Community Services

2018 Program

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Lethal Program: Jan. 6-31

As of Jan. 17, 2018, White Buffalo lethally removed 71 deer from city-selected private parcels and parks and nature areas.

The amended MDNR permit also allows White Buffalo sharpshooters to lethally remove up to 250 deer in designated City of Ann Arbor parks, nature areas and city-selected private parcels. The permit allows lethal activities from Jan. 6 through Jan. 31 on private property and public land. The below parks will be closed every day (including weekends) for all purposes from Jan. 8 – Jan. 31 from 3 p.m. to midnight.

  1. Arbor Hills Nature Area
  2. Barton Nature Area [Foster area north of Warrington Dr. only]
  3. Bird Hills Nature Area
  4. Foxfire West Nature Area
  5. Glazier Hill Nature Area
  6. Huron Parkway/Braun Nature Areas
  7. Leslie Park Golf Course
  8. Leslie Woods Nature Area
  9. Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area
  10. Oakridge Nature Area [East of Huron Parkway only]
  11. Oakwoods Nature Area
  12. Olson Park [The dog park and parking lot will remain open]
  13. South Pond Nature Area [Only the area in the vicinity of NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Dr.]
  14. Stapp Nature Area
  15. Sugarbush Park [North of Rumsey Dr. only]
  16. Traver Creek Nature Area
  17. The Arboretum will be closed on Jan. 11, from 4-9 p.m.; Jan. 16, 3 p.m.-midnight; Jan. 19, from 4-9 p.m. and Jan. 23, 3 p.m.-midnight.

Jan.  8 through Jan. 31, several University of Michigan and Concordia properties will be closed every day from 3 p.m. to midnight.   

Lethal Implementation Details

Sharpshooting will not occur from a moving vehicle, but may occur from a parked vehicle. Sharpshooting will occur by the city's contractor on city-selected, privately owned parcels subject to the owner's consent and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Residents can continue with their normal daily routines since all deer management activities will occur on private property only.  Unauthorized trespassing is not permitted and will be subject to enforcement action. 

Signage in multiple languages will be posted in closed parks, nature areas and University site entrances and notable access points at least 24 hours in advance of the three-week closure timeframe. Snow fencing will supplement signage at select locations. Residents living adjacent to designated parks or nature areas were informed of closures directly via postcard. In addition, the city's communication office will utilize local media, social media, Community Television Network, the city's website and email notifications to inform citizens of park closures.

Sterilization (Non-Lethal) Program Completed 

From Jan. 2 through Jan. 7, three areas in Wards 1 and 2 had deer sterilization activities performed by the city's contractor, White Buffalo. Nineteen female deer were sterilized during this time. The three areas were selected where sharpshooting of deer couldn't occur, but darting and surgical sterilization of deer could take place per a special state permit. Refer to the to view the sterilization areas.

2018 Program 

On October 16, City Council approved a resolution to contract with White Buffalo, Inc. for combined surgical sterilization and sharpshooting management services for the City of Ann Arbor's 2018 deer management program.

The approved lethal cull for the winter of 2018 aims to address the impact of deer browsing in select areas with the lethal removal of up to 250 deer. The city's contractor, White Buffalo, will work under a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) amended "research" permit that will allow the city to also sterilize female deer in up to three zones in Wards 1 and 2. In addition, the city will continue educational efforts and signage as part of a three-pronged strategy to deer management.

The City is continuing to invest in the collection of data to monitor the impacts of each of these efforts and to provide accurate information for public policy discussion on local deer management activities.  

The 2018 program will include:   

  • Sterilization (non-lethal) — pneumatically darting up to 26 female deer in up to three areas, temporarily removing and surgically sterilizing female deer and returning them to the area where they were found. Like last year, the city will mail sterilization information directly to residents in impacted areas.
  • Lethal — sharpshooting and lethally removing up to 250 deer on public lands and, to supplement available locations, some city-selected private parcels with appropriate owner consent. The city will mail park-closure postcards directly to residents adjacent to closed parks in Wards 1 and 2. Where selected private property owners have given permission, the abutting neighbors will also be notified prior to the use of the parcel.

Measures of Success

The 2018 Deer Management Program is the third year in a four-year effort. 

Educational Program and Public Right-of-Way Improvements:

  • Review the city’s “Fencing” ordinance and existing deer signage locations. Recommend and implement changes and improvements.
  • Develop and publish an expanded deer education component to the city’s deer management website, including a deer-resistant gardening campaign.
  • Develop an interactive information/mapping tool.
  • Create and hold a public forum designed to address questions related to the city’s deer management program.
  • Establish an on-going education program.

Sterilization (Non-lethal) Program:

  • Obtain an amended permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for a deer sterilization program.
  • Sterilization of at least 98% of the female deer in the original research areas 1 and 2.
  • Sterilize at least 95 percent of the female deer in a new third zone, such that the cumulative sterilizations for all three zones are not more than 80.
  • Mortality rate associated with sterilization less than 2 percent.
  • Investigate with University of Michigan if there are appropriate locations for sterilization.
  • Obtain a written update on the scientific results to-date on the sterilization efforts.

Lethal Program:

  • Number of firearm related injuries associated with cull activities is 0.
  • Remove 250 deer.
  • Level of public park closures is acceptable to at least 75 percent of surveyed residents.
  • Coordinate with University of Michigan to increase the number of available locations for the deer management program.

 Planning Documents