Hunters are not thrilled with Ann Arbor's plan to sterilize deer.
There are many cities in Michigan that house large urban populations of whitetails. Methods to finding a solution to reduce these populations have proven to be complex though.
Hunters typically would like the chance to hunt in these urban areas within city limits, but members of some communities have voiced their opinion against this. As an effort to find a solution that will appeal to a majority of the people, Ann Arbor will be the first city in Michigan to sterilize deer. In 2017, about 50 does will be captured and have their ovaries removed.
Not only will Ann Arbor be using sterilization, but Mayor Christopher Taylor says the city will also use sharpshooters to address the problem. This decision though, has already resulted multiple complaints. "The shooting of deer within the city limits, within city parks, shook many members, many community member's sense of their home," said Taylor.
With the decision made for sterilization, as you can imagine, hunters are quite upset. Hunting groups such as the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, are speaking out against the plan.
Drew YoungeDyke, of the MUCC brought up a great point by voicing, "If we have a problem with the deer population what we do in Michigan is we hunt the excess deer, we use that venison, we buy licenses, which then fund the conservation of habitat and other wildlife species as well."
Hunters in the state are worried that if sterilization is used in Ann Arbor, it might set a precedent that could trickle across the state.
DNR specialist Chad Stewart says the situation in Ann Arbor is unique, and that hunters shouldn't worry about any new precedent being set. Stewart claims, "We're still going to be using hunting as our primary form of management across the state, and that's always going to be our number one recommendation even in a lot of these urban communities."
Hunting groups in Michigan are going to continue to work for more urban hunting, and help ensure that sterilization doesn't become a primary means of deer management in Michigan.