Deer-management program on U-M property limited to Jan. 30-Feb. 2


The city of Ann Arbor on Friday announced the dates of its deer-management program that will include some University of Michigan property.

Earlier this fall, university officials agreed to participate in the city’s 2017 deer-management program as an act of good citizenship.

The city will first initiate a nonlethal deer-sterilization program Jan. 22-Jan. 29 in two areas of Wards 1 and 2. No U-M property will be included in the sterilization program.

A lethal program of deer management utilizing specially trained wildlife sharpshooters will follow Jan. 30-Feb. 13 in several city parks and natural areas. The city’s goal is to remove up to 100 deer. Once processed, the venison will be donated to the local food bank, Food Gatherers.

Both segments of the city’s deer-management program will be carried out by a city contractor, White Buffalo. Sharpshooters will operate on U-M property for a more limited time frame of Jan. 30-Feb. 2, when the U-M properties involved will be closed each day, 3 p.m.-midnight. They include:

This map shows U-M property that is included in the deer cull. View a larger version.

• Nichols Arboretum.

• Acreage south of Glazier Way and east of Fuller Road.

• Acreage south of Hubbard and west of Huron Parkway.

Signage in multiple languages will be posted at the designated parks and natural area entrances and other access points to notify visitors 24 hours in advance of closures. The university’s Division of Public Safety and Security will ensure the university community is properly notified and that signage is posted prominently in the designated cull areas.

According to the city, sharpshooting will not occur from a moving vehicle but may occur from a parked vehicle. Sharpshooting may occur by the city’s contractor on city-selected, large, privately owned parcels subject to the owner’s consent and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

The university has agreed to contribute approximately 15 percent of the total cost of the cull, not to exceed $25,000, which is the approximate percentage of university-owned property within Wards 1 and 2 of the city.

Residents living adjacent to designated parks or nature areas will be informed of closures directly via postcard to arrive the week of Jan. 9. In addition, the city’s communication office will utilize local media, social media, Community Television Network, the city’s website and email notifications to inform citizens of park closures.



  1. Kelly Forest
    on January 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Excellent planning. I am pleased to see food banks and food gatherers will receive the meat to help those in need. I am also pleased that the University is contributing financially to the management of the herd. Urban sprawl with a growing University comes at a price and a responsibility to find a balance. Interesting they will be performing sterilizations. I am curious to know how they will do this.

    We eat venison regularly at my home and it is lean and healthy. If cooked properly quite delicious! Organic, which is Ann Arbor’s favorite buzz word so they should be thrilled.

    Nice work, good communication, no worries, these sharpshooters know what they are doing. The animals will not suffer.


  2. Elena Wakeman
    on January 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I disagree. There are many residents of Ann Arbor that opposed the hiring of sharpshooters to come into our parks and open spaces and slaughter our urban deer. Ann Arbor residents should have had the opportunity to vote on our tax dollars being used for such a radical and cruel decision.

    Killing the deer (including pregnant does this time of year) will not solve the problem of deer in the city. Because of the numerous parks and natural open spaces in Ann Arbor, more deer will simply move in. There is not an overabundance of deer, this is being done because the deer are eating plants and people with money complained. What’s next, rabbits? (I know a lot of gardeners that would love it if the city hired sharpshooters for the rabbits). The inhumane Ann Arbor City Council still hasn’t used any simple, inexpensive non-lethal means, like signage on the roads where deer are known to cross or even targeted fencing.

    This Ann Arbor City Council was set on slaughtering the deer from the start. They were rude and dismissive to the residents that took the time to go to the meetings to let them know they opposed it. (Including e-mailing each other about the residents while the residents were at the podium during public commentary).

    I am not opposed to hunting for food, in designated areas for hunting, with a permit (limit) and at the most humane time of year for the deer. This slaughter, however, is wrong, wastes tax dollars and will not solve the problem. I guess in Ann Arbor we would call that “standard.”

  3. Lauren Sargent
    on January 30, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Not only do I fully concur wuth everything that Elena said, I can also report that as the parent of a UM student located primarilly on North Campus, during last year’s deer cull people moved between N Campus and psrks North of Fuller, at night, up until the end of the cull. Signage was improved on both the University and City entrances only because concerned citizens and faculty alerted officials to dangerous shortcomings of their plan. At this time of heightened tension we can surely find a way to solve these human/wildlife conflicts without taking a gun to them.

  4. Hillary Handwerger
    on February 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I agree there is a species named “urban deer”. If you look up white-tailed deer in Wikipedia or an encyclopedia you will find they live in the wild, sleep during the day, eat and roam at night. That is not our deer, who are semi-tame, walk our streets like they owned them, create accidents by running into (and chasing) cars, drop feces all over our landscapes. These urban deer need to be removed. Bambi lived in the forests– not our neigborhoods.

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