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http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...w-where-hunters-cant-go-&template=fullarticle


Posted: Nov. 15, 2009
Michigan firearm season begins today
State deer problems grow where hunters can't go

BY TINA LAM, MELANIE SCOTT and ERIC LAWRENCE
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS



As nearly 1 million deer munch on suburban gardens in Michigan's lower third, their main predators will be taking aim today at the 1 million white-tailed deer in the state's northern two-thirds.



A lack of places to hunt, mild winters and few predators in the south have led to a sharply uneven distribution of Michigan's deer.

"They come into my backyard and eat my hosta plants and everything in sight," said Ellen Halladay, a resident of Rochester Hills, which in 2007 had more deer-vehicle collisions than any other city in Michigan.

But hunting is banned in many places and unwelcome in others. When Rochester Hills allowed sharpshooters to cull the city's deer in January, protesters showed up. "I don't think they should be culled," said Halladay. "But there is a problem."

Without more hunting, the problem will grow. "It's still the most efficient method for controlling deer numbers," said Tim Payne of the Department of Natural Resources.

As deer emerge in heavily populated areas, animal experts warn that people should avoid contact with them for fear of diseases.
Urban deer with little to fear keep on breeding

As hunters head mostly north for the start of the firearm deer season today, the deer population in southeast Michigan is growing by leaps and bounds, with little to stop it.

In southern lower Michigan, there are about 900,000 deer, according to Department of Natural Resources biologists. In 2005, the department set a population goal of 500,000 to 600,000 deer. Clearly, the deer haven't paid attention.

About 100,000 of those are in southeast Michigan.

"We don't want that many deer," said Tim Payne, supervisor of wildlife in the Southfield office of the DNR.

Hunters killed 32,000 deer in southeast Michigan during various hunting seasons in 2008, down 3.7% from 2007. That was the second-lowest number of deer shot in seven regions of Michigan tracked by the state, after the eastern Upper Peninsula.

While there's a chance that more local hunters will stay closer to home this year, since the season starts on a Sunday, Payne said, don't count on hunters to reduce the number of hosta-munching critters. There are too few places to hunt.

Winter snows won't do it, either, and there aren't many coyotes or wolves in this neck of the woods, like those that fell their deer cousins further north, Payne said.

And while deer do starve in northern Michigan, especially the snowy Upper Peninsula, because they can't get to food, that rarely happens in the southern part of the state.

"When you don't have other controls on the population, they flourish," Payne said.

In the state's most urban areas, however, one of the reasons the deer population doesn't explode further is car crashes.

State Police reported 61,000 deer-car crashes statewide in 2008 and 6,640 dead deer in collisions in Payne's southeast district last year. The counties are Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee, Monroe and St. Clair.

Rochester Hills has lots of white-tailed deer and plenty of car-deer collisions, as many as 200 some years. The city is hilly, with trees and ravines, making it a happy habitat for deer, Payne said. Rochester Hills had a limited deer cull this winter, but faced controversy from residents who didn't like hearing gunfire or seeing sharpshooters in their city, and doesn't plan to do it in 2010.

In Barton Hills Village in Washtenaw County, the council had permits to cull about 80 deer a year for nearly a decade said Cheryl MacKrell, a village trustee. But hiring sharpshooters kicked up controversy there too, and the program has been on hold during the past two years, she said. Many people objected to killing deer.

"It's the Bambi thing," she said. "They are sweet-looking."

Monica Ricci said she sees at least five or six deer a week in her Macomb Township neighborhood. "It's like they travel in packs," she said. "You see them on the side of the road and sometimes they're in my yard. My kids like looking at them."

Ricci, who said she's not against the deer, is concerned about seeing them on or near the roadways. "I travel on 24 and 25 Mile a lot and it's just two lanes," she said. "I worry that one will dart out and there's nowhere to go. I know you're not supposed to veer for them, but you can wreck your car."
A growing problem

Patti Mahanic, 59, has lived on Grosse Ile since 1982, but it's only been in the last four or five years that the number of deer has become a problem.

Mahanic lives near a wooded area and has seen how destructive the deer can be.

"I can't have flowerpots anymore, and I can't have a vegetable garden," she said.

But Mahanic said she also welcomes the sight of deer in her yard.

"It is absolutely magnificent to see a 12-point buck walking through the yard," she said.

Mahanic's not sure what the solution is. She's not necessarily opposed to deer culling if wildlife experts recommend it, but she said she would be concerned if hunting were allowed near her neighborhood.
Annoying and entrancing

Deer also are regular visitors in Debbie Valencia's neighborhood, Lakes of Northville, next to the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital site.

Valencia, 49, said she and her neighbors generally enjoy seeing the deer, even though there are some complaints when plants or shrubs are destroyed.

"It's just one of those things you get used to when you live next to the woods," she said, noting she saw more deer this spring than at any time in the 13 years she has lived in the neighborhood.

While some are annoyed by deer decimating their lilies, others are entranced. Karen Sanborn, a spokeswoman for Madonna University in Livonia, took a photo in September of three deer walking near the residence hall. She and others on campus appreciate having wildlife so close.

"We love all of the nature and all of the animals that abound," she said.


Contact TINA LAM: 313-222-6421 or [email protected]
 

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Classic delima - and clash of the 'Bambi' types and what needs to be done.

What the 'Bambi' types done understand, is that if they are not hunted good ol' Mother Nature will do her thing and downsize the herd in a bad and ugly way -

I wonder how they will feel when deer with EDH are falling down in their back yards and dieing a slow misserable death.....

ferg....
 

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Two wors....Managed Hunts.

Many other states that are proactively managing these problems do it. It helps the population problem, generates revenue, and increases opportunity.

Why is this such an issue?
 

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"They come into my backyard and eat my hosta plants and everything in sight," said Ellen Halladay, a resident of Rochester Hills, ... "I don't think they should be culled," said Halladay. "But there is a problem."
Monica Ricci said she sees at least five or six deer a week in her Macomb Township neighborhood. "It's like they travel in packs," she said.
Patti Mahanic, 59, ...
"I can't have flowerpots anymore, and I can't have a vegetable garden," she said.

But Mahanic said she also welcomes the sight of deer in her yard.
They want to have their cake and eat it too. :dizzy: :lol:
Deer also are regular visitors in Debbie Valencia's neighborhood, Lakes of Northville, next to the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital site.

Valencia, 49, said she and her neighbors generally enjoy seeing the deer, even though there are some complaints when plants or shrubs are destroyed.

"It's just one of those things you get used to when you live next to the woods," she said...
At least one person understand how the world works.
 
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