Lessons Learned” Report – Oak Bay Council Meeting May 11, 2015

From “Lessons Learned” Report – Council Meeting May 11, 2015 – See more at: https://www.oakbay.ca/our-community/pets-animals/deer#sthash.y2mLkJxe.dpuf

deer-attackUrban Pilot Study Area: Oak Bay – Lessons learned

Executive Summary:
There is a financial cost to doing nothing as well as a social cost. There are also real risks to public safety. The costs to taxpayers for managing deer fatalities and to homeowners through property damage, and fencing investments has not been calculated, however it should be noted as it is likely more significant that anyone realizes. We have reports of residents in Oak Bay who
have been chased up their walkways to the door, whose children have been challenged by bucks in rut in their own play area, and whose pets have been trampled in their yards. The deer in Oak Bay are 6 and 7 generation habituated deer and they have lost much of their fear of humans. Escalating human deer conflicts are to be expected and learning more about these wild animals and how to live safely and responsibly with them in our neighbourhoods is an important part of any deer management strategy.

Deer in Downtown Ann Arbor

I received this recently in response to the request for non-Ward 1 and 2, sightings of deer.

“Not sure if you still want deer encounters, but I was just playing with my three little boys 2/4/6 in our backyard (downtown/Olivia Ave) and one of them freaked and grabbed me when a deer walked into our yard and started grazing in the flower beds maybe 20 ft from us. She looked at us, ate more and when I tried to urge her on she panicked, dashed around the yard a bit then hopped the 3 ft fence and grazed on the neighbors lilies that surround her side door. When the neighbor walked out of her door, inches from the deer they were both spooked and the deer proceeded on to another yard.
1-I am so thankful that I was outside with my boys who often play unaccompanied. It is frightening to think my 2 or 4 yr old could have been in the sandbox when that deer freaked out! I know a deer will not “attack” but when they are scared they are unpredictable…so are children!!!
2-my husband and I both noticed the deer we were seeing in Northern Michigan last week were absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Their coats were brown and shiny, and their bodies toned and muscular.

This is not what we see in the city, sadly this living arrangement is not positive for residents or animals. I hope with accurate information, professional wildlife management will be able to come up with the healthiest solutions for us all!

This is not just about the hostas, although that is really annoying, it is about proper balance.

Also I think whoever is slinging around ideas of “elite neighborhoods” etc. should stop that! This is Ann Arbor, it is all “elite” 😉 “

Hissing and stomping their hooves

We are on Navarre Circle and we have 5-8 deer several times a day. Every yew and evergreen we and neighbors have are bare branches now–they have been eaten to nubs. Yesterday they were hissing and stomping their hooves at me! I’ve never heard a deer hiss before, and it was the first time I saw them dancing on their hind legs to reach higher up on an evergreen bush!

Deer Destruction and Danger

In addition to being very concerned about the fact that deer often give birth in my yard– thus endangering the three little girls next door as well as my dog, I am also increasingly frustrated about the destruction to my yard.

Twenty eight years ago, I planted a yew hedge across the front of our two lots. The night before we left in January, there were four deer eating this hedge. They have already destroyed greenery which was planted to hide the tennis court and destroyed probably 10 -15 yews and other greens in my back yard which we pulled out last spring. Red twig dogwood, a dogwood tree, trillium, hosta, etc. have also been eaten.

Who wants to –or can afford to continue to re-landscape? Who wants to live in a neighborhood where one’s yard in constantly under assault? Perhaps we can get permission to built higher fences in the back but won’t it be sad to see all of the front yards destroyed for lack of another deterrent? The city planning department allowed a 19 foot high garage to be built one foot from our property line but I can’t grow evergreens to hide this building in my back yard!!

Would Tanya and her group believe that I should remove thousands of dollars worth of evergreens in order to plant boxwood because they are not as tasty to the deer? The problem with that is that the harsh winter last year also destroyed many of my boxwood. I find the ‘solutions’ to be poorly reasoned and unworkable. To see the yard which I planned and planted over almost three decades destroyed, is very upsetting.

Thus, I am saying again that there is an emotional as well as a financial cost to the deer problem. I wish those who want to protect the deer would give very, very exact descriptions of which foliage one should use and who will pay to remove the old and plant the new. I would also point out that sprays are totally impractical for those of us who are gone a lot. Perhaps those who think things are fine, might agree to a new tax which could be used to compensate those of us who are feeding the deer with our landscaping…..well we know that won’t happen:). I would like to see at minimum, a harsh fine for those who feed the deer.

-Sue C. Ward 1


Input, Citizen’s Meeting on Deer, Dec 10, 2014– Huron High School

First, thank you to the city council and the city of Ann Arbor for reaching out to get citizen input. And Mr. Bahl, Mr. Fleetham, and Ms. Bissell for organizing and driving this meeting. Second, I’d like to thank all those who have participated, either online or in meetings like this; this sort of process is key to good and successful government.

