RECAP: White-tailed Deer Management Workshop

On August 22, 2016, LEAP hosted this workshop to connect local municipality staff with regional wildlife professionals to discuss deer management options for municipalities. The event answer questions such as:

  • What permits are required?
  • Who can we call for assistance?
  • What information should we collect?

Program Highlights and Contact Information for Panel Participants

Councilman John Shondel, Avon Lake – (440) 930-6838
Avon Lake is moving into its 3rd season managing deer. Their deer management program consists of using USDA-Wildlife Services to sharpshoot deer on selected city properties, and a very limited, but controlled, archery aspect as a supplement to its sharpshooting efforts. Their program required working with the county park district as well as an adjacent city. As in most cities the debate of whether to do deer management or not was discussed for many years but it was John’s attitude of “we need to get this done” that worked through issues like resident concerns and conflicting council members opinions that got the program underway.

Mayor Pat Ward, Lyndhurst – (440) 442-5777
Lyndhurst just began their deer management program last year which consisted of utilizing large traps to trap and euthanize deer on private properties. The use of trapping deer came with a lot of scrutiny from the public, contrary to most deer management programs instituted lately. However, Mayor Ward’s efforts to stick to an identified program option despite criticism was paramount to completing the program last year.

Nick Mikash, Mentor – (440) 255-1100
Mentor began their deer management efforts in 2013. Their program consists of controlled hunting as well as sharpshooting. The sharpshooting occurs primarily on city properties but also occurs on a few private properties as well including coordinating efforts with the county park district as well as various other entities (Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, State Parks, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History). Nick is one of several natural resource personnel hired to work with the police department to facilitate the program. Involvement of the natural resource staff has proven to be a vital need to their program.

Police Chief Michael Kilbane, Independence – (216) 524-1234
The City of Independence has allowed archery hunting within city limits for the last 8 years. Shortly after implementation the city had to modify its rules for archery hunting but since then has had a very successful archery program. The number of deer-vehicle collisions in the city has dropped significantly since the inception of the archery program in Independence. Chief Kilbane has a wealth of information about running a safe and successful archery program in city limits.

Police Chief Michael Cannon, Hunting Valley – 440) 247-7324
Chief Cannon’s involvement with deer management began in Pepper Pike where they initiated both allowance for deer damage permits and hunting by city application in 2014. After being charged by the Mayor to develop a deer management program, Chief Cannon requested the assistance of the Division of Wildlife for support in creation of their program. The Chief relied on the assistance of other police staff with hunting knowledge to evaluate properties to determine if the property could safely be hunted. Now, Chief Cannon is in charge of overseeing the archery hunting program in Hunting Valley that has occurred since the early 2000’s. Chief Cannon has recognized the importance of relying on others to successfully implement and run a deer management program.

Bio and Contact Information for Presenters

Caleb Wellman, USDA-Wildlife Services - (419) 625-9093
Caleb is currently the staff wildlife biologist for the United States Department of Agricultures, Wildlife Services Program for the Northern District of Ohio. In this role he provides technical assistance and administers a variety of wildlife damage management operations relating to the assessment, reduction, and/or elimination of problems associated with wildlife in urban, suburban, and rural environments. For the past six years Caleb has assisted several northern Ohio communities and parks with planning and implementing deer damage management programs.

Mary Pat Doorley, Cuyahoga Valley National Park - (440) 546-5995
Mary Pat is an Interpretive Operations Supervisor at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She has worked for the National Park Service for over 21 years. Mary Pat put her Communications degree from Kent State University to work this past fall when the Cuyahoga Valley National Park began their sharpshooting operations.

John Paul Seman, USDA-Wildlife Services - (419) 625-9093
John Paul is a district supervisor and wildlife biologist for the United States Department of Agriculture’s-Wildlife Services Program for the Northern District of Ohio. He has 15 years of wildlife experience with a focus on human wildlife conflicts. In his current role he provides technical assistance and administers a variety of operational management programs including deer damage management, wildlife safety programs on airports, goose management, protection of threatened and endangered species and wildlife disease management. For the past 7 years he has been directly involved in assisting cities and parks with education and implementation of deer damage management programs in a variety of urban and rural environments.

Erik Shaffer, Cleveland Metroparks - (440) 943-5360
Erik has worked within the Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources division since 2009. His major responsibilities at Cleveland Metoparks include running the prescribed fire program, deer management program, and various land management projects across the park districts lands.

Jon Cepek, Cleveland Metroparks - (216) 739-6047
Jon is the Wildlife Ecologist for the Cleveland Metroparks. Prior to working for the Cleveland Metroparks, Jon was the District Supervisor for USDA Wildlife Services and a Wildlife Biologist for the National Wildlife Research Center. He has been involved in white-tailed deer management and research for over 15 years. In addition, he is the President Elect of the Ohio Fish and Wildlife Management Association and is also a member of the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership, Wildlife Conflict Committee.

Geoff Westerfield, Ohio Division of Wildlife - (330) 245-3027
Geoff has an Associate’s Degree from Hocking College in Fish and Wildlife Mgmt, a Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University in Wildlife Management, and his Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Leadership and Administration. His master's work dealt with Ohio's deer damage permitting system. He has been with the Division of Wildlife for 16 years. The majority of his time with the Division of Wildlife has involved working with private property owners regarding human-wildlife interaction issues with much of his work dealing with deer conflict.