North Royalton residents concerned about suburban deer bow hunting safety

Some residents concerned about bow hunting safety
Posted at 11:18 PM, Oct 10, 2017

A small group of North Royalton residents believe more must be done to monitor the safety of bow hunters, who are now permitted to hunt deer in residential neighborhoods.

2017 marks the second season that North Royalton, and other cities like Broadview Heights and Parma are allowing bow hunting, in an effort to control the growing deer population, which caused 219 deer/vehicle accidents in North Royalton in 2016.

Kathleen Tomaro believes a few bow hunters in North Royalton aren't following all safety regulations, including hunting too late a night, and not always following tree stand guidelines.

Tomaro claims one hunter nearly caused an accident near her home, and she's calling for additional enforcement.

"I came around the corner, and the guy came around the corner thinking that I was a deer, and he had his bow drawn on me," said Tomaro.

"I really think these hunters need to be watched more carefully."

Pete Maizitis told News 5 he found empty beer cans near one tree stand site, and said he's concerned about hunters coming into his neighborhood from all parts of the country.

"We're just opening the doors again wide open to strangers, and the possibility of break-ins again." said Maizitis.

"I don't know who these people are."

"All of a sudden there's beer cans, alcoholic beverages there, and I'm like what's going on, this is unsafe."

But North Royalton Safety Director Bruce Campbell told News 5 the police department is doing an excellent job in monitoring all bow hunters, checking permits, and tree stand placement.

"We use GPS, and make sure all tree stands are at least 8 feet in the air so they're shooting in a downward trajectory," said Campbell.

"Our officers make sure the tree stands are at least 250 feet or greater away from an occupied structure."

Campbell said all hunters are put through a rigorous application process, and that violators can face a first degree misdemeanor if convicted.

Campbell said so far the program is running smoothly, and said only one hunter has been cited for not having a permit this year.

Still, Tomaro is hoping North Royalton will consider another way to control the deer population.

"There is contraception for deer," said Tomaro.

"Back then it was about $20 a doe, now it's about $10 a doe, and it's much safer."

North Royalton leaders said they would consider contraception, if the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would give final approval on the process.