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Posted on Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Deer activity in Barton Hills doesn't justify plan to thin herd

By Guest Column

I am writing in response to the recent article on Barton Hills’ deer-thinning program. To adapt Paul Harvey’s phrase, I wanted to fill in “the rest of the story.”

Deer-thumb-350x262-123971.jpg file photo

In the article, a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson represents the operation as a one-day “hunt,” with the possibility of another “hunt” in the future if the deer “continue to pose a problem.” According to multiple conversations my fellow Ann Arbor Township neighbors and I have had with the Michigan DNR, however, the permit Barton Hills received allows for the killing of up to 80 deer—and the USDA shooters have until Feb. 15 to meet this number. Barton Hills may currently be planning a one-day “hunt,” but this is not set in stone.

Also, the justifications cited for the program—“roadway safety” and “landscaping issues”—may be delightful euphemisms, but they fail to stand up to scrutiny. A new study by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments reported that car-deer accidents in Washtenaw County have been steadily declining since 2009. Furthermore, with Barton Hills’ low speed limits and ubiquitous speed bumps, hitting a deer would be virtually impossible.

Landscaping concerns are more legitimate since deer can indeed destroy plants. As the owner of a farm, I too get frustrated with deer-related crop damage. But, as the USDA official in the article points out, there are other non-lethal alternatives such as netting and electric fencing. Such prophylactic measures are oftentimes more effective than killing a portion of the deer population.

Barton Hills is ramping up its deer-thinning efforts just as broader trends appear to suggest a decline in the local whitetail population. In fact, according to the DNR, the deer population in the Southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan has been steady or declining over the past 5 to 10 years. The recent outbreak of the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (deemed unthreatening to humans) has lead some to predict an even steeper drop in whitetails.

Enlisting federal officials to conduct a sophisticated deer-execution operation using baiting techniques and high-powered rifles with silencers cannot be the best answer to Barton Hills’ deer “problem.” Zero Dark Thirty was an entertaining movie, but we don’t need a reenactment in Ann Arbor Township just because someone’s shrubs are being eaten.

Jarrett Dieterle is a law student and Ann Arbor Township resident. His family owns a farm just north of Barton Hills that originally was purchased by his grandfather in 1938.


Mr. Obvious

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

Voter Score: 0 Mr. Obvious 8:30 PM on 2/3/2013 Barton Hills has had an excessive deer herd for a number of years, common sense supports reducing the numbers. The overall herd in Michigan is, and has, exceeded the DNR's target numbers for quite some time. The early and late firearm seasons for many years supports this. Large deer herds contribute to car/deer accidents, crop damage, and the potential for higher exposure to deer tick bites, and the associated illnesses that come with those bites. Having structured hunt/s with capable marksmen is a good approach for a successful outcome. And, perhaps some fresh, high protein, low fat meat for the local soup kitchens and shelters. To those chosen to participate.....lock and load, and get on on with it.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Funny how those who have never been bothered by deer have a completely different view than those who have to live with them in their yards, driveways and streets. Guess it is easy to ignore that a problem exists when it doesn't affect you.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

I live next to the Ann Arbor Airport. There are over 30 deer that live around here...and about 25 turkey...and maybe 6 coyotes. The deer are like giant rats now. They eat everything, jump in front of your car, and poop all over my yard. Rick can come over anytime!

Barbara Clarke

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

It would seem with all the "brain power" in Barton Hills and the general Ann Arbor area, a better more humane solution could be reached . . . . a "win-win" even for the deer. Why is shooting/killing always the "go-to" way to resolve a wild life concern?

buvda fray

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

For consistency's sake, please do not make any comments about saving the poor deer if you have ever swatted a mosquito on your body. It is confusing to our impressionable youth when you speak in absolutes and ideals but have a personal sliding scale of acceptable behavior when it comes to culling wildlife.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

Vivienne Armentrout says it intellectually and I completely agree with her. Permit me to add — and I mean this is all seriousness — the problem can be traced back to a guy in Hollywood: Walt Disney. Many of the "Save the Deer" posts were made by people exposed at a tender age to a Disney-conjured spin on wildlife in the personage of "Bambi." Now adults, they cling to their childhood indoctrination by Uncle Walt (Think about it Bambites. Be introspective on this one. Do some soul searching).

