, and it is therefore not scientifically acceptable to use it to proclaim deer overpopulation.

In fact, deer do not naturally overpopulate. Their biological reproduction is based on the amount of food available, and they cannot go beyond the BCC of an area because there will not be enough nutrition for added births.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Damage to the Understory

Deer density is not the sole factor in the diminishing of the understory. There are other known causes, such as canopies of mature trees inhibiting sun from penetrating to the understory. The diminishing understory is not an aberrant phenomenon; it is a natural occurrence. It is part of normal ecological succession

The truth and nothing but the truth about deer exclosures (outside a fenced area)


It is safe to say we all know a law enforcement officer can not fabricate evidence to arrest an individual and prosecute him for a crime. The punishment for such an act can be greater than the alleged crime. Society has a low tolerance for this type of law enforcement activity, but it does happen. The story I am about to tell you is just as distasteful, but the crime isn't against a human being. It is against our most valuable natural resource, the whitetail deer.

We have all seen pictures of fenced areas carved into our mature forests with heavy deer browsing around the perimeter. As a matter of fact these provocative pictures are continuously used to condemn this magnificent and valuable animal. No other piece of evidence has been utilized as frequently to substantiate that we have a severe deer overpopulation problem. Unfortunately, in this case a picture is worth a thousand lies.

Most states have long-established a maximum carrying capacity for deer by region, WMU or county depending on the habitat. This is the point at which deer do damage to the forest. For this discussion we'll use 40 deer per square mile. The management goal would then be set at 20 deer per square to insure forest regeneration and ample food for deer to be healthy. Goals are usually set at 50% of maximum carrying capacity, but 70% would work just as well.

Getting back to fenced deer exclosures, you must be aware of a few facts before we do the math. First, the "professional" scientific community does not recognize deer exclosures as a valid method of measuring deer impacts. True science requires putting deer into "inclosures" at varying densities and measuring their impact. Exclosures create a "0" deer density baseline example.

Secondly, fenced exclosures create an "oasis effect". Actually, they draw deer in higher than normal densities to an obvious food source. The growth within the fenced area is like putting a piece of candy just outside the reach of a child. The deer come continuously to see if they can grab a meal.

The pictures that I have had shoved in my face are all the same. We see a fenced cut area of maybe 10 acres deep in a mature forest with a cut area around the perimeter of the fence maybe 25 feet wide. The unfenced area is clearly browsed by deer. Now let's talk numbers.

Let's say the unfenced perimeter area is two acres around this fenced ten acres. Let's say two deer move in to browse. That's a density of one deer per acre. There are 640 acres in a square mile. Bingo. The browsing effect in this example is 640 deer per square mile! Just two deer created that provocative picture. Go ahead and play with the numbers yourself. Let's say 10 acres were left unfenced and the same two deer moved in to browse. That would equate to one deer for five acres divided into 640 acres and you have the impact of 128 deer per square fenced mile! Certainly, the area will be chewed down.

Are you getting the real picture? Just one or two deer can create those inflammatory pictures. Some want you to believe our deer are akin to a horde of locusts swarming the area and eating everything in sight. Furthermore, I would ask, where are the pictures of our swarms of deer? It would be inexpensive and quite convincing to put an infrared motion camera on every corner of the fenced area and show us the number of deer browsing. I am certain this has been done, but we will never see those pictures. Those pictures would reveal one or deer continuously browsing the area, not a horde of deer. We know that because we hunt deer.

What I am saying is I can make an argument for fraud. Those condemning pictures utilized by the anti-deer crowd are intended to persuade an uninformed public that we have a deer epidemic. Fenced deer exclosures are not science. They are a deceptive political tool to rally the public around a deer reduction program over the objections of our sporting class.

I believe a crime has been committed. This is no different than the cop that fabricates evidence to get a conviction. We have been lied to and our deer have been framed, prosecuted and condemned to death.
The above is just one more reason why we need full sportsmen involvement in deer management decisions. It would also be nice to be told the truth.

Jim Slinsky is the host and producer of the "Sportsman's Connection", a nationally syndicated, outdoor-talk radio program. For a station near you or to contact Jim, visit his website at:

Science News

High deer populations good for ecosystem

Published: Oct. 22, 2008 at 11:16 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio , Oct. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have discovered snakes, salamanders and other creatures thrive in areas that have high deer populations.

