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Deer continuing to die on large, fenced private property in Independence Township

Posted at 7:42 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 18:14:50-05

"It's heartbreaking," said Jill Beyer about the dead deer that can be seen through the fencing around a large piece of private property on Clarkston Road in Independence Township. "Sunday, we went on a walk and we counted 19 dead on the property."

Many believe the deer are starving to death, and that they will continue to suffer and die unless an authority intervenes. 

"They've been eating the needles on pine trees as far as they can get," said Bill Thompson who frequently walks by the property and has been seeing a growing number of dead deer on the property this winter. 

Some people have been throwing food over the fence. 

Over the years, Beyer has been taking her children and grandchildren to see the deer. But, recently, she and others have noticed a growing number of deer dying inside the gated property. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources acknowledges it's a situation that is "spiraling downhill" and that the condition the deer are in makes them unable to jump the fence, but she says they have asked the property owner to open up some of the fencing. 

The DNR says the property owner has not broken any laws and they are trying to work with them to resolve the problem. 

Others who are concerned about the suffering of the deer say they've been inbreeding and multiplying over the years and there's just not enough food for all of them to survive.

Beyer would like to see the deer that can be saved, moved to a sanctuary and the others humanely euthanized. 

Thompson says he saw one deer on the ground Monday with other deer gathered around it. The deer was barely able to lift its head. Today, he pointed to the deer in the same location, only now she's dead. 

"This is sickening," said Beyer who wonders how many deer will have to suffer and die before someone takes action to help the animals. "This is not right."

7 Action News has not been able to contact the property owner.