Depredation permits are utilized for farmers with deer populations that impact agricultural crops, and regulated urban deer hunting programs are used for populations in cities and parks.
How does a state with a large population of white-tailed deer, a large population of humans, a mix of big cities and rural areas, and a strong tradition of hunting and farming, handle these depredation and urban hunting issues?
Ohio Division of Wildlife and Ohio Farm Bureau are working together on that now. Geoff Westervield is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and assistant wildlife management supervisor with Ohio Division of Wildlife. He’s working with landowners and other folks interested in the deer problem to figure out the issues and, possibly, some solutions.
“Wildlife damage management is a complicated balancing act between sportsmen, farmers, those that only like watching wildlife, and those living in residential areas,” Westerfield told The Athens News in the report. “This is even more complicated by Ohio’s varying landscapes ranging from the heavy agricultural areas of western Ohio to the hill country of southeastern Ohio and everything in between including large metropolitan areas.”
Hunters often say to just open up the seasons and reduce regulations. Sometimes it’s not that easy, especially in some urban areas with high human population and traffic. In some, though, it would be that easy if residents understood how bowhunting can help and bought into the program. The damaging deer numbers for farmers are often easier to understand. It’s a delicate balancing act, though.
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