The idyllic deer in NE Ann Arbor

June 7, 2016
1:35 pm
Yes, I know this is outside the Ann Arbor city limits, but just…

A few cars in front of me a deer (doe) was hit by a truck. The deer was crossing Plymouth going north. It was hit by a small truck heading east (which later stopped, blocking one lane). The deer was thrown two lanes north into the far right lane (going west) on Plymouth Rd, in front of another car which just managed to stop (and another car after that). When I passed the deer it was down on the ground, head and neck on the road, but the legs were still kicking. One lane in each direction on Plymouth Rd, were blocked.

I did not look to see what damage happened on the truck, nor did I stop to take a picture or video of the downed deer. The driver of the truck was getting out as I passed by, so assuming he was okay.

Didn’t see any fawns near by.

Home for sale in NE Ann Arbor

Hillary H

They are selling the house across the street from me. A young gentleman came to look at the house with a realtor last week. I obviously got to thinking whether or not to sell up on my home too, it had me pondering some thoughts as to whether I’d go with a local realtor as my neighbor did, or whether I search around online for websites similar to that of House Buyers of America and others.

Then he came over to my house to ask questions about the neighborhood.
He asked what I like best about the area. Then he asked what I like least– I had to tell him, We have deer.

Last night, we had a dozen deer in my front yard, the leader, within a yard of my front stoop.
When we opened the front door, they scattered– some going towards Green others towards Bardstown.

I don’t remember any “sightings” on the aerial survey of numbers of deer in groups anywhere near 12, yet in the last week, we have had herds of 11, 12 and 15+ does passing through and sleeping in my backyard– and front.

Haven’t seen any bucks lately; so those 15 does we saw the other evening, in another month, will represent probably 45 deer for Northeast Ann Arbor. I think the deer are winning. Not sure what the prize is.

The Ann Arbor survey shows that 57% of respondents in Ann Arbor realize that there is a problem with deer in the city and want something done about it and will accept lethal methods. Since only half the respondents were from wards 1 and 2, I think that shows that the problem or knowledge of the problem is more widespread than just the North and NE side of town.

MLive, in a recent article said, “An online survey revealed public support for efforts to educate residents about deer-resistant landscape plantings, installing signs or reflectors at deer crossings, managing roadside vegetation to increase visibility, and prohibiting feeding deer.” Is this assuming that lethal methods to control the deer population and education about those we might see are mutually exclusive? REALLY? I’m pretty sure I answered YES to that question– I do think we should prohibit feeding and remove vegetation from the roadsides, so we have a better chance of seeing deer before they actually jump out into the road in front of us. Yet the latest article in Mlive starts the sentence about killing deer with a “BUT” not an AND. As if both options were not necessary.

The city survey did not ask us to prioritize our answers, just to check yes or no.

The city survey results also stated that 73% of the respondents do not feel deer should be give a status above that of other urban mammals. I agree, yet deer are destroying the habitats and food supply of many of these urban mammals and birds, not to mention the decimation native plants and trees. Are we not also Urban Mammals? Do deer have more rights to my property than I have?

First fawn sighting of 2015

I got notice of my first “confirmed” fawn sighting near North Campus and the VA yesterday– a pair.

I would have thought it was early, but on questioning my source, who is an engineer, who said that he did not see spots (distance), but the mother was 4 times bigger than the babies, I believe him. This was on April 4th.

Here are two pictures, the first one is of my yard this morning with 6 of the 9+ deer in the yard gathered to eat in my garden.
The second picture was taken last year, just about in the exact spot. You can see the very young fawn in the front, with Mom in the rear of the Allium and Peony which are well ahead of what they are this year, so I think this picture was taken early to mid-May. I’m guessing this year’s Mom was impregnated very early last fall.

Also note the deer in the first picture with the large pale spot on her back. This is the second time I have seen this deer.
I would love to get information from others who also see her; curious to know the range of her travels.

I am now tracking fawn sightings, as well as continuing to track deer accidents on a new map at If you see dead deer on the roads or fawns, please contact me at [email protected]

Deer Sightings, Ward 2

Yesterday, my neighbor came over complaining about the deer as well as a few other political games going on with the state.
She said, the day before, we had a herd of 9 deer, all clustered together in my front yard, eating in my front garden. And when I looked, sure enough, the first sprouts of my lilies are chomped down. Didn’t seem to touch the snowdrops or the starting Coltsfoot.

I told her we often see deer in her backyard. She concurred. Said this year they have even eaten her yucca. She said she is not going to plant anything in her back rock garden (which was lovely) this year, or anywhere else in her yard. She says she is going to go before the city’s Assessor’s Office and argue that she is loosing property value due to the deers and that her taxes should be lowered accordingly. I mentioned that we had been thinking the same thing.

She noted that the curb appeal of our homes are diminished, and that we will have more problem selling our houses, should we want to.

Yesterday evening we had a herd of 6 deer in our yards.
It was dusk, so the video is not great, but here they are; six of them in my neighbor’s yard and mine.

A jail for deer???

