By Bryan Wroten
Avon Lake police officers came across a deer that was apparently shot with an arrow and had its antlers removed.
According to a police report, Officers Shawn Rinker and Bernie Koltiska found the deer on Nov. 19 on Avondale Avenue after someone called in about a man walking around the area carrying a crossbow. Though the officers did not locate the man, they did find the dead deer along with two untagged wood and metal snare traps.
“That area there on Avondale is kind of one of those that is about as wooded and rural as you’re going to get, even though it’s right next to the power plant,” Detective Lt. Vince Molnar said. “There are plenty of woods for the deer to be around in. It’s one where we’ve had a couple of incidences before.”
Hunting is prohibited in Avon Lake with the exception of the deer management program, Molnar said, and it’s a first-degree misdemeanor. Traps for small animals are not illegal, he said, but the traps must have the proper tags displaying the owner’s name and mailing address. Also, the traps were found on land belonging to CEI, he said, so it’s also a trespassing issue.
The report states the deer had a through-and-through wound to its rear flank and appeared to have been dead for a number of days. Its antlers had been cut off.
Molnar said in speaking with Rinker he learned the deer could have lived for a day or so because the wound missed all the vital organs and the deer could have traveled a distance to where it was finally found.
The department receives calls like this on occasion, police Chief Dave Owad said. He couldn’t recall any “tremendous” increase in calls or observations made by officers in the field regarding deer poaching. He doesn’t expect to see a noticeable increase in poaching with the larger deer population.
“Most people are certainly familiar there is no hunting in Avon Lake,” he said. “When we receive calls someone has been doing that, we’re going to respond and try to develop whatever information and evidence we can.”