Metro Parks will allow hunting by bow and arrow or crossbow in select areas by permit only this fall as part of its ongoing deer management program.
Each permit, determined by lottery July 29, is good for up to six people, including up to three adults and three juveniles.
Two box blinds will be installed in two locations for hunters requiring wheelchairs for mobility. Wheelchair-bound hunters may live outside of Summit County. All other participants must be Summit County residents.
Lottery applications and archery tests are available at the following locations:
1) Gander Mountain, 2695 Creekside Dr., Twinsburg; 330-405-2999
2) Hadley’s Sports Center, 5676 Manchester Rd., Akron; 330-882-6060
3) The Marksman, 3017 Barber Rd., Norton; 330-745-2000
Applications must be postmarked by July 18 to qualify.
Hunting areas for the 2011-12 season include Pond Brook Conservation Area in Twinsburg Township; the Columbia Run and Wetmore conservation areas in Boston Township; two areas within Furnace Run Metro Park in Richfield; and Riding Run Conservation Area in Richfield, Bath, Cuyahoga Falls and Boston Township.
Up to three permits will be assigned per location. All areas are remote and have limited public access.
Hunters must follow Metro Parks rules and regulations, the hunting guidelines established by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and agree to harvest one antler-less deer before an antlered deer is taken. Hunting season is September 24 to February 5.
A complete list of rules is available at summitmetroparks.org under “Nature Information.”
Metro Parks has completed eight seasons of deer management in an attempt to reduce deer density levels in parks and conservation areas and help restore and maintain a balanced ecosystem. Regionally and throughout the state, changes in habitat and the elimination of natural predators have allowed deer herds to grow to unnatural densities.
In some areas, deer densities had been documented at more than 200 per square mile. Densities that exceed 20 per square mile are associated with threats to biodiversity.
Since 2004, sharpshooters have culled more than 1,000 deer in the park district and the venison has been donated to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Last season, more than 10,000 pounds were donated.
In three seasons of the archery program, participants have taken 135 deer.