Conversely, Ohio State University and National Park Service scientists say they've also discovered reducing the number of deer in forests and parks might unexpectedly reduce the number of reptiles, amphibians and insects in that area.

The study was conducted as some states are selectively controlling deer populations. The findings contradict previous research that suggested deer populations can negatively impact forest ecosystems through eating plants that many smaller animals may depend on.

The new findings also suggest high deer populations might be creating a richer soil mixture through their droppings. That rich soil can benefit some plants, which in turn attracts a wider diversity of insects and invertebrates.

"By just reducing the number of deer in the forest, we're actually indirectly impacting forest ecosystems without even knowing the possible effects," said Katherine Greenwald, co-author of the study and a doctoral student at Ohio State .

The research that included former OSU Associate Professor Thomas Waite and Lisa Petit of Ohio 's Cuyahoga Valley National Park appeared recently in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

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Compensatory Rebound Effect

[Ed. Note: Why deer hunting does not help "manage" deer populations.]

Q. What is the compensatory rebound effect?
A. The compensatory rebound effect is the reproductive response of a species by which a sudden increase in food resources, due to a sudden decrease in the population, induces a high reproductive rate. When applied to deer, it means that when large populations are killed, the remaining deer benefit from enhanced food supply and begin to produce more deer (twins) and begin to reproduce at a younger age (as early as 1 yr. old).

Q: What evidence do we have that the deer population will rebound after a deer cull or hunting season?
A: Those who advocate against deer culls as an effective, long term strategy for reducing deer populations have long argued that killing large populations of deer will only serve to increase the deer herd size in a relatively short period of time because of compensatory rebound. The proof of this argument can be found in wildlife reports from around the country. Here are just a few
  • “Mean number of fetuses per pregnant doe was greater on hunted land … than on nonhunted sites… Incidence of twinning [doe producing twins] was 38% on hunted sites and 14% on nonhunted sites. No twinning was observed among pregnant fawns or yearlings from nonhunted areas, whereas 6 of 33 (18%) of the pregnant yearlings and 1 of 3 (33%) pregnant fawns from hunted areas carried twins.”

    Richter, A. R., and R. F. Labisky. "Reproductive Dynamics Among Disjunct White-Tailed Deer Herds in Florida.” J. Wildl. Manage. 49(4):964-971 (1985)
  • “Hunting mortality is believed to be largely compensatory partly because it takes place before the harsh winter period, when most natural deer deaths occur. Because hunting keeps deer density below maximum, the deer surviving a hunt have more food (better habitat) and come through the winter in better condition than those in unhunted herds.”

    Robert L. Downing, wildlife biologist, publisher of over 25 scientific papers on deer, in “Restoring America's Wildlife: 1937-1987” (54). United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • In its 1990 report, „An Assessment of Deer Hunting in New Jersey, New Jersey Fish and Game… show[ed] that even during hunting seasons in which killing female deer was the objective (antlerless seasons), the remaining females had increased birthrates that not only replaced the ones killed, but increased the overall size of the herd.”

    “Wildlife Fertility Control: Frequently Asked Questions on Immunocontraception.” PNC, Inc.
    (last accessed November 2008)
  • “By keeping the deer population below the carrying capacity of the available habitat, more forage (nutrition) is available per deer. Thus, does are healthier, reproductive success is higher and more does are able to carry two fawns. Ironically, this can result in a greater deer harvest each year. Depending on the relationship of the population and the carrying capacity, an optimum sustained yield can be achieved where a relatively high reproductive rate allows an abundant harvest each fall. With high-quality habitat and increased nutrition, the percentage of doe fawns that breed their first fall increases (sometimes up to 25 percent). Also, a higher percentage of yearling does produce two fawns instead of one. Because fawns are born at approximately a 1:1 sex ratio, more bucks may be born each year. Therefore, in some areas, you actually can increase the number of bucks born by shooting more does.”

    “Quality Deer Management: Guidelines for Implementation,” 6. Agricultural Extension Service, The University of Tennessee. (last accessed November 2008)
  • “Population models show that about 30 percent of a healthy deer population - including does - can be harvested each year without reducing the next year's population.”

    Dr. Tony J. Peterle, former Professor of Zoology at Ohio State University and former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Wildlife Management, in “Restoring America's Wildlife: 1937-1987”(62). United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service.

