Rocky Fork Enterprise

Landowners wanted for deer-hunting program

By By MARLA K. KUHLMAN
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Gahanna Police Chief Dennis Murphy is looking for local, private property owners who would allow deer hunting on their land this season.

Murphy said this marks the 19th year of Gahanna's urban deer-hunting program that he calls a "win-win" for everyone involved.

"I need private property owners who live in Gahanna to contact me," he said. "It has to be people who live in Gahanna who will allow the hunters to come on their property. I'll inspect the properties myself."

The deer-hunting program has been successful in lowering the number of car-deer crashes, as well as reducing the amount of property and landscape damage within the city limits, according to Murphy.

Last year, 42 deer were harvested on private property and 40 in local parks for a total of 82 deer, compared to 92 deer that were involved in vehicle-related accidents, Murphy said.

In the 2008-09 season, 69 deer were harvested by hunters, and 60 were involved in vehicle-related accidents.

In 2007-08, there were 69 accidents and only 34 deer harvested by hunters.

"Our biggest problem is deer coming from the airport," Murphy said. "A lot of the venison is donated to local food pantries. It's a wise use of resources, and there's no cost to the taxpayer."

Granville has modeled its program after Gahanna, said Murphy, who works closely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

In addition to seeking landowners who would allow hunting on their properties, two mandatory meetings have been scheduled for those who want to bow hunt for deer. Residents whose last name starts with A-L must attend orientation beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24. Those with last names starting with M -Z must attend orientation at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31. Both meetings will be held at Gahanna City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Road.

All interested hunters are required to bring a photo ID.

During orientation, members of the Gahanna Police Department, the Gahanna Parks Department and a representative of ODNR, will discuss the rules and regulations of the program and which parks/areas are available for hunting.

In addition, paperwork will have to be completed, including an application and a hold-harmless agreement. These forms may be downloaded and completed prior to the orientation by clicking on the "Urban Hunting Program" on the city's website at www.gahanna.gov.

Hunting maps of Academy Park, Gahanna Woods, Galloway Reserve, Karnes Reserve, McCorkle Park and Price Road also are available at that site.

Mandy Frint, police administrative assistant, said about half of those who apply for a permit actually go out and hunt.

"Our permits are just for Gahanna parks or private property," she said.

"For a lot who do hunt, they only go out one time."

In 2009-10, 289 people applied for a hunting permit in Gahanna, compared to 291 the prior year and 273 in 2007-08.

The 2010-11 deer-hunting season begins Sept. 25 and continues through Feb. 6, 2011.

For more information, call (614) 342-4240.

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