Amid complaints of high deer interactions, Ann Arbor is hiring sharpshooters to help drop deer populations.
Ann Arbor has voted to hire a team of sharpshooters this winter to help cull deer populations over the next four years.
The city council reached the decision after a one-hour-long meeting with a vote of 8-1 Tuesday morning. This comes after nearly a year of looking into various options for creating some sort of deer management program.
“This is a very, very difficult issue that we all obviously have been grappling with for quite some time now,” said Mayor Christopher Taylor.
Studies of local deer populations began after numerous complaints of deer tearing up lawns and being struck by vehicles. An initial flyover by helicopter in February counted over 116 deer within city limits.
A total of 49 residents came to speak on the issue Monday night before the vote, with most in favor for minimizing the deer population. Several residents showed up who oppose the decision, saying they didn’t feel the need to waste their tax dollars on unwarranted and inhumane slaughter of deer.
The city council budgeted $90,000 towards managing the deer, not all of which will go towards the sharpshooters. The money will also go towards working with DNR and the Humane Society to design and implement a strategy to sterilize does in areas unsafe to hunt the deer until 2017.
The sharpshooters will hunt the deer at night after drawing them in with bait piles and kill the deer with head shots. They are expected to kill at least 100 deer over the winter to start.