Why is the City of East Lansing (City) reducing the deer population?

Over almost a decade, the City of East Lansing (City) has been engaging with residents, researching best practices, talking with other communities and partnering with experts in the field concerning deer management and deer populations in the City. In addition to holding Community Deer Management meetings for resident education and input, the City has surveyed residents, partnered with several agencies (MSU, MDNR and USDA Wildlife Services), tracked deer-vehicle accidents in the City, passed a deer feeding ban, tracked estimated population volumes, tracked incidents of disease (including Lyme disease and Chronic Wasting disease) and maintained a Deer Management webpage that provides residents with education, history and an opportunity to provide feedback. 

After many years of consideration, the East Lansing City Councilmembers serving in early 2020 weighed public input and ultimately acted at their February 11, 2020 City Council meeting to reduce the deer population in the City by professional, lethal removal. This professional, safe and highly managed removal of a portion of the deer population is conducted in designated park areas to address deer overpopulation in the East Lansing community, which has resulted in vehicle/deer accidents, public health concerns, damage to landscaping and a disruption to the ecological balance of natural areas. While vehicle/deer accidents have trended down slightly over the past two years in East Lansing, Michigan is the second leading state for vehicle/deer accidents in the United States and statewide vehicle/deer accidents are trending up. In East Lansing, there have been an average of 24 vehicle/deer accidents per year over the past three years. 

A first round of deer removal took place in East Lansing in winter 2021, with a second round of deer removal taking place in winter 2022 and a third round planned for winter 2023. For more detailed history, education and resident resources, visit https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/231/Deer-Management.

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1. Why is the City of East Lansing (City) reducing the deer population?
2. How has the City reduced the deer population?
3. What happens with the venison from the removal?
4. What is done to ensure safety?
5. I didn’t think that hunting with a firearm was allowed within 450 feet of a residence without written permission of the owner. How is the City able to perform this deer removal?
6. Are there other communities in Michigan that have removed deer by firearms?
7. Will deer removal be an annual activity in East Lansing's parks?
8. How many deer have been removed each year?