Deer Population & Property Damage

Deer have adapted to living in our yards and park system. Unfortunately, they also have adapted to eating our landscaping and damaging our property, making them a nuisance animal.

Deer Task Force

In 2015, former mayor Earl Leiken formed the Deer Task Force to collect data on how frequently residents see deer in their neighborhoods, what concerns residents have regarding deer, and whether deer have damaged property and / or landscaping. In 2016 and 2017, the Task Force initiated a Deer Survey for residents to provide information on the local deer population.

In winter 2016 / 2017 and 2017 / 2018, the City began a deer reduction program by Shaker Heights Police Department trained marksmen in response to safety, health, and economic concerns about an overabundance of deer in the city.

Available for download are the Report of the Deer Task Force (PDF), which includes recommendations for the City on deer management, including a deer reduction program.

If your property has been damaged by deer, you may submit a Deer Damage Report. There is also a new 2018 Deer Survey to determine the level of control needed to address the number of deer in our city.

What You Can Do

Keep in mind the City endorses the following two recommendations from the Ohio Division of Wildlife to help prevent deer damage to your property:

  • Scare devices and techniques - Probably the simplest and least expensive method is the use of streamers, flags, aluminum pie pans, or any other object that will move in the breeze or reflect natural or artificial light. Unfortunately, studies have shown that scare tactics are not very effective.
  • Chemical Repellents - Chemical repellents act on a deer's sense of smell and taste to reduce, but not eliminate, plant damage. Home and garden centers carry a wide assortment. Repellents should be applied before damage occurs, applied often and switched frequently. They are most effective under low deer density situations. Be sure to follow manufacturer's guidelines and procedures closely and be aware that application to edible plants may render them unfit for human consumption if applied at the wrong time.  

Animal Warden

If a deer is somehow trapped inside your yard, you may wish to email the Animal Warden or call at 216-491-1490. If you discover a fawn, leave it alone; the mother is likely nearby and will return. Please contact the police only if you find an injured deer to provide the deer's location. 

More Information

Visit the Ohio Division of Wildlife for more information on deer and other nuisance animals. Be sure to contact the City's Planning Department and Building Department and apply for a fence permit (PDF) before erecting a fence to keep deer off your property.