Community Services

City of Ann Arbor Deer Management

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Impact and Management of White-Tailed Deer in Our Neighborhoods​ Presentation

On Jan. 26, 2018, Dr. Bernd Blossey, an Associate Professor at Cornell University, presented the "Impact and Management of White-Tailed Deer in Our Neighborhoods." The presentation is available to view online​. The presentation was co-sponsored by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. ​

Coexisting with Deer Tips 

Even though this video wasn’t created in Ann Arbor, the tips and advice are still applicable to those who want to learn more about how to successfully coexist with deer. Check out the WildlifeNYC video “Tips for Coexisting with White-tailed Deer."

Tips for Protecting Your Yard and Garden from Deer and Rabbit Damage

Program History

During the spring of 2014, City Council directed Ann Arbor's City Administrator to develop deer management information with the assistance of community partners and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division (MDNR). The directive from Council arose as a result of numerous resident reports of deer damaging landscaping and natural areas as well as concerns regarding vehicle/deer collisions and deer-borne diseases. 

  • On Aug. 14, 2014, the City Administrator provided to City Council the Deer Management Options Report, which outlined the need to develop a community-endorsed deer management plan built upon community input and management options approved by the MDNR Wildlife Division, the public agency responsible for managing Michigan's deer. 
  • On August 17, 2015, City Council approved the Resolution to Establish a Deer Management Program within the City of Ann Arbor for the next four years, including culls on City of Ann Arbor property beginning in the winter of 2016. In addition, City Council directed city staff to continue to explore the viability of a deer fertility control program with the Humane Society of the United States. 
  • On October 16, 2017, City Council approved resolution to contract with White Buffalo, Inc. for combined surgical sterilization and sharpshooting management services for the city’s 2018 deer management program.

Each year, Ann Arbor develops program objectives, which are displayed via the Deer Data Dashboard.

Browse Study

To better understand the impacts of deer on the City's natural areas the City contracted with NatureWrite LLC. to conduct a deer browse. The final report presents results from a pilot study, conducted in Ann Arbor natural areas from November 2015 through January 2017, focused on developing a clear metric for deer impacts to vegetation and assessing current levels of browse damage. An experimental approach of planting red oak "sentinel seedlings" across sites and tracking the proportion of experimental oak seedlings browsed by deer was used. This approach, established in the Cornell study (Blossey 2014), offers a useful indicator of current deer browse intensity, and comprises a clear metric that can be repeated annually to track how deer browse damage changes in response to deer management efforts.

Data Tool

To help consolidate deer related data and information an interactive deer data tool was created to overlay significant pieces of information. Layers include deer crash data dating back to 2011, helicopter counts, parks closed for culling operations, sterilization zones, deer signage and other information regarding program activities. Users are able to overlay information geographically to create a better understanding of how information relates.

Data Dashboard

In an effort to provide data related to the goals and metrics of the program, a deer data dashboard was created to provide feedback regarding the progress of the program and survey results regarding the success metrics.

Deer-Crossing Signage

Fourteen new deer-crossing signs have been installed in priority locations recommended by the deer education stakeholder group. Locations include: Washtenaw west Of Huron Parkway and east of  Stadium; Huron Parkway between Hubbard and Washtenaw; and Plymouth Road between Green and Swift. The installation locations were based on analysis of deer-vehicle crash locations that have occurred during the last five years.  Additional signage will be installed in the coming weeks to include changeable message signs that can warn motorists of frequent deer crossing locations.

Deer-Vehicle Crashes

Watch for Deer All Year 

Don't Veer For Deer

SEMCOG Crash Data Search

Michigan Traffic Crash Facts

Lyme Disease

Washtenaw County is now confirmed as an area where Lyme disease can be transmitted. For more information on the disease, how it is transmitted and treatment and prevention, visit the Washtenaw County Public Health.

Deer Hotline: 734.794.6295

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