Ann Arbor To Kill Up To 150 Deer Due To Overpopulation

deer in snow

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - Ann Arbor is aiming to trim its sizable deer population with another hunt. 

City Council approved a $150,000 plan to kill up to 150 deer living in city parks, nature areas and on some private land. 

Nearly 400 deer have been culled in Ann Arbor since hunters were hired in 2016, and the city says a fifth hunt will start in January. 

While the Humane Society of Huron Valley says the hunt "further traumatizes a generation of kids already facing too much violence," the Ann Arbor News reports council member Jack Eaton said deer "will overwhelm every natural feature" in Ann Arbor without proper management. 

In a news release Tuesday, the city said contractor White Buffalo will work under a Michigan Department of Natural Resources permit, which allows sharpshooters to lethally remove up to 150 deer in designated City of Ann Arbor parks, nature areas and city-selected private parcels. The permit allows lethal activities from Jan. 2 through Jan. 26 on private property and public land.

To keep residents safe, the following parks will be closed every day, including weekends, from 3 p.m. to midnight on Jan. 2 through Jan. 26. 

  • 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, also pending authorization, 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))

Sharpshooting will not occur from a moving vehicle, but may occur from a parked vehicle, the city says. Sharpshooting will also occur by the city’s contractor on city-selected, privately owned parcels subject to the owner’s consent and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. 

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