PETITION TARGETS: Mill Creek MetroParks Board of Commissioners, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife
UPDATE (5/22/2023): The group working to save the Mill Creek Deer is now working with attorney Marc Dann to get data on deer populations, challenge the Board’s authority to order the massacre, dissolve the Board completely, or reach an agreement, according to WFMJ news. We’ll keep watching this case. — Lady Freethinker Staff
Nearly 1,500 beautiful white-tailed deer could soon be cruelly shot to death with firearms and crossbows by hunters and sharpshooters in a taxpayer-supported park system in Mahoning County, Ohio.
The Mill Creek MetroParks Board announced plans to allow white-tailed deer to be shot across more than 2,600 acres, alleging the land could only host 10 to 20 deer per square mile, rather than the 387 deer per square mile reportedly there — meaning at least 1,468 deer could soon be shot to death simply for existing.
The Board’s approved proposal also would encourage hunters to take out “antlerless” deer in a targeted move to kill female deer and mothers that likely will leave orphaned fawns to fend for themselves and likely die.
The plan authorizes the killings for at least the next 10 years — with references to continued, annual killing as well — which has sparked fear and unrest for community members living near the park who said they are concerned about the safety of their families, pets, and children. Other community members who laced up their hiking boots and walked through the park properties also don’t believe the deer population survey results and want a second, independent study before any killings take place.
The Board, in a presentation about its proposal, noted the only approved white-tailed deer “management” solutions by Ohio’s Division of Wildlife were “targeted removals” — i.e., hiring sharpshooters to kill deer in the dark after the park is closed to the public — or hunting lotteries.
It’s absolutely unacceptable that the Mill Creek MetroParks Board and the state do not have a single non-lethal solution approved and available for this community’s input — especially given that research has proven that mass killings of deer don’t solve the specific issues the Board cited as justifications for the kills.
The massacre won’t take place until this fall’s hunting season — which means there is still time for people who oppose these brutal killings to make their voices heard.
Sign our petition urging local and state officials to find and prioritize non-lethal ways to co-exist with the deer, such as wildlife corridors, reduced speed limits in deer-concentrated areas, public education campaigns, and other compassionate measures! We’re also encouraging officials to conduct a second population survey to have accurate data informing their decisions and also to form a task force of concerned citizens and stakeholders to be part of discussions and decisions for any future disagreements — as is recommended by state officials.
Then, if and only if you are an Ohio resident who lives next to the Mill Creek parks and may suffer harm from the deaths of these deer, please take a moment to respectfully fill out this complaint form.