Deer cull opponents trying to use a homeless man to stop the cull.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan urban deer cull has been one controversial topic the last few years and every year the headlines regarding it seem to get weirder and weirder.
Now anti-cull activists have discovered a homeless man camped out in the Traver Creek Nature area. This is one of the designated cull areas and they're trying to use the man as fuel to temporarily stop the cull, according to Mlive.com.
Their argument is Connecticut-based White Buffalo Inc., the company performing the cull, hasn't taken enough safety precautions prior to the second day of culling on Jan. 9. They now want the city to shut down all operations to create better safety protocols.
"They never made attempts to get this guy out," Bob McGee of Ann Arbor Residents for Non-Lethal Deer management told Mlive.com.
Lisa Abrams of Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife and Nature brought the issue to city officials, although it's unclear if it had any effect.
Interestingly enough, reporters with the Ann Arbor News went out and found and talked to the unnamed homeless man. He told the reporters he was aware of the cull and is staying out of the area during the times White Buffalo sharpshooters are working between 3 p.m. and midnight.
The man also allegedly told the reporters he trusted the sharpshooters to not mistake him for a deer.
However, cull protesters are still adamant the hunt isn't being done in a safe matter. Additionally, they're questioning if there are other homeless people in these nature areas the city and sharpshooters don't know about.
Meanwhile, the city says White Buffalo makes sure an area is safe for sharpshooting operations ahead of time.
"We have security to dissuade people from entering closed parks," city spokeswoman Lisa Wonrash said. "In addition, White Buffalo utilizes enhanced night vision technology to ensure all activity is safe. This technology enables them to identify deer from a dog or a person."
If nothing else, it's just the latest bizarre headline in the saga Ann Arbor deer. The culls and deer sterilization projects have seen protests, deer memorial services, lawsuits and even yoga mats for sterilized deer.
The city is hoping to remove up to 250 deer between now and the end of January with the culls.