Ann Arbor leaders weigh options to control deer population

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - Ann Arbor residents say they're on the roads, in their yards, and something needs to be done. It's why city leaders are weighing options on how to control the deer population.

Hunters sitting in tree stands? Birth control? Those are both options Ann Arbor City Council hopes to weigh in on, after scores of residents voiced their concerns.

“People are reporting seeing deer herds," said Ward 2 City Council member Jane Lumm. "Not an individual deer here and there. But you know, six to a dozen deer in their yard. It has become a quality of life problem. And it obviously has to do a lot with the environmental degradation that we’re seeing.”

City council members say Ann Arbor will take a look at both lethal and non-lethal methods to control deer.  A resolution will now direct the city’s administrator to collect data and find a solution. City leaders acknowledge the emotional component of their decision.

“This is about thoughtfully coming up with [a solution]," said Lumm. "Engaging the right people with deer management options and solutions. And there are many tools we can employ.”

“I would rather see non-lethal, humane methods of controlling the deer population," said Ward 2 City Council member Sally Hart Petersen. "I just don’t know how realistic that is. And one thing we’re really going to have to test in Ann Arbor is what is the appetite for deer culling. That seems to be the fastest, quickest response. Is it the best response? I don’t know.”

The city council says finding a solution will take a slow, deliberate process. The city administrator will weigh all the options and report back to the city council in late July.

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