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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