Deer love our gardens.  They nibble the tops off tomato seedlings.  Pepper starts get yanked out and tossed around.  Eggplants are gobbled to the ground.  Celery?  Forget it.  Young trees are lucky to survive their first winters.  New plantings are more fence than foliage.  What's not fenced gets gnawed, girdled, and gone.

Ann Arborites love deer but a vocal minority have been frustrated to the point of allowing a cull.   Feelings are mixed.  The following collection links to various aspects of the story.



Natural Lands Trust: Deer Management Options (pdf)

Audubon: Managing White-tailed Deer in Forest Habitat From an Ecosystem Perspective, A Pennsylvania Case Study, 2005

A Position Statement of the Michigan Society of American Foresters, 2013

Ann Arbor Deer Management Program webpage




MLive: Another lawsuit over Ann Arbor's deer cull dismissed in Court of Claims, Ryan Stanton, 8-10-2016

"The lawsuit was filed on Feb. 12 by Ann Arbor Residents for Public Safety, a group that claimed the DNR exceeded its authority by permitting the city to hire sharpshooters to kill deer in Ann Arbor parks and nature areas."

MLive: Federal judge dismisses lawsuit over Ann Arbor deer cull, Ryan Stanton, 7-19-2016

"The lawsuit was filed in January by a group called Ann Arbor Residents for Public Safety in objection to a deer cull in January and February that resulted in sharpshooters killing 63 deer in Ann Arbor parks and nature areas."

MLive: 'Deer doctor' to visit Ann Arbor for free seminar on deer-proofing gardens, Ryan Stanton, 5-19-2016

"Sandy Baker, known as the "deer doctor" for her work helping communities with deer-related challenges, will be visiting Ann Arbor's Traverwood Branch Library on Saturday, June 4, from 10:30 to noon, to talk about how to deer-proof gardens."

MLive: Rogue deer infiltrates former robot dinosaur exhibit at Detroit Zoo, Gus Burns, 5-19-2016

"ROYAL OAK -- A wild white-tailed deer made its way through a traffic-heavy section of Royal Oak on Wednesday, getting beyond the walls and ticket booths near Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile Road and eventually to the former Dinosauria exhibit at the Detroit Zoo."

MLive: $145K for deer management included in Ann Arbor's new city budget, Ryan Stanton, 5-17-2016

             According to the report, $35,000 is the cost of hiring killers to kill 100 deer. 

           $110,000 is the cost of

      • studying the killing
      • management and administration of the killing
      • documenting the killing
      • studying alternatives to killing

MLive: Ann Arbor residents still divided on shooting deer, survey shows, Ryan Stanton, 5-4-2016

"Results from a recent online survey conducted by the city show a slim majority of respondents — 54.4 percent — support continuing lethal methods to reduce the deer population, while 45.3 percent are opposed.

A larger majority — 61.4 percent — support implementing nonlethal methods such as contraceptives or sterilization to reduce the deer population if Michigan Department of Natural Resources approval can be obtained."

MLive: Ann Arbor seeks feedback on deer cull in new survey, Ryan Stanton, 4-6-2016

MLive: 2 lawsuits seeking to prevent urban deer culls pending in Michigan courts, Ryan Stanton, 4-5-2016

MLive: Council member's emails about deer cull scrutinized by critics, Ryan Stanton, 4-5-2016

MLive: Peaceful memorial rally in Ann Arbor honors lives of 63 deer killed, Ryan Stanton, 4-5-2016

MLive: Deer-involved traffic crashes in Ann Arbor jump 73%, Ryan Stanton, 3-2-2016

MLive: Ann Arbor deer cull ends with 63 deer killed in city parks, Ryan Stanton, 3-1-2016

Between the shooting, the administration, the studies, the helicopter counts, and the "supplies," Ann Arbor spent about $1500 per dead deer

R&D Magazine: Malaria Found in American White-Tailed Deer, Greg Watry, 2-8-2016

"A new study from the Univ. of Vermont published in Science Advances has found that malaria infects up to 25% of white-tailed deer along the United States’ eastern seaboard. Previously, it was thought that malaria was eradicated from the U.S. in the 1950s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    Named Plasmodium odocoilei, the malaria parasite represents the first of its kind to live in a deer species."

MLive: Ann Arbor officials ask whether $35K is enough for deer management next year, Ryan Stanton, 2-23-2016

"With a week left to go before the cull ends, the sharpshooters are only about halfway to meeting that goal."