Q: Why do pro-cull advocates say that compensatory rebound only applies to starving deer?
A: Pro-cull advocates in Michigan claim that "at this point in our region's deer population, the herd is not considered stressed and the reproductive rates are normal (usually twins) so the rebound effect does not occur if deer numbers are reduced by hunting." This statement conflicts with the claims the same pro-cull advocates make about Michigan deer herds being at
historically high rates and that hunting is necessary to prevent deer from starving. Moreover, it is not an empirically based answer to the studies discussed above concerning the compensatory
rebound effect.

Q: Aren't deer culls (not hunting) a way to prevent deer from dying of starvation or chronic wasting disease?
A: There is no evidence that deer are starving anywhere in Michigan. When we hear people say that "the deer are going to starve, therefore we should hunt them so they don't starve," we believe that they're playing on the public's sense of compassion. It is completely illogical to make the argument that we should prevent deer from dying by killing them.

In terms of chronic wasting disease (CWD), this is a serious neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. In Connecticut in 2007, a total of 583 testable samples were collected from deer harvested during the hunting seasons and from road-killed deer throughout the state. All tests were negative for CWD. Tests in Michigan from the 2008 hunting season harvest were also negative.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yard Sign

Yard signs are regulated on Solon by Zoning code section 1288.

  • Only one "opinion sign" is allowed per household.
  • Thirty days prior to an election you may have up to five signs, but only one per issue.
  • It must be placed 15 ft from the right of way (typically the sidewalk or 25 ft from the road) Solon Zoning code 1288.04 3d. 
  • The sign can only be 6 square feet in size
  • The sign can only stand 4 ft tall
Details of the applicable laws below...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starving Deer?

Councilman Russo stated the deer are starving. He has seen them. Is he a wildlife biologist? Agents of the ODNR have stated they have had no reports of starving wild deer in the state of Ohio. There are also locations in the US with healthy herds at population densities of more than 200 deer/square mile.

FACT: Deer metabolism is different from human metabolism. According to deer biologists, deer adjust their caloric intake by the season. In the fall they eat to put on weight, and in winter their metabolism adjusts to the diminished available food and they eat less. Even when food is abundant, a typical white-tail deer in northern latitudes will lose 20% of its body weight by spring. In other words: Deer get skinny in the winter. It has nothing to do with overpopulation.


From article

Ohio Deer Herd Healthier Than Ever

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the herd is healthier than ever. Mike Tonkavich is a biologist with O.D.N.R. and helps track and count deer.

Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo,Inc., was contracted by The City of Solon from 2005 - 2009 for both his biology degree and "sharpshooting skills".

In his summary report for 2005, his first year in Solon, he reported our herd as being healthy... prior to the first season of killing, when our numbers were approximately 1,000.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Its Poaching

NOT HUNTING, said the news report...


Ten dead deer were found in a Mentor, Ohio neighborhood. The Animal warden was extolling the virtues of hunting, they follow rules, they eat the meat, these people shot bullets and arrows in a dense neighborhood where residents fed the deer. But what's the difference between poaching, hunting by bow, or paid sharpshooters? Not much really, they're all engaged in unnecessary killing for the thrill of it.

Fox 19 News - Click here.
News Herald - Click here.
Mentor Patch - Click here.

Can we expect deer management discussions in Mentor, they're talking about DVA's here. Will Mentor follow Solon's lead into the endless killing fields or will they be a leader and look at DVA deterrents of the 21st century? For everyone's sake let's hope they don't repeat our failed experiment.

But at least one Mentor resident admits the ODOW keep the herd size high for hunters and are the cause of DVAs.  See his comment here.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deer Resistant Landscaping

The Pepper Pike Learning Center 32000 Chagrin Blvd is offering a class "Munch-Free Deer Resistant Landscaping on Wed in April (6-27).  You will learn about deer resistant shrubs, trees, perennials, and annuals.  Fee is $59 for non-residents of Pepper Pike.  Call 216-831-8601 to register.

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An Unlikely Ally

Its no surprise that deer advocates are against hunting, what is more surprising is when a major proponent of deer culling with a PhD takes a stand against hunting. Not only did the founder of White Buffalo, the city's sharpshooter, take this stand, he communicated this to our public works commissioner in January this year before that same person proposed a bow hunting program.

WhiteBuffalo on Hunting

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Deer Hunting Accidents

Hunting isn't safe, never has been, never will be. From Vice President Cheney's famous hunting accident to the startling statistics -- According to the International Hunter Education Ass. approximately 1,000 people in the US and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year and just under a hundred of those accidents are fatalities.

