“I really don’t want to deal with phone calls of a polka-dot deer running around town because it’s gotten hit with 17 different colors of paint balls,” Westerfield told the Chronicle-Telegram.
Hunters in the Ohio town of Avon Lake rejoiced last month after a new ordinance allowed year-round bow hunting for the purpose of managing the deer population. However, City Council member Dave Kos recently introduced a new alternative that has come under criticism by wildlife officials: using paintballs to scare the animals away.
“It’s been discussed with Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that shooting a deer near the hoof with a paintball gun will get them to scatter,” Kos told The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.
Kos, who believed that the ordinance was less than safe, proposed the paintball solution for residents who had nuisance deer, but were either unable to procure a deer control permit or were unwilling to use firearms. Avon Lake has been struggling with handling nuisance deer for years, and officials say that the local population has grown out of hand. In addition to becoming a hazard for local motorists, the animals have also been ripping up lawns, degrading nearby forests, and in at least one incident, even attacked a resident. The City Council has been in talks for more efficient deer management for the past two years, but not everyone approved of hunting. Some say that the year-round season could be dangerous for residents, while others wanted a non-lethal solution.