Deer Population & Property Damage
Deer have adapted to living in our yards and park system. Unfortunately, they also have adapted to eating our landscaping and damaging our property, making them a nuisance animal. View FAQ about the deer population in Shaker.
Wildlife Task Force (formerly Deer Task Force)
In 2015, former Mayor Earl Leiken formed the Deer Task Force to collect data on how frequently residents see deer in their neighborhoods, what concerns residents have regarding deer, and whether deer have damaged property and / or landscaping. In 2016 and 2017, the Task Force initiated a Deer Questionnaire for residents to provide information on the local deer population.
In winter 2016 / 2017, 2017 / 2018 and 2018 / 2019, the City began a deer reduction program conducted by marksmen trained by the Shaker Heights Police Department in response to safety, health, and economic concerns about an overabundance of deer in the City.
Available for download are results of the questionnaires conducted since 2016 and the Report of the Deer Task Force (PDF), which includes recommendations for the City on deer management, including a deer reduction program. There is also information about ticks and how to prevent Tick and Lyme Disease.
The 2019 Questionnaire is now available. Residents are invited to complete the questionnaire each time a new one is issued, regardless of whether they have done so in the past.
What You Can Do
Keep in mind the City endorses the following two recommendations from the Ohio Division of Wildlife to help prevent deer damage to your property:
- Scare devices and techniques - Probably the simplest and least expensive method is the use of streamers, flags, aluminum pie pans, or any other object that will move in the breeze or reflect natural or artificial light. Unfortunately, studies have shown that scare tactics are not very effective.
- Chemical Repellents - Chemical repellents act on a deer's sense of smell and taste to reduce, but not eliminate, plant damage. Home and garden centers carry a wide assortment. Repellents should be applied before damage occurs, applied often and switched frequently. They are most effective under low deer density situations. Be sure to follow manufacturer's guidelines and procedures closely and be aware that application to edible plants may render them unfit for human consumption if applied at the wrong time.
If a deer is somehow trapped inside your yard, you may wish to email the Animal Warden or call at 216-491-1490. If you discover a fawn, leave it alone; the mother is likely nearby and will return. Please contact the police only if you find an injured deer to provide the deer's location.
Visit the Ohio Division of Wildlife for more information on deer and other nuisance animals. Be sure to contact the City's Planning Department and Building Department and apply for a fence permit (PDF) before erecting a fence to keep deer off your property.