The city of Solon will continue to cull deer, entering into an agreement for this winter season at a cost of $53,366.
Public Works Commissioner William Drsek presented the agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to members of the City Council Safety and Public Properties Committee last week. The committee granted its approval, and the full City Council added its OK Monday.
Mr. Drsek said the agreement for 2019-2020 is similar to past agreements and will help in managing the herd.
“We continue to see that the management of the deer population has resulted in fewer car/deer crashes,” Mr. Drsek said. It has also helped lower the cost of property damage and incidents of injury for the motoring public of Solon.
The cooperative agreement will begin Oct. 1 and expire July 31, 2020.
During the last culling season, the city was given permission to cull 60 deer and those were taken from about 25 sites, both on public and private property. There, sharpshooters would typically cull the deer in the late afternoon and evening in four-hour blocks of time.
The city is in what is considered “maintenance mode” with the deer population, Mr. Drsek said. That is compared to the 600 deer that were taken when the city began its first phase of culling in 2005.
Currently, there are about 25 deer/vehicle accidents annually on average. That is compared to well over 150 when culling first began.
Meat from the deer each year is transported to a processing facility that has a separate deer processing component and that meat gets ultimately donated to the Medina County Food Bank.
In 2017, the city sought a permit to cull about 75 deer and the previous year culled 66.
The first phase of culling in the city began in 2005 and went through 2009. The city halted the program for 2010 and 2011 due to budgetary concerns, but then renewed culling in 2012. That was done after reviewing information such as the rising number of deer/vehicle accidents.
In November, 2011, there was an initiative issue on the ballot generated by residents in opposition to deer culling. About 62 percent of the electorate voted in favor of going forward with a deer culling program.