Vivienne Armentrout

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

There was an excellent article recently in the New York Review of Books which reviewed a book about the intrusion of wildlife (not just deer) into city neighborhoods. The book is "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds" by Jim Sterba. The author makes points about how wild animals are simply losing their fear of humans and coming into our territory because they are no longer threatened. We are not allowed to use any weapon (even slingshots) to control wild animals in Ann Arbor. They are figuring this out and it is increasingly hard to chase them away. Deer present a danger to us in a number of ways. Aside from the road hazard and Lyme disease, they are powerful animals that can inflict real physical harm on us if we encounter them too closely. And it isn't just "rich people's shrubbery" but the ability to have any gardening activity at all that is threatened by their high populations. People who do not appreciate plant life may not understand that many of us have a deep personal affection toward wildflowers and our own flower gardens. Deer can denude any area of vegetation quickly. I have had increasingly great difficulty in growing vegetables in my back yard because of deer. Yet I am not allowed by Ann Arbor regulations to have an electrified fence in the city (this is one of the few acknowledged control mechanisms). Ann Arbor codes also restrict the height of fences. Deer can leap over any fence lower than 8 feet, and really hungry deer probably need a barrier of 10 feet. They go over our standard 4-foot neighborhood fences as you or I would step over a curb. Unfortunately, DNR restrictions are modeled around having a high supply of deer for hunters. I'm fine with hunting but it is not feasible around human habitations. So we are going to have to find some way to counter this population wave.

Jeff Renner

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

I have heard that a lower fence will work if you are fencing a small area. Apparently the deer don't like to jump into a small space. That's my plan for this spring.

Rork Kuick

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

Actually, my 6 foot fence has some stuff up higher than that I admit (sticks going around at about 7 feet, with "flags" attached), as well as additional "scary" things (internal fences, bad footing, wood piles that could hide humans, sneaky gardener trying to scare them whenever possible, vicious 2kg Yorkie). Could one go over it - yes, but so far so good. Perhaps there's enough good stuff on the outside. I've seen deer jump the 8 foot tall fence at the car proving grounds south of Chelsea (only at just the right spots). Spectacular.

Vivienne Armentrout

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

Yes, I threw that bit in about DNR hunting restrictions out of frustration that they lowered the permissible take this year while we are plagued with deer in our back yards. It didn't really go with the rest of my comment. I don't think a 6 foot fence would keep deer out. You wouldn't believe the way deer have gotten into my garden despite a 5 foot fence ornamented with a fence of garden poles. I've read elsewhere that 8 feet is the requirement. I'm going to purchase some of that deer netting this spring, but putting it around my entire lot would be very costly and rather ugly.

Rork Kuick

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

I'm a bit 'trout fan but am not sure the DNR regs are much to the point on this particular story. In my more rural subdivision, there is some hunting, and some coyotes, and the deer numbers are more tolerable. You need permission from every landowner within 450 feet to shoot animals. In Barton and other places there are local regs that wouldn't permit that. I don't shoot them at my place, but I could, and I could do it safely from the trees or roof. It might not be too nice if the body ends up on a neighbors yard, but if my neighbor kills one that ends up on my place, I will thank them, and lend a hand. PS: my vegie garden has 6 foot fence. Yes, it's hideous and a pain, but growing super-local food is not a meaningless project. Too many deer is harming the local natural areas too.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

What are they going to do with the meat - surely give it to the homeless shelters/kitchens??? Otherwise, how sad to kill the deer for the gardening folks of Barton Hills!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

It goes to the Food Gatherers charity I believe. I wouldn't mind getting a few pounds of meat myself.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

The deer population has been moving into Ann Arbor for some time now. I've seen plenty in the neighborhoods between Huron Parkway and north/central campus. People shoot groundhogs when they get into their gardens , they trap mice when they get into their homes so whats the big deal about killing deer? Do they have more value than theses other creatures?

