Ottawa Hills Deer Culling Referendum (November 2010)

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An Ottawa Hills Deer Culling Referendum was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the town of Ottawa Hills, which is in Lucas County.

This measure was defeated

  • YES 1,079 (53.9%)
  • NO 1,264 (46.1%)Defeatedd[1]

The petition drive originally was trying to get this issue onto the May 2010 ballot, but instead it was pushed to the November 2010 ballot. A Yes vote would have allowed the culling to take place within the village, but only with a wildlife management program supervising. A permit by the state would have still been needed to allow the culling. A No vote will kept the current law which prohibits hunting on public property.[2]

Path to the Ballot

The Village had passed a resolution in November 2009 to allow sharpshooters to come into the village and cull the deer population. But a citizens group in the village had decided to put the issue to the voters and set out to get the 218 valid signatures needed to get the issue onto the ballot. The council put the culling on hold since the petition passed. A 1940 ban on killing deer was lifted, allowing for the culling to take place. If the petition had not gotten enough signatures then the shooters would have been allowed in early 2010 to cull the deer population.[3]

As of December 10, 2009, petitioners had gathered 150 signatures for their drive to force this issue to a vote. Many residents believed that killing the deer is not the answer to the town's deer problem; they believed the deer would just come back in more numbers. If the town contacts a deer management company shooters could have come in as early as February to cull the deer. The leader of the petition was also trying to get a court injuction to stop the city from taking action before it is decided if the petition will be voted on.[4]


Though the town did not take a position on the issue, they had appointed committees to be on both sides of the issue in order to inform voters about the consequences of a Yes or No vote. Opponents to the measure noted that the deer population had been reduced on its own and it was not worth the large cost to cull more of the deer population. Residents using deer repellent on plants naturally keep the deer away. There was also a move to allow higher fences within the town to keep deer away.[5]

Additional reading