Deer Management

The city understands how this is a sensitive subject on many levels and there are strong emotions involved. The city also is positioning safety as a central element to the planning process and during active management of the program. Deer 

Deer have adapted to living in our yards and in our parks. Unfortunately, they have adapted to eating our landscaping and damaging our property, making them a nuisance animal. Additionally, each year we witness more traffic accidents involving deer where not only are cars damaged, but those accidents sometimes have more dire consequences.  

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) sets the number of deer involved in the management program in order to maintain a healthy deer population. 

Here you will find our Deer Management Plan, Deer Count Studies, Residential Surveys, Public Meetings, Contract For Deer Management Plan, Protocols, Resources and Frequently Asked Questions.

DEER MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources developed our Deer Management Plan. The goal of a deer management program is to establish a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunity while minimizing conflicts with agriculture, motor travel and personal safety. A deer management program will not, nor is it intended to, eliminate the deer population. There is a maximum number of animals that an area’s native and cultivated resources can support without degradation to the animal’s health and environment.  

Deer Management Plan (PDF)

DEER COUNT STUDIES

The City of Beachwood conducted two deer count studies. In December 2014, the City of Beachwood participated in an EWPM (Enhanced Watershed Program Management) Aerial Infrared Deer count study with several adjacent cities, published in 2015. Of the 8 cities that participated in the survey, the greatest number of deer were counted in Beachwood and Pepper Pike. 

In 2021, the City of Beachwood contracted with USDA ASHPIS Wildlife Services to conduct a white-tail deer count in the City of Beachwood.

EWMP Aerial Infrared Deer Count 2015 (PDF)
USDA ASHPIS Wildlife Services White-Tail Deer Count 2021 (PDF)

RESIDENTIAL SURVEYS   

The City of Beachwood reached out to our residents to understand how they are affected by the deer population. According to the results of the city’s latest survey (2021), 61% of Beachwood residents who responded want the deer population to be addressed. This is up from 46% in a 2018 survey

The breakdown of residential concerns (2021) are as follows:
⇨  65% are concerned with property damage/gardens
⇨  51% are concerned about disease
⇨  48% are concerned about traffic related accidents
⇨  33% are concerned about the safety of pets

2021 Residential Survey (PDF)
2018 Residential Survey (PDF)

PUBLIC MEETINGS  

There have been several public meetings where deer management was discussed in detail.

Safety Committee Meeting – October 4, 2021                           October 4th Power Point Presentation (PDF)
Safety Committee Meeting – September 28, 2022                    September 28th Power Point Presentation (PDF)
City Council Meeting – October 3, 2022

CONTRACT FOR DEER MANAGEMENT  

To be effective, deer management should be handled collaboratively and across city borders. It is important to know that all but two of Beachwood’s neighbors have deer management programs in place. If Beachwood does nothing, the deer population is estimated to grow by 25% each year.

Therefore, Beachwood is partnering with the City of Shaker Heights which has extensive experience in this area. The City of Beachwood and the City of Shaker Heights will contract with Precision Wildlife Management for the 2022/2023 season.
Shaker Heights has been working with this firm since 2016. By partnering with Shaker, Beachwood is able to share expenses and manage the situation in a coordinated manner. The estimated cost is $60,000 for the first year, with the possibility of an additional $24,000 if circumstances allow.

Precision Wildlife Management Contract (PDF)


PROTOCOLS

The management season will begin the first week in December and end the last week in March. “Do Not Enter – Deer Management Area” signs will be posted where management operations will occur. Owner and former Shaker Heights police officer James Mariano will handle the tactical work, along with his team. He was a SWAT precision marksman prior to becoming a SWAT commander. He uses a suppressor for sound reduction, and he communicates regularly with the police departments.


DeerBait (apples and corn) is used to concentrate deer in desired locations, typically in areas where deer generally congregate. No fawns are involved in the program.

Safety: Whenever possible, deer management operations will occur at night when most people are in their homes. Residents will be alerted to the timing of management activity and signs will be posted. Clean up is handled immediately and completely and the harvest is donated to local food banks.

When the tactical team is involved with operations, there is a trained marksman focusing on the target and another focused on the surroundings. This two-person approach is done for safety purposes and allows the team to recognize any possible sources of interference. Safety measures are in place to prevent citizens from wandering into the operation area. In the event of an unauthorized entry, NO shots will be fired.  

At the end of the management season, Mariano will provide a report to the Beachwood’s Safety Committee of Council, then another residential survey will be distributed during summer 2023 which will be used to guide future decision making as it relates to deer management.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES/CONTACTS

Tips on prevention and action with vehicle and deer collisions
What can you do to protect your property from deer damage?
Tickborne Diseases in Ohio (Ohio Department of Health)

QUESTIONS?

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding our Deer Management Program.