You will hear tonight from many sources, citing studies and historical data, experts in ecology, environmental sciences and botany. I won’t take your time repeating that information…not only can you hear it in other comments but you can find it online at sites that are being promoted in handouts. It’s great data and incredibly valuable…I’ll let it speak for itself. I can tell you what is clear to me, after studying years of analysis from institutions and communities in Michigan, the Midwest and the East Coast, that:

    * the deer situation is shifting; populations are growing and incursion is spreading

    * habitat change is driving deer into populated regions

    * the risk and destruction are increasing, both on an ecological basis and from a public safety perspective

    * there is a range of options, but the two primary solutions are contraception and culling

    * a number of communities have already wrestled with this issue and usually end up choosing to cull; contraception is ineffective and expensive

I’d like to address in my short time, though, a very foundational issue that comes up in virtually every discussion I have around the issue of deer management in Ann Arbor: is culling consistent with the values of Ann Arbor?

I have four thoughts on this:

    * first. Allowing the Situation to grow is not a value of this town. If we don’t address this now, we’ll be back here next year or the next, and the numbers will be greater and even more unpalatable. And hopefully we won’t be talking about a human fatality.

    * second, managing on a home by home basis doesn’t solve the problem, it merely rewards the most diligent and capable. If I fence and spray, the deer go next door. NIMBY, not in my backyard, is not a value.

    * third, control through harassment, random denial of food, trapping, or death by hood ornament is less humane than focused, clear and deliberate action.

    * last, we value nature; what is happening is not natural. Deer and urban areas are incompatible. Racing across congested roads is not natural. Being chased by people and dogs is not natural. Fencing our properties and spreading caustic agents is not natural. Eliminating predators is not natural. We should encourage population management techniques that are consistent with the current ecological capacity.

We’re not alone. This issue has been around in other communities for years. We can learn from their mistakes and successes. These include college communities like ours. We are a community that values learning and adjusting our response to match the circumstances. The policies that worked before are no longer effective.

Tracy Grogan

#A2manydeer #wc4eb #realfactsabouturbandeer

Deer Attack– Scio Township

We want to be informed, and agree that there needs to be something done about the deer population. We live in Scio Township,1-1/2 acres. We had a herd of deer, numbering 18 last winter. They seem to live in our yard. We currently have six, but expect the large population to return this winter. There are four new fawns.

I too was almost attacked by a mother deer, my grandchildren came to my aid. ( I was sitting in a chair reading) I feel I should be able to enjoy my yard and not worry about deer attacking me!!!!!

I realize there are people who love deer, they are beautiful. We have a neighbor who feeds them,but since DNR allows the feeding of deer nothing can be done. She is a renter and doesn’t take care of the property. Deer poop is disgusting. Ticks are a problem.

I truly hope that something can be accomplished to control the deer population.

Come on people, think of the future.

Wanda Heinrich

Hello Washtenaw!

If you are like us, and concerned about the damage and potential damage that the overabundance of deer can do to our county, cities, and yards– please contact your city government and let them know how you feel.

If you have stories of the accidents and damage that have been done to you or have observed issues with pets or other wildlife that can be attributed to deer, please send us your story.

[email protected]


See an interactive map showing deer accidents in Ann Arbor, from the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Deer attacks dog in Ann Arbor Hills

Ward 2

Early Friday morning, our Golden Retriever, Gracie was viciously attacked by a deer. Gracie had run into the back wooded corner of our yard (as seen below) and came flying back out —chased by a deer who proceeded to kick and stomp her. I ran out in my bathrobe screaming, running at them, waving a tennis ball flinger but he deer was unfazed. Gracie cowered and eventually got away, limping and shaking. Our vet, Mike Darga checked her out and said that she was very bruised and battered but would be ok and with the help of some anti inflammatory meds, she is much better.

The video below of a deer attacking a dog she believed to be a threat to her fawn is horrible to watch but it is exactly what I saw happening. Neighbors have seen a fawn in our area and we now believe that the attack on our dog was due to the deer protecting her baby.

deer attacks petsDeer have been devouring our yard for years and this spring, we took out 14 more ruined yews.
The hungry deer continue to come right up to the edge of the patio (below) and chomp away at a remaining yew hedge with no fear of us at all. We have installed 8 foot fencing in the back but it clearly hasn’t been enough of a deterrent.

We are concerned that neighborhood children may be in great danger of a similar attack and apparently, it is not uncommon for deer to attack hunters and others especially when the deer are protecting their young.

In addition to warning neighbors, I again wish to urge our city government to act on this serious problem. Deer carry ticks which lead to Lyme Disease and auto accidents are surely going to happen with the herds of hungry deer wandering in our neighborhood.

Sue Chandler, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Hills