Solon to Kill 300 Deer in Backyards, Other Properties

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SOLON, Ohio— The City of Solon will start killing deer in residential neighborhoods, but some don't know when or where it'll happen.

"They've been trying to kill them off for years, they have been thinning them out and it's still a problem," said resident Valiet Johnson. "So to continue to kill the deer, I don't feel that it's right."

Wildlife services will begin killing deer in the area, starting Monday through March 31.

Johnson worries about rifles being used to slay the animals, just feet away from her home on Liberty Road.

"The reason why there is a deer problem is because we continue to build homes within our area and the deer have nowhere else to go," she said. "I could be out in the backyard, and to know that without any warning, that they could feel comfortable coming within my neighborhood doing the killing, I'm not comfortable with that."

Dave Roncoe, who is overseeing the city's deer management program, said the city will use rifles to shoot down up to 300 deer. Eventually, the program may expand to use cross-bows.

The last time the used a deer management program was in 2009. Roncoe said a number of residential and city properties will be sites for the culling.

In 2011, the deer population in Solon increased 54 percent, according to the City of Solon website. Deer-related car accidents increased 60 percent as well.

Resident Jocelyn Williams said she rarely sees deer in her yard.

"I don't see them much, but I have experienced them running down the driveway out into the traffic," Williams said. "I do have mixed feelings, for the deer and the safety of everyone."

Neighbor Melanie Bard has been frustrated by the deer for many years. She's offered her backyard for the culling.

"In the olden days, we`d see, like, herds. Like seven, eight or 10 grouped together, in and out of our woods," she said. "It`s just more aggravation for anyone, number one, who wants a garden and a nice yard. And number two, I don`t want them in my yard, I really don`t."

But for Johnson, no matter what the method, she worries about the risks of having activity like this so close to home.

"They`ve been trying to kill them off for years, they have been thinning them out and it`s still a problem," she said. "So to continue to kill the deer, I don`t feel that it`s right."