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Unpalatable landscape plantings and deer repellants are unreliable and short-term strategies. Deer are likely to ignore either the taste or odor repellents in times of food scarcity and overpopulation. Some repellents lose their effectiveness in rain and require reapplication. Long term approaches are needed to maintain deer populations at levels that are healthy for both deer and human.
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Trained marksmen, under the direction of the City of Beachwood Police Department, conduct sharpshooting on public lands and on private property when allowed by property owners and where deer can be harvested safely and humanely. The marksmen receive additional training in the Cleveland Metroparks to simulate the environment in which they will be working. “Do Not Enter – Deer Management Area” signs where deer management operations occur and radio contact with Beachwood officers on patrol prevent citizens from wandering into the operational area. In the event of an unauthorized entry into the area, no shots are fired and individuals are asked to leave. Culled deer are transported to a processor for dressing and preparation for donation to a local food bank.
Based on information obtained by resident surveys and the results from our deer count studies, there is an overabundance of deer in our city. Suburban areas, provide high-quality, high calorie and easily accessible foods in the form of gardens, ornamental plantings, and fertilized lawns, while nearby woodlands offer daytime refuge. The richness of plant species is higher in residential areas than in wooded habitats. Suburban areas are free of hunting and natural predation. Deer have a high reproductive potential and populations increase quickly.
The deer meat is donated to Cleveland-area food banks.
Reproductive agents for wildlife are not commercially available and are currently classified as experimental and are produced by research facilities. Also, the free-ranging nature of deer makes it difficult to deliver contraceptives to them. Relocation of deer is not allowed by ODNR. This technique requires the use of traps and/or remote chemical immobilization techniques and has been demonstrated to be impractical and stressful to the deer and may result in high post-release mortality rate of up to 85%. These programs also require release sites that are capable of receiving deer.
If the techniques mentioned above are not working, contact the Division of Wildlife at 330-644-2293. Oftentimes, they can identify the reason over the phone as to why the technique is not working and can give site-specific advice to further help alleviate the deer problems on your property
For additional information, visit the Ohio Division of Wildlife website.