Richard Wickboldt

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Jarrett thank you for your opinion and getting this subject open for discussion. I live in Ann Arbor across the river from Barton Hills. These are some hard facts in my neighborhood. I have 13 plus deer herding daily on my property. They eat just about everything in sight and show no fear of anybody. It would cost me $10,000 plus to properly fence my property to protect from deer. My yard is a deer pooping ground requiring continuous work cleaning up the mess just so I can walk and enjoy my property. There are no predators to cull the local herd. I am continuously having close calls and dodging deer on the streets and thoroughfares in my neighborhood as I drive. I was nearly gorged by a buck when it got spooked on the adjacent property and almost ran me down. Basically they are a dangerous nuisance because of over population. There is a hunting season mainly to harvest/thin the herd. Since there is no hunting allowed in our area; we should have legal and controlled thinning of the population in the township and Ann Arbor proper.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Well put Richard, but I don't think anybody that has a deer problem needs to justify taking care of ones property. It's your property , your landscape you paid for it so as long as it's within the law you have the right ( you don't have to feel bad) to get ride of the pests. It's not like white tailed deer are on the endangered list.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Actually, a friend of mine, a serious cyclist and triatholon racer, hit a deer on his bike while going nearly 30 mph. He survived, and after a 6 month recovery is once again back on his bike. We live in Ann Arbor, and the population this year seems much greater than in years past, damage to our landscaping is worse than ever, and overgrazing is becoming an issue. I definitely wish I was allowed to convert some deer into venison.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Richard W: Well Stated! Your post says it all. Btwn the deer and the cyclists, I am reluctant to drive on Huron River Drive. What if a deer were to pop a cyclist? Bet we would then hear from the Ann Arbor people about this very serious problem.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

I find your statements inaccurate. This area has an overpopulation of deer and it is growing. Here in Superior Township we get more and more deer each year, and they get more and more aggressive in seeking food. If hunting wereallowed on my property, I'd have a dozen bow hunters here. Deer are a major carrier of Lyme Disease. Fact. Deer kill people in collisions, either by the driver swerving and hitting something else, or the deer coming through the windshield. Fact. Sterilization options exist where the deer goes for food and chemical brushes put drugs on their hide as the stick their head into the trough. Very expensive and not viable. While this new disease may be unpleasant for the deer,it may prove to be the solution. Deer eat all the new growth in the woods and decimate forests. They destroy uncounted amount of landscaping when it is accessible.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

It's well known that if you kill the gopher that's making a mess of your yard then another one will immediately move in. The trick is to make your yard an uninhabitable no-mole's land. I'm not for or against culling the herd in Barton Hills but I can't help but wonder if more deer will come in from other areas once the culling is completed. It may be more expensive to set up barriers but in the long run it may be a more permanent solution. Otherwise you'll be inviting & paying DNR deer hunters for years to come. And I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the turkeys. They seemed to have become the thugs of the neighborhood - very brazen and destructive. Will the solution be to have a turkey shoot once a year? Why not do some research into land management first.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

Hunters will use any excuse to kill deer.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

Outstanding letter! The original article mentioned three reasons for the shoot: (1) traffic/safety issues, (2) ticks/lyme disease, and (3) "landscaping issues." Has anyone in Barton Hills hit a deer? Contacted lyme disease? My guess is no, and that this is killing animals all for the sake of some flowers.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 9:20 a.m.

Not sure how much this has to do with deer gene pool in the area, but the deer around here are scrawny by comparison to up North. I've heard them described as dog size, not "normal" size. This could be a local genetic species difference, but it could mean that the gene pool is less healthy too. Possibly weaker and smaller deer are surviving because there is too much food around locally and not enough predators. The winters are longer and harsher up North as well. The DNR doesn't do anything without monitoring species population anyways, and whitetail deer populations are not endangered nor do they have any special concerns regarding population recovery. If anything, the deer population is artificially high in our area because deer thrive at the edges of urbanization - where forests and cleared areas meet. Ann Arbor would be a perfect example with the abundance of trees and forested areas interspersed throughout town... Barton Hills even more ideal. If too many deer are culled, they will just stop giving out hunting permits until the population has recovered sufficiently. It's better to manage then to leave it alone as some disease due to overpopulation could completely wipe out the population instead.

