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Metro Parks will permit hunting by bow and arrow in several areas this fall as part of its ongoing deer management program.

A July 30 lottery will determine who receives the 25 hunting permits available. Each permit will be good for up to three hunters who are Summit County residents and pass an archery test before a mandatory pre-hunting meeting September 1.

Lottery applications and archery tests are available at the following locations:

1) Gander Mountain, 2695 Creekside Dr., Twinsburg; 330-405-2999
2) Hadley’s Sports Center, 5676 Manchester Rd., Akron; 330-882-6060
3) The Complete Hunter's Outlet, 1325 Waterloo Rd., Mogadore; 330-628-1457
4) The Marksman, 3017 Barber Rd., Norton; 330-745-2000

Applications must be postmarked by July 18, and hunters may select one of three categories: general hunting, youth hunting or ADA requirements for wheelchair-bound hunters. Youth hunting is open to ages 17 and younger who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

Last season was the first for the archery program, in which hunters took 34 deer from four designated sites. Eight areas are included this year. All are remote and have limited public access.

Hunting areas include Pond Brook Conservation Area in Twinsburg Township; the Columbia Run and Wetmore conservation areas in Boston Township; two areas within Furnace Run Metro Park in Richfield; Kniss Conservation Area in Bath; Riding Run Conservation Area in Richfield, Bath, Cuyahoga Falls and Boston Township; and an unnamed property in Clinton.

Permit holders will be assigned a hunting area and given a designated timeframe in which they can hunt during hunting season, September 26 to February 7. All hunters must follow Metro Parks rules and regulations, the hunting guidelines established by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and agree to harvest one antler-less deer before an antlered deer is taken.

A complete list of the rules is available at summitmetroparks.org.

Metro Parks has completed six seasons of deer management in an attempt to reduce deer density levels in its parks and conservation areas in order to restore and maintain a balanced ecosystem. Regionally and throughout the state, changes in habitat and the elimination of natural predators have allowed deer herds to grow to unnatural densities.

In some areas, deer densities have been documented at more than 200 per square mile. Densities that exceed 20 per square mile are associated with threats to biodiversity.

Since 2004, sharpshooters have culled more than 1,000 deer in the park district and the venison has been donated to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Last season, 10,373 pounds were donated.
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