deer cull | Michigan Radio

deer cull

Stop the Shoot sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor will shut down eleven of its city parks and nature areas after 3:00 p.m. every day from January 2-26, to permit sharpshooters to cull its abundant population of deer.

deer in forest
Rodney Campbell / Flickr -

Hunting deer in the city of Ann Arbor will continue as a way to control the deer population.

The Ann Arbor City Council met Monday night and rejected an amendment to stop the deer management program. The vote came after supporters and opponents of the hunts involving sharpshooters voiced their opinions on the issue.

deer in snowy woods
Flickr user rkramer62

Ann Arbor's deer management program is in the fourth and final year of operations approved by the city council. The deer cull starts Jan. 2.

The City of Ann Arbor has updated its deer management program to allow culling of deer on private property with written consent of the owner.  Owners of neighboring properties have already been notified. The city says residents of the area can go about their normal daily activities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Michigan lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a measure that would prevent communities from sterilizing wild animals to control their populations.

deer in forest
Rodney Campbell / Flickr -

Protestors were able to reduce the number of deer killed in the city of Ann Arbor's annual cull this year.

The city is trying to reduce an overabundance of the animals because they affect traffic safety and biodiversity.  Many homeowners have also complained to the city that the deer are eating all their shrubs and gardens, and defecating on their properties.

The city approved a plan for sharpshooters to kill up to 250 deer, but they killed only 115.

Deer cull cuts January hours in 16 Ann Arbor parks

Jan 8, 2018
deer in forest
Rodney Campbell / Flickr -

Professional sharpshooters will cull the city's deer population this month, leading to the closure of 16 Ann Arbor parks from 3 p.m. to midnight daily through the end of January. 

According to the city of Ann Arbor, park closures starting Monday, Jan. 8 from 3 p.m. until midnight include: Arbor Hills Nature Area, Barton Nature Area (Foster area north of Warrington Dr. only), Bird Hills Nature Area, Foxfire West Nature Area, Glazier Hill Nature Area, Huron Parkway/ Braun Nature Areas, Leslie Park Golf COurse, Leslie Woods Nature Area, Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area, Oakridge Nature Area (East of Huron Parkway only), Oakwoods Nature Area, Olson Park (dog park and parking lot to remain open), South Pond Nature Area (only the area in the vicinity of NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Dr.), Stapp Nature Area, Sugarbush Park (North of Rumsey Dr.), Traver Creek Nature Area.

Starting Jan. 8, several select University of Michigan and Concordia properties will also be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight daily. 

Tracy Samilton/Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor will significantly expand its deer cull this winter, requesting trained sharpshooters to kill up to 350 deer.  That's up from the goal of 100 last year (sharpshooters were able to kill 96).

Most of the cull will take place in Wards 1 and 2, north of the river, where as many as 600 deer are living, according to Tom Crawford, who is in charge of the city's deer management program.

He says it's year three of a four-year program, and the city has enough experience with the program now to determine what's needed.

Deer in the underbrush.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials have approved Ann Arbor's plan to kill as many as 100 deer and to sterilize up to 80 more. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources signed off on the plan, which allows the city to bring in sharpshooters from White Buffalo, Inc. for the cull and sterilization. 

user Noel Zia Lee / Flickr -

Ever had a fast-food venison sandwich before? If not, you might have a chance at Arby's.

Arby's recently announced its "Fast Crafted sandwich" brand will release the venison sandwich in early November given the popularity of hunting season, according to the press release

Ann Arbor is almost halfway to its deer cull goal

Feb 16, 2016
Tee Poole / Creative Commons

The city of Ann Arbor says hired sharpshooters have killed 47 deer in designated parks and nature areas, since the city's deer cull began January 2.

Sharpshooters have until March 1 to reach the city's goal of 100 deer.

Until then, 14 city parks and nature areas remain under restricted hours while sharpshooters carry out the cull.

Ann Arbor removes 10 parks from deer cull list

Jan 14, 2016
user Noel Zia Lee / Flickr -

Ten Ann Arbor parks are open to the public again, following the city's decision to remove them from a list of sites where sharpshooters with the U.S. Department of Agriculture will shoot deer.

That leaves 14 parks closed to the public from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. on weekdays until the deer cull ends on March 1.

According to a press release from the City of Ann Arbor, the decision to reopen the parks was "a result of recent operational assessments related to the cull."

deer in forest
Rodney Campbell / Flickr -

A federal judge says the city of Ann Arbor can go ahead with its deer cull – at least, for now.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow denied a request for a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt the city’s deer cull.

deer in forest
Rodney Campbell / Flickr -

A group of Ann Arbor residents passionately opposed to a planned deer cull has filed a 92-page lawsuit to try to stop it.

Ann Arbor has hired marksmen with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to try to reduce a growing deer population.  The deer are eating almost everything in people's yards and nature areas in some parts of the city.

The lawsuit contends the city doesn't have the legal authority to order a cull. 

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

In 2003, Shari Elkort and her husband Richard Wickboldt fell in love with this property close by the Huron River. The yard was thick with mature trees, shrubs and other plants. In the spring and summer, there were wildflowers.  

"It was just a paradise," sighs Elkort.

But paradise has been lost,or perhaps, for the deer, paradise has been found.

Vegetation-rich yards like this provide abundant food for a highly-adaptable species. There are no predators, and no hunting, so as the city expands its footprint, deer multiply.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife officials are closing out a year of battling chronic wasting disease in the state’s free-ranging deer.

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease turned up in Ingham County in April.  By the end of the year, a total of four confirmed cases of the fatal neurological illness were confirmed, among the nearly four thousand deer that were tested.

In order to decrease the chances of CWD spreading, Gov. Snyder this week signed a law extending a ban on feeding wild deer. 

Deer in the underbrush.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

UPDATE: A change has been made in the planning, and parks will now be open on the weekends.

Starting Jan. 1, there will be no more late-afternoon, evening, or early-morning strolls in 26 designated Ann Arbor parks and nature areas.

The parks and nature areas will be closed to the public for "deer-control efforts" from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. daily from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2016, according to a recent announcement from the city of Ann Arbor.