Dog Guy

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:38 a.m.

The Michigan DNR website has much interesting information, as example: Prior to settlement, Michigan had an abundant deer herd in the south. The mixture of hardwoods, wetlands, bogs and forest openings was perfect for deer. There were few deer in the virgin forests of the north, which were inhabited mostly by elk and moose. The mature trees were so dense that sunlight could not reach the forest floor. Little deer food was available in these virgin forests. As farmers and settlers moved into southern Michigan, deer were exterminated by removal of cover and by unregulated shooting. Deer were mostly gone by 1870. Logging of forests in the north produced an opposite effect--more openings, brush, and young forests. As the northern herd climbed to estimated 1 million deer in the 1880s, the abundance fostered a public attitude that this resource was inexhaustible.

James Staley

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:35 a.m.

Some one wrote and asked if I am going to pay for the transporation of the deer, NO, I just do not think they should be killed. That is why the Ann Arbor home owners pay alot of tax, for things like this. The roads are sure not clear during the winter, it is pure ice around the North campus that is Non University.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

I pay taxes so that the deer can be culled. They are a nuisance animal in urban and suburban areas. Either that, or we re-introduce wolves so the herd can be controlled naturally. I actually like that idea better but some people aren't happy about predators roaming their backyards because it puts their poodles at risk.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

Funny how the leftest liberals of Ann Arbor want gun control and no hunting but then need their deer herd thinned. Got to wonder about the level of common sense there. Open the are up to hunting in the fall folks and your problem will magically end up in the freezer as some very healthly food.

just a voice

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

does anyone think there would be any chance of this hunt happening if it was in a neighborhood full of poor people? Can't the damn Barton Hills residents afford to pay for their bushes to be pretty by themselves?


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

So I guess that means that yes they can afford to pay for their bushes over and over again, they can also afford to pay for swift execution of all the deer that eat their bushes. Gotta do what you gotta do, over population is an issue.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

According to an article posted earlier in the week, Barton Hills residents are paying the DNR to do the work.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

Ehem... In the "poor neighborhoods where deer live" (in other words, the backcountry), the people "take care" of this problem themselves. Or does your hypothetical story involve deer in Detroit?

Rick Taylor

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

The term "Carrying Capacity" has almost everything to do with the Culling, killing, hunting or murdering of deer. I call the killing of deer in Barton Hills for what it is. It's simply the attempt to reduce the numbers of deer that can support the area they're in. I don't care what you call it but there are way too many deer in the area. I find it laughable that your stat's for a "reduced" number of deer/car accidents in Michigan have fallen. You make it sound like that number has dropped significantly when the fact of the matter is almost insignificant. To be more specific, 2010 car/deer related car accidents totaled 55,867 while 2011 dropped to 53,592. Try telling 53,592 people that got the crap scared out of them that its not a big deal and numbers are going down. I live in North East Ann Arbor and I've seen my share of deer being scraped off Huron Parkway. I have a friend in Chelsea who's daughter was killed trying to avoid a deer about 5 years ago. I say kill what you need to and donate the food to the hungry. Don't forget there is an over population of deer and that's the biggest problem we have.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1 a.m.

I don't have an opinion that I will share about the targets hunt occurring in this particular location. However, regarding deer population- yes, there are cars and hunters, but humans have created much much more 'fringe' habitat areas that deer live and reproduce in. There are thus more deer on the NA continent now than at any other time.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Driving slowly may prevent some wrecks and injuries, not all deer-vehicle crashes are vehicles hitting deer head on. My car's still being repaired and muscles on my lower right back and back side still ache. A deer collided with my car, mangled my right front fender and front passenger door, and apparently went back into the woods 10 days ago. While I've seen many deer along Huron Parkway, the deer that collided with my car came out of the woods along Plymouth Road between Old Ford Road and Ford Road. I was lucky. Some people die in collisions between cars and deer. Relocating deer from one person's neighborhood to another's isn't a solution. Criticizing drivers and assuming the driver in a collision with a deer aren't productive either. Even insurance companies don't blame policyholders involved in collisions with deer. Since their is no deductible on the repair costs for my car, I assume that the presence of high numbers of deer and collisions is already figured into car insurance costs. Vehicle-deer collisions appear to be covered as accidents not caused by driver error. Those drivers who can't avoid hitting deer head on are victims. Drivers who swerve to avoid deer can injure in other vehicles as well as theirs. Even swerving may not protect deer and could cost human lives also. I hope any killing of deer is accurate and death of the deer is immediate. It would be more humane to sterilize some of the herd to cut down on fawns, but that seems impossible. Maybe someone has a better idea than shooting and killing deer. I don't.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

