City of Jackson Cancels 2017 Deer Cull
In 2008 they decided to reduce the deer population in the Jackson area.
Mission accomplished, I suppose.
It’s hard to not see there is a problem with too many deer in the area. My first trip from Grand Rapids to Detroit I was surprised by the large number of deer carcasses on the shoulder of the interstate.
In 2015 Michigan there were 47,007 deer & auto accidents.
Wolves, the natural predators of deer, are so rare in The Mitten that it was a big news story last year that a (single) wolf is thought to be in the lower peninsula. You know that wolf was thinking “ALL YOU CAN EAT DEER BUFFET”!
Thus the logic for culling deer. Reducing the population of the deer and donating the food to those in need. Win-win.
Well, the time for culling has ended in Jackson, Mich. a year early no less.
JACKSON, MI – While protesters in Ann Arbor speak out against their city’s recently-implemented deer cull, the city of Jackson’s annual cull has been canceled for the winter.
The cancellation isn’t due to protests, however.
“I think it’s time to take a moment and address what our path is in the future,” said Kelli Hoover, Jackson parks, recreation, grounds and cemeteries director. “I think it’s the responsible thing to do.”
Hoover will have discussions with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to determine the deer count in the city. The city doesn’t want to do a deer cull if it’s not necessary, she said.
The program first started in 2008 after an MDNR study showed the deer population in the area was very high, Hoover said. There were also a high number of car crashes due to deer, she added.
The cull typically happens on weekends in January and February at Ella Sharp Park and the Cascades Golf Course. It cost about $7,000 in 2016, with $2,300 coming from Summit Township. The city has reduced the number of deer culled in recent years, from 80 to 45.
To create a maintenance plan for a deer cull, Hoover will study how various other communities control their deer populations.
Prior to 2016, the annual culling saw 583 deer. More than 29,000 pounds of meat from the cull was distributed to area food pantries.
Aaron’s Nuisance Animal Control was supposed to be in the fifth and final year of its contract with the city to lead the deer cull in 2017. However, Hoover said an out clause in the contract allows either party to back out without penalty.
So, there you have it. After 8 years, they’ve decided ‘that’s probably good’ and canceled the cull.
I imagine the DNR will keep an eye on the population situation.
Full Disclosure: I hunted deer growing up. Then in my mid 20s I became allergic to deer meat. I don’t hunt anymore. Though I did hit a deer with my car one time, that was the WORST!