Deer management units are unnecessary

It is a pity – and wrong-headed – that most participants to the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s recently completed Deer Stakeholders’ series of meetings were said to have vigorously nodded “yes” to the concept of a so-called Deer Management Unit system.

Had they not been so enthralled with the siren song by wildlife biologists and shaken their heads so enthusiastically, they might have recognized the idea was impractical and, very possibly, unnecessary.

Much in the group’s professorial 57-page report is made of the so-named DMUs. Thing is, these proposed deer management units are nothing more than a gerrymandered system that uses highways and natural features instead of the current, easily recognized, county-based system to describe what bag limits apply.

The defect here is the assumption that somehow the deer herd on one side of a two-lane road is larger (or smaller) than a deer herd on the road’s other side, and thus is in need of either more liberal or more conservative regulations. That failing was brought up and had to be amended during the now largely forgotten Urban Deer Zone era.

Close to home here in Lake County, the ill-advised nature of the zones is clearly evident. The report’s mention of the deer management units – and a proposed map that was presented recently before the eight-member Ohio Wildlife Council – demonstrates the poverty of such a deer management unit plan.

Lake County is the smallest of the state’s 88 counties. And yet the proposed map slices no fewer than seven of Lake’s townships, villages, and cities, splitting them into likely both more liberal and more conservative bag-limit jurisdictions.

For more, see the first October issue of Ohio Outdoor News or subscribe online at

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn, Whitetail Deer

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