Lawsuit filed in attempt to stop deer hunts at Mill Creek Park
A lawsuit has been filed against Mill Creek Metroparks on Thursday in attempt to stop the Metroparks' plan to curb its whitetail deer population.
According to the lawsuit, the plan was presented to the Metroparks' Board of Commissioners in March of 2023 with the belief that there were "too many" whitetail deer throughout its parks.
In order to curb the population, the Board voted to allow hunters in the park to hunt the deer. Under this plan, Albino deer and other non-whitetail deer would be off limits to hunters.
According to the plan, concerns from the Metroparks included overall herd health, as well as various ecological concerns that were "widespread throughout various facilities."
The lawsuit states that this belief is based on "a purported deer count" commissioned by the Metroparks, which relies on infrared signatures detected via aerial surveillance rather than physical sightings, therefore the Metroparks "does not possess an actual or verifiable deer count."
The lawsuit goes on to refer to this plan as the "Deer Slaughter Plan."
According to the lawsuit, additional details released following the initial plan have been "sketchy."
"Mill Creek has been less than forthcoming when pressed for details, repeatedly responding to questions at public meetings with 'go check the website' rather than provide additional specific information about the Deer Slaughter Plan," the lawsuit reads.
Another issue the lawsuit highlights is that many of the Metroparks' parcels are located near residential areas. The lawsuit claims this would increase the risk of unintentional injury to the residents of these areas or their property during hunts and that bodies of deer may show up in these residents' yards.
"For example, if Mill Creek’s Deer Slaughter Plan is permitted to proceed, residential neighborhoods should expect to observe white tail deer, after being shot by an arrow or a rifle, running headlong through a neighborhood while bleeding and ultimately dying from its wounds," the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit goes on to state that little information has been provided to residents living nearby regarding any safety measures in place to prevent unintentional injuries or property damage from happening.
21 News has reached out to the Metroparks for a response to this lawsuit, but we're told due to this being a legal issue, no comment can be given at this time.
The lawsuit can be read below and the Metroparks' plan can be read in full here.