I take exception to the supposed logic of Drew here. No. Humans and their cars have replaced the natural predators of whom you speak and we are far more vicious at killing all kinds of animal life on our roadways the the predator population ever was. Predators will avoid a skunk due to its natural coloration to protect it; this defense is useless against a speeding car! When predators are low, nature is highly effective with disease processes to thin the herds and cull the young, What's taking your & my birds are the huge number of cats either let loose by owners to prowl or this "program" to spay and release feral cats to continue to decimate our bird populations. This latter issue you will hear more of each year as it becomes more of an issue as it has in New Zealand.

Drew Lathin

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

Dfossil. I agree with much of what you said. There are lots of reasons for species decline, including birds. It's complex and cats surely are part of the problem. Where I take exception to what you write is that if cars were as effective at thinning the herd, then why are deer numbers at staggeringly high multiples of what they were before European settlement?


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

With the exception of an owl, they hunt skunks


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

Mr Dieterle deserves credit for the hard work required for law school. But he should know that farms always attract deer, and most of us are not farmers. We are homeowners whose properties are being ravaged by an overabundance of deer. In this area some of our neighbors feed corn and birdseed to deer on a daily basis. Aside from significant changes to our ecosystem, and the cost to property owners, it is an established fact that it is unhealthy for deer to -eat corn and birdseed- so you who are doing this should read advice from the experts: 1) From a veterinarian: "The deer's winter digestive system is not equipped to handle a high carbohydrate diet such as corn. In winter, they normally would eat woody browse -- twigs, buds and stems." 2)"Dont feed the Deer" - see why you who do this are actually harming the deer: 3) It is also against state law, according to the Michigan DNR: "Feeding" is defined as individuals placing food materials out that attract wildlife for any reason other than baiting. Feeding for recreational viewing purposes must follow regulations for recreational viewing. Supplemental feeding of deer and elk is prohibited in the lower peninsula.,4570,7-153-10366_37141_37705-31604--,00.html Finally, the cost to fence, spray deterrents, and replace plants, shrubs and flowers at our house has been hundreds of dollars Electrical fencing would cost several hundreds of dollars more. This hassle is all caused by a few selfish fools who like to watch deer eating corn and birdseed out their windows. I would welcome hunters in our neighborhood across the river from Barton Hills.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

@NeighborsareWe. I completely agree with your post. I agree with your statement (very courageously made): "This hassle is all caused by a few selfish fools who like to watch deer eating corn and birdseed out their windows."

Drew Lathin

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

There is one factor not mentioned in the story or in any of the comments and that is biodiversity. Without top level predators in our area anymore (e.g., wolves and cougars), deer populations are now many multiples of what they were before these predators were extirpated from the area. This explosion in the deer herd has resulted not only in them eating people's landscapes, but also eating much of the native vegetation. As a result, there is less food for the insects upon which many higher order animals depend. For example, 96% of all bird species feed their young insects in the spring. Seeds are not available. Therefore, deer overpopulation indirectly leads to the decline in birds and the myriad other species that depend on insects. Deer starvation, landscaping, and car-deer collisions aside, there is good reason to thin the herd by humans because humans have also eliminated their predators which used to keep our ecosystems in balance.

