Avon Lake Councilman Wants to Allow Residents to Shoot Deer With Paintball Guns to Scare Them Away

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Update: It seems Kos is receiving backlash for the idea (surprise!) and has tabled the idea for the time being. Via Cleveland.com:

"I'm not talking about it again until November and then I will consider whether to introduce it to council or not," he said. "The culling ordinance just went through and we need to concentrate on that. The paintball idea has become a distraction."

“I really don’t want to deal with phone calls of a polka-dot deer running around town because it’s gotten hit with 17 different colors of paint balls.”

That quote is from Geoff Westerfield, Ohio Division of Wildlife assistant wildlife management supervisor, responding to queries on whether or not he'd endorse the use of paintball guns to scare away deer for cities or suburbs dealing with deer control problems. Let that image sink into your brain for a second.

Specifically, Avon Lake councilman David Kos is proposing changes to the law that would allow residents to go all Dwight Schrute on Bambi.

“It’s been discussed with ODNR that shooting a deer near the hoof with a paintball gun will get them to scatter,” Kos told the Chronicle Telegram. But of course, the ODW isn't exactly in lock step with that idea, as the esteemed Mr. Westerfield notes above.

But what the hell, let's talk about the how and why of Kos's idea.

Kos said multiple residents have said deer will stick around in yards even when people stand in their backyards and yell or bang on pots and pans.

“How do you get them out without putting yourself into direct conflict with them?” Kos asked. “This was one of the alternatives offered, to allow residents to shoot at a deer’s feet to get them off the property.”

The city’s weapons and explosives chapter of the codified ordinances includes a section that prohibits anyone from using slingshots, bows and arrows and air rifles to “purposely or recklessly” shoot projectiles.

Paintball guns are not mentioned, Kos said, and he would like to see the ordinance, enacted in 1958, modernized to have paintball guns coincide with the new deer legislation.
"Kids, put the videogames down. Go outside and shoot some deer."

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