While animal advocates mourn the killing of Bucky, a tame deer shot by order of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), In Defense of Animals (IDA) announced a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone caught poaching deer in Northeast Ohio.
The reward is offered as part of the ‘Bust-A-Poacher’ Program. IDA along with Deer Defenders of Ohio,
a watchdog organization of the ODNR urban deer hunting program, are offering the reward.
“The deer killing frenzy in Ohio is out of control,” said Anja Heister, director of IDA’s Wild and Free-Habitats Campaign. Heister added, “Ohio hunters killed nearly 219,000 deer in 2012-13, but apparently that is not enough for the ODNR, whose only interest is maximizing deer numbers so they can serve as living targets for hunters.”
Not only hunters, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources itself continues to kill. Bucky, the gentle, tame deer in Clarington, Ohio, was ordered by the ODNR to be shot. The ODNR’s excuse was that the deer was capable of becoming dangerous. A petition prepared by Sandra Barnett-Potts asking that Bucky be spared received more than 700 signatures. Yet on Wednesday afternoon, the friendly deer was shot and killed anyway. Bucky was shot while sitting in a public park in Clarington in front of several children.
As if deer killing by the ODNR isn't bad enough, many Ohio cities are currently being pressured into passing ordinances that allow hunting with few restrictions or regulation enforcement. Last month, the City of Avon Lake signed into effect a new law which will allow Avon Lake residents to kill deer outside of hunting season, 365 days a year.
Lane Ferrante, who runs Deer Defenders, said “Avon Lake is already allowing bow hunting of deer year-round, meaning that pregnant deer will be killed and newly born fawns will die from starvation when their mothers are killed. This is incredibly brutal and cruel and is as far removed from the so-called ‘fair chase’ ethical code that hunters always use to justify their killing as it gets.”
Bow hunting is an incredibly cruel and ineffective method to use, when more effective and humane methods exist. One such method, fertility control for urban deer, reportedly reduced deer population successfully at metro area parks between 1994 and 2004. Residents have already noticed an increase in the number of injured deer seen with arrows sticking out of their backs, necks, and heads. Deer left to languish with these injuries, according to IDA, die a slow and painful death.
Yet the ODNR continues to cater to hunters, listening to those who enjoy killing, and ignoring the public when it comes to the concern of urban deer and public safety. ODNR Director James Zehringer stated “Ohio has become one of the nation’s top destinations for hunting white-tailed deer.”
A post on Deer Defenders of Ohio includes contact information, and says “Governor and the ODNR are equally responsible for the murder of BUCKY and trauma caused to the children. They SHOT him right in front of children!! Governor John Kasich Riffe Center, 30th Floor 77 South High Street Columbus, OH 43215-6117 Phone: (614) 466-3555 ODNR needs to know how the people feel. The game warden who I imagine took his 'hunting' shot out of hunting season is WES FELDER 614-466-3555.”
Deer Defenders of Ohio writes on their Facebook page: “If you live in OH and your community is discussing a local deer kill please let us know. You can email us at email@example.com. We can help. We, along with local residents and The League of Humane Voters OH repealed ordinances that would have brought bow hunting and wildlife exterminating companies shooting and possibly other brutal methods such as the trap and captive bolt to their neighborhoods. Let's build on those victories and save more lives. There are many science-proven, humane, long-term alternatives. Visit www.solondeer.com to learn more.”
In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization, has more than 237,000 “likes” on their Facebook page.
To download a printable copy of the Bust-A-Poacher flyer shown above, click here.