Deer removal operations to take place in central Michigan
EAST LANSING, Mich .– East Lansing will close designated municipal parks intermittently in the evenings starting Monday so USDA Wildlife Services biologists can shoot deer in a bid to reduce the local population.
“Last year we removed 65 deer in just two nights of our parks being closed. And so this year we’re looking to do a very similar operation, ”said Catherine DeShambo, director of parks, recreation and the arts for the city of East Lansing.
She says management is something they’ve been working on for almost a decade.
“It started with some resident surveys, increasing concern from residents saying, ‘You know, we love to see deer in East Lansing. But we see too much. We are starting to see some really negative impacts from deer, ‘”said DeShambo.” We have residents talking about not leaving kids in backyards anymore, because they are so concerned about the deer population that they are they saw in their yards. “
And there are also concerns about diseases and deer leaving feces in people’s yards.
“It’s a concern, as city leaders, when you know that more than 40 accidents happen in the city and are the result of collisions between a deer and a vehicle,” DeShambo said.
The next round of deer removal will take place Monday through the end of March. Highly trained biologists will use firearms to remove the deer.
“This particular equality measure is the one that our residents preferred in surveys, they really wanted professionals to come on the scene who would put safety first, you know, first and foremost. And there is none. pressure on these biologists to remove more deer than they can safely remove, “DeShambo said. We just want to reduce that population and reduce the pressure within our community in parts of our community in terms of overpopulation.”
Park closure signs will be installed from 4:00 p.m. and parks will be officially closed at 6:00 p.m. They will reopen at 7:00 am the next day. Residents who live next to the parks have already received letters of notice, DeShambo said.
“These are the Monday through Friday operations. So it will be on weeknights the parks will potentially be closed and on weekends the parks will be fully open,” DeShambo said.
For more information or questions related to the closures, click here.
Meridian Township is also continuing its deer management efforts for 2022. Police will use firearms to kill up to 200 deer between January 1 and February 28.
This will take place in the evening and at night in certain parks and land reserves in the township. It will also take place on private land where the owners have given their consent.
So what happens to the deer once they are removed? Well, East Lansing and Meridian Township are in partnership with Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. The deer will be processed and the venison will be donated to local food banks.
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