Write About Me

“Write about me.” That’s been the mantra that won’t leave me alone since August 24th of this year. On August 24th, a driver “accidentally” killed “Baby,” a large, alpha fawn near our home. The driver allegedly left the scene and went to the police department to report it. Meanwhile, other drivers continued to run over the deer because it was hard to see in the dark just after dusk.

When Baby was killed, her twin stood nearby, terrified and bewildered before running off. A couple days later, that same twin crossed the street behind its family, and stopped for a long time to sniff the exact spot its deceased sibling was killed. Since the posted limit is 25 mph on my street, drivers should go 20 mph during dawn, dusk, at night and during inclement weather.

In addition to slowing down, here’s more simple suggestions for avoiding deer-vehicle accidents (DVAs): visually scan back and forth; alert other drivers in oncoming traffic by flashing lights while slowing or stopping to warn them; and when one deer crosses, there are always more, so slow or stop and look for them. The alpha female killed August 24th was preceded by her brother, so the driver probably had the opportunity to slow upon seeing the first deer.

In considering how to “manage” our deer populations, instead of engaging the Ohio Division of Wild”Death” and/or neighboring mayors into the discussion, Seven Hills Mayor Dell A’ Quilla should adopt the 21st century model of installing the highly affordable “Deer Deter.” From (Electronic deer deterrent could prevent over 1 million accidents each year November 27, 2012 Fox News), “Deer Deter is an automated electronic system designed to keep wild deer and other large animals from running into oncoming traffic in the dark of night. Using a combination of light and sound, it literally stops the animals in their tracks as cars pass by.” On the same site, “According to the company’s U.S. representative, Edward A Mulka . . . Over 11,000 of the units have been deployed in Europe near known deer feeding points... the installations have reduced collisions by up to 90 percent.”

If Mayor Dell A’ Quilla is serious about working with other mayors, he should know that North Royalton officials made repeated claims at a heavily attended council meeting early this year that they will “never” allow hunting in their community. Also, Broadview Heights (broadviewdeer.com) voted down bow hunting. And in Mentor, a hotspot for deer-human conflicts in Northeast Ohio, officials have laid out 2013 plans to implement and experiment with more humane methods, including Deer Deter. According to William J. McShea, Chad M. Stewart, Laura J. Kearns, Stefano Liccioli, David Kocka, expert authors on deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs), “The locations of DVCs during the rut were not markedly different from collisions outside the rut.” Contrary to what most believe, mating season does not increase DVCs. They add, “Management efforts should include changing motorist behavior or road attributes.” (2008) Human–Wildlife Interactions. Vol. 1, No. 1.

A superb article written by Plain Dealer reporter Donna Miller reads, “Despite a 34 percent increase in the Rochester Hills [Michigan] deer population since 2009, the city experienced a 25 percent reduction in deer vehicle crashes” through its driver education and highly visible signs erected in “hot spots” (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/11/_animals_in_the_news_70.html).

Any lethal method to “control” or “manage” deer populations is a myth perpetuated by the profit-driven Ohio Division of Wildlife, hunters, lobbyists and well-meaning but uninformed citizens, whereas the DOW’s mantra is: “maximum sustainable yield,” the intentional maintenance of a live number of high targets to keep tens of millions of dollars coming in each year. Readers should be warned that, because hunting is slightly down in Ohio, the DOW is ramping up efforts by sending its agents of death in the form of wildlife bio-stitutes (wildlife biologists who prostitute their expertise for DOW profit) to sell bow hunting or sharpshooting. That is what Dell A’ Quilla suggested in one of his recent mailings.

Suffering deer sometimes take weeks or longer to die after being hit by arrows. An open public records request in nearby Independence revealed that, in spite of a list of bow hunting requirements, numerous violations such as a large number of hunters on one acre; 11-year-olds trespassing to track deer that have been left to die slowly; not using elevated platforms; hunters from other counties and states using residents’ properties to hunt; and much more.

We’ve paved over their habitat, hunted, persecuted and abused them. Essentially, we’ve bullied them. This is going to stop. Officials here will be held accountable for bringing a 21st century, affordable, humane model for co-existing with native wildlife.

Tune out any rhetoric involving lethal methods to control deer in Seven Hills and hold officials to a sane, affordable, humane and safe standard!

lucy mckernan

Animals first.

Read More on Seven Hills
Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 5:15 AM, 12.03.2012