Annual Cull Underway, Officials Hope To See 60 Deer Taken

Yarko Kuk

As of early October, hunters have taken nearly a dozen deer as part of the Village's annual deer cull program, which started Sept. 30. Earlier this summer Village Council voted to authorize a cull to take up to 60 deer during bow hunting season this year.

An aerial survey of the Village in February, done using a drone with a thermal camera, revealed 74 deer within Ottawa Hills. Village Council's Services and Environment Committee recommended a cull for this fall, with the goal to take 45 deer. Based upon the results of last year's cull and the number of deer counted in February, Village Council decided to up the goal to 60 deer.

The Village's first-ever deer cull was during last year's bow hunting season. The Village authorized approved hunters to take up to 30 deer during the cull. The number was met and the cull halted Jan. 6.

In 2016 the police department responded to 18 dead deer complaints. Those animals were injured or killed after being struck by a car or when trying to jump a fence.

At June's Council meeting, Mayor Kevin Gilmore questioned the proposed number of 45, noting between the cull and dead deer calls, "we lost 48 deer [in 2016], and the count shows we have 74 right now."

Councilman Jeff Gibbs, chairman of the Services and Environment committee, said the deer population could easily top 100 by the fall, taking into account the number of pregnant does earlier this year.

Unlike past counts, where the deer were heavily concentrated in the half of the Village west of Talmadge Road, this time the deer were nearly equally divided between the western and eastern portions of the Village. The count revealed bigger concentrations of deer in more densely populated neighborhoods.

Officials have been told the "ideal" population of deer in the Village would be around 15 per square mile, which translates to just under 30 in the Village.

Ohio's deer archery season runs until Feb. 4. The bag limit - the number of deer that a single hunter may take - for Lucas County if four. The Ohio Wildlife Council set bag limits for every county in the state in April. The statewide bag limit is six. Only one of the deer may be antlered.