Emotions run high at Ottawa Hills meeting on controlling deer population

Emotions run high at Ottawa Hills meeting on controlling deer population

OTTAWA HILLS, OH (Toledo News Now) - The debate over how to control the deer population in Ottawa Hills continued Monday as village administrators and residents heard about a technique that's been successful in other parts of the state.

A lot of strong opinions and emotions came out at Monday's meeting. Most everyone says something needs to be done to control the deer population, but people are divided on how to do just that.

It is something that is impacting almost everyone who lives in Ottawa Hills. Whether they're damaging property and plants, causing car accidents or leaving pellets in the yard – some people say deer are becoming a major problem.

A series of meetings on how to control the population continued with a guest speaker from Granville, Ohio. She talked about a method that's been done in their village for around eight years now.

“We recruit hunters, bow hunters to come in and cull the deer in our village of 3500,” said Mollie Prasher at Monday's meeting.

Prasher says it's a very simple and cost effective program. They screen potential bow hunters and set specific parameters on when and where they can hunt the deer.

She says it only costs her village around $5,000 per year and the biggest expense is background checks on the hunters they select. So far she considers it a success.

“Our residents are seeing less deer. We are having less complaints about issues involving deer and they're appreciative of the program,” said Prasher.

But not everyone here is on board with that idea.

“I don't know what the exact solution is… but it's certainly not killing the deer. I think it needs to be on a multi-level but I don't think it's a matter of killing these animals,” said Ottawa Hills resident Stacy Davis.

Others say they're all for it if it will restore balance to the environment here in Ottawa Hills.

“I think if we had a smaller population of healthy deer, more people would still see the deer, and I think it would be a better situation for everybody,” said resident Bill Steele.

At this point village administrators are still looking through all their options. The next meeting on the issue will be held April 16. A task force could make a recommendation to village council by May 15.

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