Northeast Ohio woman speaks out against 'deer culling'

SEVEN HILLS, OH (WOIO) - Deer culling is the process of thinning a deer herd through sharp shooters and bows and arrows. However, Lucy McKernan, a member of Deer Defenders of Ohio, prefers a different term.

"It's killing," she tells Cleveland 19 News.

She said she does not believe that deer culling succeeds in its goal of reducing deer populations across Northeast Ohio.

"It took me a long time to really grasp the paradox that killing does not reduce populations," said McKernan. "It took me a long time to understand that doing something is actually harmful, the way we've been doing it. It took me a long time to understand that."

McKernan says she's taken steps to protect her plants from deer, like putting up fences around her trees. She says that's a better system than culling programs, which exist in cities across our area, as well as the Cleveland Metroparks.

In recent years, some states have begun large scale birth control programs for deer populations. McKernan says it's feasible, but she has mixed feelings about that coming to Ohio.

"I personally believe it is tampering with their reproductive rights," said McKernan. On the other hand, I believe that this is a much better solution than killing."

Exact rules vary from city to city, but in general, hunting deer requires a permit, permission from the landowner, proven proficiency with the weapon, and sometimes, the donation of the meat to charity.

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