"Between staff costs and [$21,000 for] supplies and materials, Collins said, the city has spent about $48,000 at this point, not yet counting the USDA bill for the cull," [not counting an ecologist hired for $12,500], not counting the USDA gunmen hired for $35,000.

MLive: Survey Counts More Deer In Ann Arbor Than Previous Flyover, 2-23-2016

MLive: Ann Arbor deer count increases from last year, Ryan Stanton, 2-22-2016

MLive: Ann Arbor about halfway to goal of killing 100 deer in parks, Ryan Stanton, 2-16-2016

The following 14 parks remain closed from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays for the shooting.

    • Barton Nature Area
    • Bird Hills Nature Area
    • Black Pond Woods
    • Bluffs Nature Area
    • Cedar Bend Nature Area
    • Furstenberg Nature Area
    • Huron Parkway Nature Area
    • Kuebler Langford Nature Area
    • Leslie Park Golf Course
    • Leslie Woods Nature Area
    • Olson Park (dog park still open during regular hours)
    • Ruthven Nature Area
    • South Pond Nature Area
    • Stapp Nature Area

MLive: Ann Arbor deer cull helping Food Gatherers feed the hungry, Ryan Stanton, 2-11-2016

MLive: 16 deer shot in Ann Arbor parks last week, more this week, records show, Ryan Stanton, 1-28-2016

MLive: Ann Arbor facing second lawsuit over deer cull, Ryan Stanton, 1-27-2016

MLive: U-M biologist says Ann Arbor deer cull is 'positive step toward ecological sustainability', Ryan Stanton, 1-14-2016

MLive: 10 city parks no longer closed for Ann Arbor deer cull, Ryan Stanton, 1-13-2016

"City officials announced the decision Wednesday afternoon to keep the following nature areas open to the public during the deer cull."

  • Arbor Hills Nature Area
  • Braun Nature Area
  • Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area
  • Foxfire South Nature Area
  • Foxfire West Nature Area
  • Narrow Gauge Nature Area
  • Oakridge Nature Area
  • Oakwoods Nature Area
  • Onder Nature Area
  • Traver Creek Nature Area

MLive: Federal judge denies request to pause Ann Arbor deer cull, Ryan Stanton, 1-11-2016

MLive: Officials not releasing information about deer cull in Ann Arbor, Ryan Stanton, 1-5-2016

MLive: Ten things to know about the Ann Arbor deer cull, Ryan Stanton

MLive: Tensions mount as Ann Arbor deer cull is set to begin, Ryan Stanton, 1-4-2016

MLive: Sharpshooters must get permission to shoot deer near homes, Ryan Stanton, 12-24-2015

MLive: Ann Arbor police to enforce deer cull closures; parks to open on weekends, Ben Freed, 12-18-2015

MLive: Group aims to recall several Ann Arbor council members over deer cull, Ryan Stanton, December 4, 2015

MLive: Ann Arbor council member facing recall threat for vote on deer cull, Ryan Stanton, December 2, 2015

MLive: Should Ann Arbor allow electric fences to keep deer out of gardens?, Ryan Stanton, November 20, 2015

City Council Member Chuck Warpehoski, D-5th Ward, said this week he's considering bringing forward ordinance changes to ease fence restrictions in the city, possibly allowing electric fencing around gardens, as well as the use of high-tension wire to increase the height of backyard fences to 10 feet.

MLive: Ann Arbor council votes 10-1 to hire sharpshooters to kill deer in city parks, Ryan Stanton, November 6, 2015

In addition to temporarily lifting ordinance restrictions on firing guns in parks, the council approved an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, also known as USDA-APHIS, to carry out the cull this winter at a cost of up to $35,000.

MLive: Ann Arbor council to vote on hiring sharpshooters to kill 100 deer, Ryan Stanton, November 5, 2015

MLive: Ann Arborites for and against deer cull will get chance to speak out Nov. 5, Ryan Stanton, October 20, 2015

MLive: Ann Arbor council asked to allow guns in parks for deer cull, Ryan Stanton, October 19, 2015

MLive: Humane Society defends its advocacy against Ann Arbor deer cull, Ryan Stanton, October 16, 2015

MLive: Petersen clarifies position on Ann Arbor deer cull at latest City Council candidate forum, Ryan Stanton, October 12, 2015

MLive: Humane Society's campaign against deer cull brings contract funding into question, Ryan Stanton, October 11, 2015

Council Member Kirk Westphal, D-2nd Ward:

"What's frustrating is that they are disseminating false information locally, which is confusing citizens and costing council and staff a significant amount of time, which could be more productively used.  There was an ad that ran locally claiming a deer cull endangers children by rifle shots that miss... I can tell you that deer-vehicle collisions do, in fact, kill and maim people every year."


