See also Michigan DNR- Hunting
In November 2017, a volunteer discovered a blacklegged tick (aka deer tick) on his body after retuning from working on the Environmental Study Area. The tick was sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services however it could not be tested for Lyme disease because it had died in route to the department. Blacklegged ticks are known vectors for a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Mammals, including white-tailed deer, are natural hosts for these ticks.
The snow count detected 315 individual deer throughout the City (all five Wards). This is ~50% more than the highest count from previous years when a less intensive helicopter survey method was employed. Our primary objective was to assess the complementary effect of lethal management in larger wooded areas proximate to sterilization efforts in dense suburban neighborhoods. We met the stated objectives for the first year of the five year project (i.e., cull ~100 deer and sterilize >90% of adult females in the study areas). There should be immediate impacts in some areas, with the start of longer-term population declines in others. We have collected sufficient data to allow the City Council to move forward with well-informed management decisions throughout the City, including a helicopter snow count, camera survey data, effort/cost projections, and demonstration of feasibility for the respective research actions. Given the estimated number of untreated adult female (~40% of 341 [450 total deer-109 from sterilization areas] = 136 fertile adult females) and the recruitment rate (1.1 doe:fawn), we expect an additional ~150 fawns to be recruited/added to the population next fall in Wards 1 and 2.
Farmington Hills Deer Plan
The City is working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to determine the best course of action for the management of deer in Farmington Hills. We have completed a residential Deer Survey and will conduct annual aerial deer surveys, continue to track deer/vehicle crashes, and continue researching other communities’ deer management practices. For more information read our full plan.
One of the primary objectives of Michigan’s Deer Management Plan is to increase the effectiveness at managing deer impacts in urban and suburban areas where conflicts with deer can be impactful and potentially hazardous to humans.
Deer Management, City of East Lansing, Updated 12/8/2015
City of East Lansing staff has worked with USDA Wildlife Services, the Michigan DNR and MSU over the past year to analyze deer population data in East Lansing. This work is ongoing.
City staff has heard community concerns and feedback and wants to remind all citizens that the No. 1 priority remains public safety. In light of the information received and in coordination with the USDA-APHIS, one modification to the deer management program is being made. All parks and natural areas will remain open Saturdays and Sundays.
Deer cull to maintain deer at roughly 15/square mile.
Ecosystem Response: Overall, the Metropark deer population has shown a significant improvement in its physical condition since the beginning of the program. Changes were most noticeable in fawns and yearlings through increases in body weights. Fawn dressed weights are suggestive of a shift from poor diet to good diet. Presence of fawn breeding also indicates an improvement in physical condition and perhaps physiological maturity. Total herd productivity either has remained good or increased in many instances.
It does appear that deer herd condition declined in the Washtenaw DMU from 2003 – 12
This county, especially on the west side of the county, experienced whitetail die-offs as a result of the EHD outbreak in 2012. In addition, the record-setting snow and low temperatures of the 2013-2014 winter have undoubtedly caused winter stress, rare for the SLP deer herd. The estimated deer population remains over goal. The Ann Arbor area is experiencing increased frustration with urban deer
57,354 acres of park land were represented in the survey; 14,091 acres or 25% of the acreage offered some form of hunting opportunities, primarily deer hunting. Note that Washtenaw has 5000 acres and “staff is interested in exploring hunting”
In an effort to manage deer densities at ecologically-sustainable levels within the parks system, Oakland County Parks offers open archery and managed hunting opportunities. A lottery-based controlled deer hunt is held each year at Addison Oaks and Independence Oaks county parks. The controlled hunts are part of an ecosystem-based approach to natural resources management within the parks system. Firearms deer hunting within the parks system is permitted only when authorized by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission.
HOUSE BILL No. 5321, MI House, Dec 5, 20179) The department shall not issue a permit that authorizes the sterilization of game.