Below is just a sampling of major headlines of serious hunting accidents. It makes no sense to do something unsafe in the name of safety. Using modern DVA deterrents addresses the real safety issue without endangering the public by use of lethal weapons.

Deer Accident Headlines A

Let's be safe, use DVA Deterrents, not deadly weapons.

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The Experts Speak

Despite the countless deer kills that have taken place in parks and neighborhoods the cry still goes up: "There are too many deer! We've got to do something about the deer!"

Yet government wildlife managers have understood for a century or more that killing a significant portion of a deer population helps ensure more deer will be present for hunting in the near future. Rather than solve problems, deer kills have become a big problem.

Dr. Allen Rutberg, head of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and renowned expert on nonlethal means of deer population management, states that:
"The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer populations is that it has LARGELY FAILED TO DO SO over the last two decades. Just because deer are being killed doesn’t mean that deer populations are being controlled."
Ron Baker, The American Hunting Myth, Vantage Press NY
"As we have seen, wildlife biologists have been nurtured on the hunting philosophy and have been taught that ecosystems can be improved by manipulation."
"Hunting, whether in the presence or absence of large predators is no guaranteed annual 'check' on deer populations." Elimination of predators does not account for large deer populations. Urban sprawl and deer management for hunting do.
Thomas Eveland, Ph.D
"We often think predators control prey, but that is rarely the case. Prey controls predators; predators diminish as prey declines. It is not the case that removing wolves, cougars, and other predators causes deer to increase."

"A quick surge in a deer population can occur if hunting is implemented where it hasn't been before. In any event if hunting is started, it will have to continue."

"Archery has never been a valid control measure for animal populations. It's a recreational offshoot of gun hunting, and as such they can't really sell it as a control what's often done - and this is done that people will come in and they will often use what I call the 'D' words. Devastation - Destruction - talk about these particular animals. And what they do is they steer the public into thinking these animals need to be killed. And many times these people will say, We understand archery is not going to control the deer herd, but gosh, we gotta do something, these things are big rascals we gotta kill some of 'em, just stick a few of 'em, anything."
Gary Alt, former Chief Deer Biologist in PA said,
"Deer management has been the biggest mistake in the history of wildlife management." He refers to it as MALPRACTICE.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Feeding Deer

Deer are beautiful, fascinating creatures that many people have learned to live with and appreciate.

However in Solon, its against the law to feed deer during the killing season.  This is done so the "sport" hunters are the only one providing food, so they can more easily kill them.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Compensatory Rebound Effect

Compensatory Rebound Effect (CRE) or simply Rebound has been studied and when understood leads to the disturbing conclusion that deer culling propaganda serves only one purpose to manage the deer population to keep a consistent supply of animals to kill year after year.
“ By keeping the deer population below the carrying capacity of the available habitat, more forage (nutrition) is available per deer. Thus, does are healthier, reproductive success is higher and more does are able to carry two fawns. Ironically, this can result in a greater deer harvest each year. Depending on the relationship of the population and the carrying capacity, an „optimum sustained yield‟ can be achieved where a relatively high reproductive rate allows an abundant harvest each fall. "
See the full article here.  This article contains support reference material.

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DVA Deterrents Stress Tested

The Deer Deter Wild Life Crossing Guard is being tested in a very demanding stretch of the E470 toll road near Denver.

" Deer can wander over the road unmolested so long as there is no vehicle in sight. They are passive until a photosensor picks up the headlights of an approaching vehicle.
When they pick up headlight light they are triggered to emit a synthetic squeaking noise similar to a small animal in its death throes. At the same time a bluish white ultra violet light simulates reflection off the eyes of a predator. Facing out from the road the synthetic 'predator' scares deer and other wildlife away from the road. "

If this technology works there it will surely work in Solon, OH.

See the full article here.

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News: 2010

Solon Sun

Solon holding off on reinstating deer-culling program pending report on 2010 crashes with vehicles 10/20/10

“  I haven’t seen the level of deer in our community either now or in the last few years,” Kraus said at last week’s Safety Committee meeting. “And I don’t see the level of accidents that we had, along roadways like Cannon, SOM (Center) and (U.S.) 422.  ”

[No public mention was made that Cannon and SOM have Strieter Lites installed, a DVA deterrent, Kraus has made some public and private statements that state he believes they are effective]

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