"Police reports show there haven't been any fatal deer-involved crashes in Ann Arbor in at least the past decade. Of the 51 deer-involved crashes reported in Ann Arbor last year, the only injury reported was when a 30-year-old Brighton man swerved to avoid a deer on Newport Road and hit a tree, ending up with a small cut on his elbow. He refused medical treatment.

According to public health officials, there haven't been any cases of locally contracted Lyme disease."

MLive: Ann Arbor deer cull controversy becomes election issue in 2nd Ward, Ryan Stanton, October 1, 2015


August 17, 2015, City Council approved the establishment of a deer cull program for the next four years on City of Ann Arbor property beginning in the winter of 2016. In addition, City Council directed city staff to continue to explore an experimental deer fertility control program with the Humane Society of the United States. The deer management program aims to decrease the deer population in order to reduce deer-human negative interactions. City staff will begin work on a culling proposal that will require Michigan Department of Natural Resources approval. Many more details need to be worked out. Communication with residents will continue throughout the cull development process.


In addition, City Council approved at first reading an ordinance that bans the feeding of deer in Ann Arbor, making it a civil infraction. The ordinance will come back to City Council for a second reading on September 8 before it goes into effect.


- Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance ( is a pro-cull advocacy group)

MLive: Ann Arbor marijuana advocate worried people smoking pot in parks could be shot during deer cull, Ryan Stanton, 10-6-2015

MLive: Ann Arbor deer cull controversy becomes election issue in 2nd Ward, Ryan Stanton, October 1, 2015

With Ann Arbor officials making plans to hire sharpshooters to kill 100 deer this winter, "stop the shoot" has become the official battle cry of animal rights activists.

Save the Deer - an anti-cull website

"City Council voted to spend $90,000 of taxpayer money to use sharpshooters within City limits."

The Deer Management Project, City of Ann Arbor, August, 2015

MLive: How will Ann Arbor carry out deer culling? City officials explain process, Ryan Stanton, August 25, 2015

MLive: What would a deer feeding ban mean for Ann Arbor?, Ryan Stanton, August 24, 2015

MLive: Ann Arbor council votes 8-1 to approve controversial deer cull, Ryan Stanton, August 18, 2015

Ruminations on Deer, Damn Arbor (blog) August 17, 2015

Our Deer are Mostly Ann Arborites  - The Ann Arbor Observer, February, 2015

MLive/Ann Arbor News - the complete list of articles.

Oh Deer - Damn Arbor (a local blog)

A series of articles in another local blog:

MLive: See and share photos of deer in neighborhoods throughout Ann Arbor, Ryan Stanton, February 20, 2015

 Ann Arbor Deer Management Program Documents:

City Council Deer Management Report

Council Resolution for Deer Management Plan and Funding

RFP for Consultation Services for Development of Deer Management Plan

Project Schedule

Press release: City Seeks Input for Deer Management Plan

First Public Meeting Presentation- Dec. 10, 2014

First Public Meeting Agenda - Dec. 10, 2014

Press release: Second Deer Management Public Meeting Scheduled

Second Public Meeting Presentation - Feb. 5, 2015

Second Public Meeting Agenda - Feb. 5, 2015 ​  

February 10, 2015 Aerial Deer Survey Results Map

March 6, 2015 Aerial Deer Survey Results Map

Press Release: City of Ann Arbor Releases Aerial Deer Survey Results

Press Release: City of Ann Arbor Schedules Third Deer Management Public Meeting

Third Public Meeting Agenda - April 16, 2015

Third Public Meeting Presentation - April 16, 2015

Recommendations for Deer Management in Ann Arbor Report - May 2015

July 13 Work Session Agenda

July 13, 2015 Deer Work Session Staff Presentation

July 13, 2015 Humane Society of the United States Deer Work Session Presentation

Resolution to Establish a Deer Management Program within the City of Ann Arbor - August 17, 2015