$2,000 Reward Announced for Tips Leading to Poacher Convictions

City Councils the region over have been passing ordinances allowing bow-hunting with few restrictions — a widespread effort meant to curtail the "deer problem." Those measures transpose into a desperate, violent thrashing against animals. In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international organization, is bringing its efforts to Northeast Ohio in hopes of culling the hunting herd.

“Ohio hunters killed nearly 219,000 deer in 2012 to 2013, but apparently that is not enough for the ODNR, whose only interest is maximizing deer numbers so they can serve as living targets for hunters," says Anja Heister, director of IDA’s Wild and Free-Habitats Campaign.

Avon Lake, for crissakes, just passed an ordinance that allows bow-hunting all year — including in residential neighborhoods. With a bit of paperwork from City Hall, hunters can now be a part of these "deer culling efforts." The 365-day window skirts Ohio law and basically opens up a number of undesirable possibilities. Cleveland resident Lane Ferrante, a member of a watchdog group that reports on the state's urban deer hunting program, says that year-round hunting opens the door to shooting pregnant deer late in the season and leaving newborn fawns alone and starving. There's also the notion that arrows will fly in sensitive parts of town (areas rife with people and rife with animals that aren't deer, as well as deer). 

City Councilman Dave Kos worked to get an amendment tossed on the ordinance that will notify neighboring residents when bow-hunting will be taking place on nearby properties. From the Chronicle-Telegram's reporting:
“I’m grateful I got the notification passed because I believe every resident wants to be notified if there is hunting next door,” Kos said. “But how anyone could approve of hunting within 100 yards of a school is beyond me.”
Avon Lake has tried to zip up the legislation somewhat tightly, but a number of concerns abound in the city's residential neighborhoods. The IDA insists that poaching is a real offense and one that can be prevented through dedicated watchdog efforts. 

IDA is looking for photos, video or written documentation of trespassing and poaching. That trespassing element is key, as the ODNR and city legislatures have been locking down rights for hunters via the act of hunting. In return, if the tips lead to a conviction, IDA will dish out $2,000.
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About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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