Position Statement on White-tailed Deer in Michigan, Michigan Society of American Foresters, Feb 2014 Heavy deer browsing can harm the diversity of plants and animals. The field experience of many foresters indicates that such deer browse damage is significant in some parts of Michigan. Deer population and habitat condition data, and research from Michigan and elsewhere, indicate that deer population densities are too high in some parts of the state to sustain healthy habitats for deer and other species. High deer densities contribute to car-deer collisions and the spread of certain diseases.
It is the consensus of natural area managers that controlling excessive deer populations is critical to the long term health and viability of the native ecosystems that these animals are a component of. The management efforts the Metroparks established has had a direct impact on insuring that the parks’ high quality natural areas remain intact for future generations to enjoy.
Michigan Deer Management Plan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Approved, May 6, 2010
Regional deer densities in Michigan have changed a great deal since the 1970s. Historically, deer hunting opportunities in the UP and NLP attracted hunters from southern Michigan to hunt the relatively abundant deer populations of the north woods. Statewide deer population estimates indicate that the Michigan deer population grew steadily through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s, but has shown a gradual long-term declining trend since 1995. Population trends are not consistent across the State, as this statewide decline has been driven by declines in both the UP and NLP even as the SLP population continued to grow.
Local communities must identify the need for urban/suburban deer management before the DNR can provide expertise and potential solutions regarding human-deer conflicts. Since outcomes of co-management are usually perceived as more appropriate, efficient, and equitable than more authoritative wildlife management approaches (DeNicola 2000), a community-based task force with the guidance of a professional facilitator is often recommended for dealing with urban/suburban deer issues.
As early as 1993, the State of Michigan has recognized the problem the deer population spread has created.
2012 RECOMMENDATION #1 FEEDING BAN ORDINANCE
The Rochester Hills City Council passed an ordinance in September 2008 preventing the feeding of wild animals other than birds. This feeding ban is intended to reduce the current travel patterns of deer from their natural habitat into subdivisions where feeding stations and bait piles were provided.
The supplemental feeding of wildlife is disruptive to their natural feeding habits. While some residents enjoy recreational viewing of deer; this action is detrimental to the animals, attracts predators and nuisance species (raccoons, coyotes, rats, etc.); and can draw deer seeking food to cross heavy traffic areas, causing deer/vehicle accidents.
While the statewide feeding ban has been lifted for 2011, the committee recommends this local ban should continue for 2012.
Natural Resources Management Philosophy Land management utilizes an ecosystem approach to ensuring the health and function of park and land preserve’s natural communities. Management methods may include the control of deer densities, removal of invasive species, application of prescribed burns, and reintroduction of native plants.
There are different ways of going about reducing and controlling our deer population. We wanted to weigh our options to see which would be the most practical, effective, and cost efficient. We have also looked into what other local communities have done to see what has worked the best and what problems they may have encountered.
In order to prevent irreparable damage to the ecosystems in Fremont and to prevent significant injury damage to persons or property, the City Council has set the maximum deer population density to be twenty five to thirty five(25-35) per square mile of habitat (not per square mile of the entire City or DMA).
The Deer PLAN, a grant program, is administered by the DNR’s Wildlife Division. It aims to produce tangible deer habitat improvement benefits and reduce negative impacts to agricultural operations, while fostering positive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations, private landowners, and other partners.
Michigan DNR seems more interested in enhancing hunting environment and hunting of deer than the issues in the suburban areas.
This landscape configuration results in a strong interface between humans and the deer population. Although much of the private lands toward the south central parts of the DMU are in agriculture, private and public lands in the area support cover habitat for deer (e.g., woodlots, shrub/brush, and wetland). Deer throughout the Washtenaw DMU have ample access to food, water, and cover can meet
all life requisites in every portion of the DMU. However, in many cases, they may be meeting these requirements in areas closed to hunting.
A Review of Deer Management in Michigan, DNR, 2009This document is a review of scientific information pertaining to deer, deer-related issues, and deer-management options in Michigan and summarizes the best available biological and social science relevant to these topics. It is not intended to provide management recommendations for white-tailed deer in Michigan.