Sharpshooters Take To Ann Arbor Parks To Cull 150 Deer

WWJ News
January 02, 2020 - 4:36 pm
Ann Arbor deer cull

A sign warns Ann Arbor residents and visitors about a deer cull in the park. (Photo: Ron Dewey/WWJ)


ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - As many as 150 deer will be killed in Ann Arbor through the month of January.

Starting Thursday, sharpshooters returned to select parks with the goal of reducing the city's sizable deer population, which officials say threatens vegetation and traffic.

While opponents say the culls are inhumane and a waste of taxpayer money, some residents like Greg Poth don’t mind.

"I don't like the deer running through my yard and eating all of my plants. Like six of them go through my yard and just chew on everything in sight," he told WWJ's Ron Dewey.

"In fact, I'd prefer that to the sterilization," Poth said. "Because sterilization doesn't get rid of the problem. Down the road it tends to, you know, cut down the population...but it doesn't stop the immediate problem."

Near one of the parks, the Foxfire West Nature Area, resident Lewis Verela is concerned about kids in the area. He wishes the shooting would take place only later at night. 

"So the bus drops us right in front of that area," Verela said. "You know, kids they like to take shortcuts and that kind of stuff...and I consider that it's kind of dangerous."

Resident Amy Gile wonders whether enough research has been done to determine that these culls are necessary. She's like to see an alternative management plan. "I don't know. I just feel like shooting them down is kind of a bad idea for me I guess."

To keep residents safe, the following parks will be closed every day, including weekends, from 3 p.m. to midnight Jan. 2 through Jan. 26, 2020. There will also be some shooting on private land. 

  • Barton Nature Area (only the Foster Road area north of Warrington Drive)
  • Bird Hills Nature Area
  • Cedar Bend/Island Park
  • Foxfire West Nature Area
  • Huron Parkway/Braun Nature Areas
  • Leslie Park Golf Course
  • Leslie Woods Nature Area
  • Oakwoods Nature Area
  • South Pond Nature Area (only the area in the vicinity of the NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Drive)
  • Buttonbush (a new park north of Dhu Varren Road and west of Nixon Road)
  • Nichols Arboretum will be closed on the following dates only: Jan. 6, 13 and 20 from 3 p.m.–midnight, pending final authorization from University of Michigan

In addition, several University of Michigan and Concordia university properties will be closed every day from 3 p.m. to midnight Jan. 2 through Jan. 26,

((View the 2020 Deer Management Closure Map))

Around 400 deer have been removed from Ann Arbor since 2016.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the cull, visit this link. Citizens with specific questions can email them to or leave a message on the deer hotline at 734-794-6295.