From Toledo, OH area

A yard sign in Toledo re: an upcoming vote to use lethal methods to address deer overpopulation.

The Village of Ottawa Hills (in Toledo) voted down a similar proposal two yrs. ago. Since that time, the deer over population problem has worsened — many community members feel the local council dropped the ball in not making a decision, and so are being more forceful in campaigning for taking action.

New article from Pittsburg Gazette– kind of gets its arms around our problem here.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said, sniffling. “They’re all over my yard every day. There’s feces everywhere and I’m worried about disease and ticks. I can’t let the dog out. I love my home — we’ve been here for 30 years — but we’re thinking about moving.”

She had called the Post-Gazette to ask about a meeting of property owners set up by White Buffalo, the latest organization hired to try to control white-tailed deer in Mt. Lebanon, a densely populated municipality just to the southwest of Pittsburgh. As in many cities throughout northeastern United States, where unchecked deer numbers double about every two years, Mt. Lebanon’s deer density has grown faster than the community’s willingness to do anything about it.

Full article

How much damage are deer doing?

A single 30-meter-tall mature tree can absorb as much as 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds) of carbon dioxide in a year, which over it’s lifetime is approximately the same amount as would be produced by an average car being driven 41,500 kilometers (25,787 miles). The same tree could also produce 2,721 kilograms (5,998.78 pounds) of oxygen in a year, which is enough to support at least two people. According to the University of Melbourne, because trees grow faster the older they get, their capacity for photosynthesis and carbon sequestration increases as they age, 8 Amazing Facts About Trees That You Didn’t Know

Look around Ann Arbor. How many young trees do you see surviving in our woods? I know they that between rubbing and feeding on “lower” branches– they have killed at least 6 trees in my yard and the others are just holding on– trees that have been here for at least 30 years.

According to the Pennsylvania DNR:
“Researchers have studied the effects of deer on forest ecosystems for many years, and the impacts of deer on the forest are well established in decades of scientific literature. How do deer impact the forest? Through selective browsing of native plants, shrubs and trees, they influence the vegetation that grows in the forest. For example, deer like to feed on oak seedlings. By preferring oaks, they can effectively diminish the presence of the species in the forest while allowing less preferred species, such as striped maple, to thrive. In the most severe cases, deer can completely prevent the capacity of the forest to renew itself.

“According to USDA Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data across all ownerships, approximately 54 percent of Pennsylvania’s forests are adequately stocked with regeneration—the young trees and plants that will make up the future forest. Only 41 percent of the sample plots in the north-central region were adequately stocked with tree seedling and sapling regeneration. These numbers indicate that only about half of Pennsylvania’s forests would regenerate following an overstory disturbance such as a wind event, insect outbreak or timber harvest. ”

Forest Habitat Conditions:
“A healthy forest will consist of young trees, shrubs, and a variety of wildflowers. The presence or absence of some wildflowers such as trillium, Canada mayflower, and Indian cucumber root can be key indicators of the level of deer impact on a given forest site. Another reliable indicator of a healthy forest is an understory, the young trees and plants that grow in the lower layer of the forest. A well developed understory is an essential habitat element for many plants and animals, but it also indicates the forest’s capacity to renew itself.”

There is a similar study from University of Wisconsin, Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds
“The two lines of evidence converge on the same general conclusion, Waller says: Deer account for at least 40 percent of the change seen in the forests over the past half-century or so. “The study links microcosm to macrocosm. We have exclosures in the same region where we have documented long-term changes in the plant community over the past 50 years. These are giving us the same message.”

The study may actually underestimate the impact of deer, Waller suggests, citing their attraction to the Canada yew, a shrubby evergreen that has been eliminated across most of the north woods. Thus, yew is no longer counted as a baseline species, even though its disappearance likely reflects deer browsing.”

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Went to the Botanical Gardens last Sunday for the first time in quite a while.

The Display and Children’s gardens were spectacular.
Couldn’t help but notice the deer fence around the whole area– and the large areas of fenced-in spaces in the open areas- exclosures, community garden plots, not to mention around a great many of individual plants.

If you look at the map of the gardens, the fencing is shown and called “deer fence,” so there is no denying its purpose.

The management of the gardens are smart. The fences are at least 10 ft tall and, for much of its length, at the top of a slope. That should keep the deer out so their plants can grow.

Its a very large property and most of the fencing is near invisible because of all the trees and natural growth they have been able to use as camouflage.
They also have a nicely fenced in area (good looking wooden fence) around the bonzai tree display.


What are HSUS costs?

