In 2016, in response to multiple resident complaints about the over-abundance of deer, the Shaker Heights Deer Task Force, comprised of residents and Council members, studied the impact of the deer population in the City. After reviewing the results of 350+ resident responses to a questionnaire distributed by the City, the Task Force finalized its report and recommended that the City undertake a culling program on City-owned land. The program was undertaken by Shaker Heights Police Department (SHPD) trained marksmen.
In 2018, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, authorized the culling of 40 deer. Given the larger than expected deer population encountered during this process, the Deer Task Force recommended that culling continue in the 2018/2019 winter season. The Task Force requested that an updated resident questionnaire be distributed to again measure the concerns about the deer population and determine the level of control for future deer culling programs.
After reviewing the results of 700+ resident responses to the questionnaire, the newly named Wildlife Task Force, recommended the City continue the culling program.
A detailed deer management plan was submitted to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The ODNR reviewed the plan and authorized the culling of 40 deer for 2019. The culling program included the use of trail cameras at bait sites to confirm deer movement and predict the most effective times to cull the deer.
From January to March 2019, the permitted number of deer were safely and humanely harvested by trained marksmen with Precision Wildlife Management, Ltd.
Almost 2,000 pounds of venison was donated to needy families in the Cleveland area.
Earlier this year, the Task Force requested that an updated resident deer questionnaire be distributed. The 2019 Deer Questionnaire was available on the City's website from May to September 2019. View the results (PDF).