A resolution was introduced at the November 4 City Council meeting that would place before the voters on the March ballot, the question of allowing certain deer hunting within the city limits of North Royalton. This measure is part of a regional deer culling program, while pressure on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will continue to pursue other methods of deer population control, such as sterilization and birth control.
In a press release, posted on October 30, North Royalton Law Director, Tom Kelly reported that North Royalton will join the cities of Broadview Heights, Parma, Parma Heights, Strongsville and Seven Hills in introducing identical legislation to that end. If passed by the City Councils of those cities, the measure will then be placed on the March 15, 2016 ballot.
The ordinance, which, in North Royalton, will amend the city’s “Codified Ordinances of the City of North Royalton, Part Six General Offenses Code, Chapter 618 Animals, Section 618.12 Hunting Prohibited to permit the limited hunting of white-tailed deer by cross bow or long bow under terms and conditions established by the city if there is sufficient public support to do so.” The ordinance and potential ballot language is to “consider supporting a nuisance abatement initiative, to permit the limited hunting of white-tailed deer by crossbow or long bow by licensed individuals conducted from elevated platforms, under terms and conditions established by the State and City, and under the supervision of the respective police chiefs,” according to the release. “Additionally, the communities will each appoint a representative to meet quarterly with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to explore, develop and implement long-term plans to safely and effectively manage the deer population, including non-lethal methods.”
The resolution addresses the fact that the population of the white-tailed deer have grown to unmanageable numbers in urban areas, resulting in financial loss of public and private property owners and increased vehicle accidents. Presently, in the city of North Royalton, hunting is prohibited, but the deer population problem has become such that it requires urgent deer management efforts. For those reasons, the resolution provides for an abatement program that supports the health, safety and welfare of the public.
The amended ordinance shall read as follows:
(a) The hunting of animals or fowl within the Municipality is prohibited. No person shall hunt, kill or attempt to kill any animal or fowl by the use of firearms or any other means, except as follows:
(1) The limited hunting of white-tailed deer by crossbow or long bow may be permitted within the city under the following terms and conditions: A. The Chief of Police or his designated representative may, in his sole discretion, issue a Municipal Deer Control Permit to a qualified archer applicant (engaged to assist property owners aggrieved by deer damage) only as a corollary to and following the issuance by the ODNR of its own Deer Damage Control Permit to allow only bow-hunting (long bow and crossbow) of white-tailed deer.
B. The permit is limited to areas of not less than five (5) contiguous acres by state licensed hunters proficient in the use of bow and arrow, on such forms and subject to such rules and regulations as the Chief of Police may prescribe. C. Hunting shall be conducted from an elevated platform only.
D. Written permission from the property owner(s) must be obtained.
E. A qualified archer shall be defined as an individual having obtained an approval/ certification from the South Cuyahoga Sportsmen’s Association or other state approved archery proficiency test site, valid Ohio hunting license, and all other applicable State requirements.
F. Compliance with all laws, rules and regulations of the city and state is required.
G. All applicants shall agree, in writing, to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the city for any negligent acts committed by the applicant.
H. Any other requirements as deemed necessary to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents shall be determined solely by the Chief of Police.
I. The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, and all other rules and regulations necessary to insure public health and safety, all of which shall be published.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the killing of rats and other undesirable rodents authorized to be killed by the Chief of Police using means for such killing which are also authorized by the Chief of Police.
(c) Whoever violates any provision of this Section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Punishment shall be as provided in Section 698.02.”
An informational meeting was then scheduled in all communities on Monday, November 16, which was after the Recorder deadline. The meeting will be covered in the December 3 edition of the Royalton Recorder.
Contributing Writer