How much was spent (2015)

Quoting the Status Report from the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

This effort, as mentioned, is a cooperative project with the Humane Society of the United States and Tufts University. They provide personnel and some expenses, and we cover the rest. (The particulars have been spelled out in a partnership agreement signed by the Humane Society and the Village.) The Village has spent $13,724.69 so far on this year’s effort. A third of these costs were unexpected extraordinary costs for field cameras that we plan to utilize in subsequent years for population verification (more on this later in the document) and will not reoccur, and the majority of the remaining went for rent of a house to lodge the Deer Team for the two month period. We realized a substantial savings on a per diem and per person basis over last year, where we had to house two professionals in local hotels. This year, we had a team of four plus a supervisor that was frequently in town and stayed at the house as well. (The housing came to about $35/day a person which is approximately 25% of what local hotel fares run.)

We still expect a bill from the Humane Society for expenses incurred by the team during the two month period, and a $6,000 donation from the In Defense of Animals, the second half of a two-year grant they provided us. It would appear that this year’s final expenses, after reimbursement of the grant, will be in the vicinity of $12,000. This will be 20% more than last year when the total expenses were $9,606.07. We have, however, doubled the field team and almost doubled the amount of time they were on the ground in the Village and thus this represents a small increase in the overall cost. We expect next year’s expenses to be lower as the work will be likely confined to less than two months. We expect to rent housing in the same price range on a monthly basis. We will be applying for a $10K grant which we hope will offset next year’s costs so that our out-of-pocket expenses next year should be well under $10,000.

Question: How many does received PZP immunocontraceptive vaccinations (in two-year doses) in Hastings-on-Hudson in 2015?

    Answer: 21 (and one buck captured and tagged but not treated). Only eight were vaccinated in 2014, the first year of the project.

Question: What is the net cost per doe to the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson for PZP injections in 2015?

    Answer supplied by Bernie Banet, Ann Arbor based on $12,000/21 =

      Approximately $571.00 per doe after subsidies from other sources for personnel and a $6000 donation to the Village from In Defense of Animals, the group that has misrepresented the City of Ann Arbor’s’s Deer Management Project in multiple ways in a national e-mail campaign. The approximation results from using the Village’s estimate of $12,000 as “final expenses.”


Hastings-on-Hudson is a suburb of NYC. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), of which 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), or 32.65%, is water.

Learn more about H-O-H

New Post from Local In Ann Arbor

Deer and the Population Problem

Local in Ann Arbor has been posting about Ann Arbor’s deer herds and the problems they raise since December 2015.
This post is another thoughtful piece bring many of the issues that Ann Arbor faces or will soon face together in one place.

Read it and learn more about all the issues.


A herd like this one will leave feces all over your yard and eat trees and shrubs up to 6 ft off the ground in Winter. In Spring and Summer they are devastating in the destruction they do to your property and plantings– and on the food and cover that other animals, birds and insects need. In Fall you have to be extra cautious– trying to prevent deer accidents– actually, I’ve found they are a problem on our streets in the area all year long.

These deer are in a yard in NE Ann Arbor, south of Plymouth Rd. Its about a 1/3 acre lot. That small stand of trees are about the only woodlands here, so wouldn’t consider this a forest edge community. Once upon a time, you couldn’t see the neighbors behind us because the trees and bushes had foliage down to ground level.

Key recommendations from 2015 Ann Arbor Deer Management Plan

The City should set an overall goal of reducing deer-human negative interactions.
The first area of focus should be Wards 1 & 2. The recommended process is implementation of a series of annual culls, beginning in winter of 2016, on city property in Wards 1 & 2.
A sharpshooting contractor should be used for the culls. In order to permit a culling operation City Code Chapter 115 – Weapons and Explosives will need revision.
The planning process revealed public support in Wards 1 and 2for a lethal method.

Potential culling sites are surveyed months before the cull occurs and estimate the number of deer that would be harvested. All culls are conducted in January and February.
During this time, there are no fawns in the deer herd, thus no baby deer will be orphaned by the cull. Per MDNR regulation, all deer meat will be donated to the needy.
The Survey indicated that safety is the number one concern regarding implementation of a lethal method to decrease deer. The number two concern was proper management of hunters/shooters. A significant outreach effort is recommended to allay citizen concerns prior to a cull. According to MDNR, there have been
NO reported safety incidents by communities using contracted sharpshooters. The culling areas will be closed to the public prior to and during any cull.
No firearms will be discharged outside the culling area and all shots will be fired from above, into the ground.

Contrary to reports by opponents– the culls would take place in city parks, at night, by selected sharpshooters.