If you can find an urban deer-management program that’s more poorly designed and executed than the one in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Solon, we’ll be stunned.
While a growing number of cities and municipalities in Ohio and other whitetail-rich states are choosing to utilize bowhunters to safely and efficiently harvest abundant and problematic deer, officials in Solon have continually refused to acknowledge their success, and instead have dumped hundred of thousands of taxpayer dollars into an inefficient and costly program.
How costly? For this year’s cull, which took place during February and part of March, the cost per deer was $660. The total price tag for the 2013 deer kill, which once again utilized sharpshooters form the USDA Wildlife Services agency, was $132,719.
And, (we hope you’re sitting down for this) the $132K cost was $50,000 less than the 2012 deer cull, for which the city spent $183,383!
By the way, Solon’s hired guns killed 200 deer in this year’s cull, and about 300 in 2012. Doing the math, that works out to $660 per deer in 2013, and $611 last year. Darned inflation.
The part-time city official who has managed the cull for the past few years, David Hromco, explains that the total price tag includes the USDA cost, meat transportation and processing, police overtime, city personnel overtime for site monitoring and baiting, and direct city costs.
Oh, and by the way, the city pays Hromco, who happens to be the retired Solon assistant public works director, $8,000 to manage the 6-week-long cull. Hromco’s contract with the city stipulates he can put in only 200 hours for the cull ($40 an hour) and he is provided a cell phone and city vehicle.
By way of comparison, in the central Ohio village of Granville, tiny in comparison to Solon, bowhunters took a total of 137 deer during this past January’s urban hunt—at no cost to taxpayers.
It’s a safe guess that money doesn’t grow on trees in Granville, Ohio, like it evidently does in Solon.