James Staley

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

After working in the North Campus area of Ann Arbor for over 15 years, it would be nice if someone could do something in that area, it would be a good start dealing with Barton Hills first, the Deer are anywhere and everywhere in the North Campus area. When driving to and from work, I see about 5 or more deer almost every in groups and they will stand in front of cars and I see almost a car accident about every other day, I have always seen people driving that show respect for the deer and they stop for them. It seems like if they have to be shot it could be with a tranquilizer gun and then have some one take them to a town like Chelsea or Dexter and when they wake up they will have a new home to run and play in and not in the streets of Ann Arbor. All of the deer in the north campus area look so thin and hungery, I hope that someone could feed them and give them a good life and just do not hurt them.

Drew Lathin

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Passing the problem to other municipalities that have the same deer overpopulation problem is not a solution.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

Are you volunteering to pay to tranquilize deer in Ann Arbor, cart them off to Chelsea, feed them and their offspring all winter when they get diseases, and take the heat from Chelsea residents when the deer overpopulate that area?

Top Cat

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

I cannot dispute or deny any of the author's statistics. However, I live 5 miles north of Barton Hills and I count the deer population on my acreage every day. It is now to high to count.

Rick Taylor

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Hi Top Cat. I live and bow hunt for deer in Ann Arbor. I actually write an outdoor column for If you ever decide that you'd be open to allowing someone like me to hunt a deer to feed my family then I sure would appreciate it. Also, if you don't like that idea at all then I hope I didn't offend you. Take care, Rick Taylor


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

My friend works in auto body repair (bump shop). He says they look forward to deer season (the rut). They get a lot of business out of deer/car crashes. He says it makes his Christmas bonus! The phenomenon known as "the rut" is the period when deer breed. People often ask biologists when the rut is going to occur. It's a question biologists commonly hear in the fall. Many hunters want to make sure that they plan hunting vacations to include that magical time when bucks lose all caution and deer are moving.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

An estimated 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm, the nation's leading auto insurer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually. How many accidents, how many fatalities how many injuries will it take before we decide the herd needs to be reduced. Radio collars have shown bucks to travel a dozen or miles in one day. You may think they are confined to a small area but in square miles, their travel can be extensive.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:52 a.m.

@GoNavy, that makes no sense. You seem to have it backwards. The opinion piece, and the article on which it was based, deals with reducing the deer population by killing them because they are perceived to be a nuisance or a danger on the roadways in Barton Hills. Neither the opinion piece, nor the previous article, was advocating for killing of the deer so anyone could engage in "a good annual hunt" for the hunt's sake.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

@DBH: It should be reduced to the level that ensures a good annual hunt. Anything more is a nuisance.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Even if one is willing to accept your premise that reducing the deer herd is good for some reason, to what level should it be reduced? How do you know that the present level in the Barton Hills area is not already at, or below, the ideal level, whatever that might be?


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

The top three causes of deer death in Michigan, in no particular order are: starvation, car/deer accidents, and death by hunters. Take yer pick....

E Claire

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

Doesn't mention death rates but this is from the DNR website at,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12205-56904--,00.html "The build-up of deer in urban and suburban areas has also become a challenge. Other than fencing, nonlethal control methods have usually been unsuccessful or impractical, and lethal controls have eventually been applied. " I'd rather get shot and die right away than slowly starve to death, just sayin.

Dog Guy

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 4:28 a.m.

Deer fawn on coyotes.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

Way more coyotes than wolves in these parts lately.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Please cite a reference for your top 3 causes. I am doubtful it is correct as it does not include EHD or death by natural causes (e.g., dying after living out a natural lifespan).


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Shall I assume that "old age" is in 4th place, or would it be death by wolf?


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

Mr. Dieterle - Deer that do not get enough to eat or are crowded are more likely to get sick with EHD and other diseases than deer that are at a more reasonable population level with enough to eat. My understanding is that the deer are in what is considered a crowded condition by both the DNR and the USDA. Healthy deer are a wonderful thing, sick deer are not. I learned this the hard way as a child moving dead deer to a burial pit one spring after a really bad winter.

An Arborigine

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

How about relocating these offenders of the wealthy to the recently donated 160 acre bat preservation land in Washtenaw county. I seriously doubt deer pose any danger to bats or bats to deer. Just a thought.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Talker, how about stationing Armed Bat Guards around the perimeter.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

How do you propose keeping the deer from leaving the bat preservation land?