This morning a herd of 6 trespassers passed thru my yard at about 8:45AM. I need the trespassers arrested and put in jail. We need a jail of about 1 sq-mile with a 12 ft high fence, that is 640 acres. If we collect our trespassing deer and put them in the jail, then in time they will die of natural causes.

deer-autoshopLooking at the first aerial survey map I count 58 deer for Ward 2. Some of that count is slightly outside the border, but close enough that they should be considered part of ward 2. The total land area of Ann Arbor is 27.83 sq-miles, round this to 28. Ward 2 is a large ward based on land area so I will estimate its size at 7 sq-miles. This results in 58/7 = 8.3 deer per sq-mile. Our actual density is probably quite a bit greater.

My count from the map for Ward 1 was 28, and Ward 3 was 19.

Clearly the deer population in A2 has the greatest affect on ward 2. Outside the city there is a big cluster north of Ward 5, but not on the first map.

Yesterday during our walk around the block, about 5/8 to 3/4 mile, we met a neighbor from about a block and a half away. She lives on Hawthorne and has lived there for 20 years, we have lived at our location for 48 years and within the neighborhood for 56 years. Her perspective on when the deer problem started is better than mine because her arrival time in the area is much closer to when the problem started. She said there was no deer problem when she and her husband moved in about 1995. Her estimate would make circa 2005 the problem beginning time.

Too much emphasis is being placed on deer count per sq-mile, and doing deer counts, rather than on deer damage.

We have to reduce the deer population in the city to virtually 0 to reduce damage. There should be no limit on how fast this can done, and there should be no season limit. Culling should start immediately as it should have years ago when the problem was much smaller.

The criteria should be no deer sightings and no damage.

NE Ann Arbor, March 8, 2015

Deer Sightings in my yard

I believe we had two herds of deer come through my yard this morning, Ward 2, NE side of Ann Arbor, off Green Rd.

At around 8:00 (DST) my husband saw about 10 of the deer, sleeping in our yard and our neighbor’s. Instead of his usual getting out the pan covers and clanging them together to scare the deer, this time, first, he grabbed my camera and took some pictures. They got up when he opened the sliding glass door, so they are in the process of moving toward Green Rd in his pictures.

Then about a 45 minutes later, another herd came through. I say another herd, because they were coming again from the east heading west, and my husband said the first batch seemed to be lead by a doe with a problem with her front leg, and we saw no evidence of an injured animal in this herd.

Sorry, the video is sideways, but I got close enough and the light was good enough, that its pretty clear what you are seeing.

7+ deer in my yard this morning

I woke up, looked out a back window and saw a good sized herd of deer in my backyard.
I ran downstairs to get my camera and pull up the shade, which spooked a few.
Here is the video of them– a little further back since they saw the shade go up.

Here are some of the pictures I took. Most of them exited towards Green Rd through the neighbor’s yard behind mine.

The future is here– Droning on!

A2 deer by drone – March 2, 2015

I was up over a few areas yesterday. First spot was Onondaga, between Geddes and Hill. I had noticed many thousands of deer tracks there in the snow, then saw four deer in a backyard bedded down. Up I went and….I couldn’t see any deer. They were under dense pines and shrubs, or elsewhere. The tracks tell quite a story though, being a life long hunter with over 40 years experience I have to say I’m shocked at the sheer amount of “sign” left by deer in the snow and the damage to vegetation I observed. If I saw these signs in my hunting woods, I’d be jumping for joy knowing I would fill my freezer fast with venison!

Second area, Off Glazier Way on Wolverhampton Ln. Again, no deer to be seen anywhere. Tracks by the tens of thousands, very heavy deer trails in almost every wooded area and lawn I flew over.

Third area, just west of the above spot, across Huron Parkway in the north end of Arborcrest Memorial Park grounds. There were deer (does) standing all around, 6 or 7 scattered about. Going up and just over the treetops I could only see some of them, they simply disappear under the pines. Again, the tracks tell the story, the place is overrun and most shrubs are decimated by browsing.

Unfortunately it appears the only accurate way to do this from drone, or aircraft, is with FLIR. Which is what I thought, as that’s how the “pro’s” do it. I will try again soon in different lighting, at a different time of day. Overcast yet not too dark, is what may work the best. Looking back at past photo’s and video’s I see subdued lighting seems to provide the best contrast for picking them out of the snow. Still, FLIR is really the only way to get actual numbers.

What may be helpful to me is, if I knew exactly where they are, where they “yard up” together. If you have information from homeowners as to where those areas may be, let me know!

I’ve attached some photos taken from the video and have arrows pointing out what deer I did see. Some of these photos show the heavy prints in the snow in yards.

All for now!
[email protected]

Deer Sightings in NE Ann Arbor Neighborhood

In the last week we have seen:

1- Every morning my husband puts out our bird feeders and takes them in every night. Last weekend we left early for a dinner before the UM Dance Program and didn’t bring in the feeders. When we got home that night, there were two does at the feeders, which hang from a pole about 10 feet from our house.

2- On Sunday, we saw a herd of 7 does run through our yard. Very interesting– they were “drafting”, almost single file, but head to flank, so only overlapping a little bit. Not sure what sent them racing through the yard– usually they stay around a bit or meander through. About a half hour later, we saw a dog run through our back yard. Perhaps he is was startled the deer?

3- this morning– three youngish bucks did meander through our yard and the one just behind us. (Note: thought we weren’t supposed to see antlers at this season?) I took a video– not a great one. Have to convert it and then will load.