Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clearing up Mentor's controlled deer hunt rules

Before an archer can legally send an arrow downrange toward a Mentor deer the bowman must first pass a proficiency test.

And if that archer fails the city’s code-embedded test requirements he’s still got two more bites at the apple.

Also, of the four approved proficiency testing centers only one does not charge a fee. In the case of Great Lakes Outdoor Supply in Madison Township the test fee is waived, as it is for the similar proficiency test required by Lake Metroparks for its controlled archery-only deer hunts.

The other current archery proficiency testing centers are Great Lakes Outdoor Supply’s Middlefield Village store, the Geauga Bow and Outdoors store, also in Middlefield, as well as the Whitetail Mann in Concord Township. Each of these archery-related establishments charge a $10 fee.

Gander Mountain’s Mentor store is not yet a testing site. This is because that business is not set up with an archery range capable of handling 20-yard archery shots, a test perquisite.

In order to qualify, an applicant must launch five arrows, each of which must stay within the Number 4 ring of a National Field Archery Association-certified 40-centimeter paper target placed 20 yards downrange. The minimum passing score is 22 points out of a possible 25 points.

No practice shots are permitted, either, says a Mentor official engaged in the controlled deer-management-hunt program.

“We will allow up to three tries but only one per day,” said Nicholas Mikash, Mentor’s natural resources specialist.

Likewise, says Mikash, an applicant must qualify with the type of archery tackle that is intended to be used during the actual hunt.

Consequently, says Mikash, if an archer desires to switch between a vertically held bow (longbow, recurve or compound bow) and a horizontally held bow (crossbow) that person qualify with each different piece of hunting implement.

Also asked if a crossbow user being tested can fire from a personally supplied shooting bench or from a prone position, Mikash said that Mentor is “not specifying a required position for testing.”

Mentor similarly is allowing non-Mentor residents to apply, and if successfully completing the hunt requirements and proficiency test, to participate in the program.

“If a property owner sees fit to allow someone to hunt but who doesn’t live in the city, we’re not going to say who can or cannot participate,” Mikash said.

Each arrow or crossbow bolt/arrow must include the hunter’s permit number as well.

Yet while Mentor says a permit holder is responsible for informing the city with 24 hours of a kill, the community will not require police inspection of each animal shot as done in Kirtland.

The city does insist, however, that a successful hunter bag and remove the entrails of any deer killed or else have approval from the property owner to bury the remains.

A seemingly odd rule adopted by Mentor and found with the city’s 18-page controlled hunt information packet is the prohibition of the use of any still photography or video-recording of a hunt or a hunt success. This includes the use of a cell phone or tablet-installed camera.

“This was added as a precaution to prevent complications during the City of Mentor’s planned deer management activities that will coincide with archery season,” Mikash
For complete details, application forms, and information about Mentor’s controlled archery-only deer-management hunt, visit the city’s web site on the matter:
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

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