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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