This is a backyard in Ann Arbor, MI

The deer population in Washtenaw County has been steadily increasing over the last 15 years. Washtenaw County seems to be a magnet for deer due to a higher percentage of forested land than in many of the adjacent counties.

Backyard, Northeast Ann Arbor

Deer move continually through the suburban yards in Spring. There are a lot of things planted in the garden that supposedly deer don't like, but this is the end of anything that flowers nicely in the garden.

And they are multiplying rapidly

In a healthy population, female deer can breed as fawns (8-9 months of age) producing a single fawn at 1 year and continuing through 15 years. Healthy adult does most often produce 2 to 3 fawns annually.

Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Status Report: Deer Population Trends and Impacts in County Parks

Deer pose a direct threat to the diversity and sustainability of wildlife habitat with in WCPARC natural areas.
- Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission

The Audubon Society says

The Audubon Society says: "You have to protect yourself, your family, and native ecosystems from the most dangerous and destructive wild animal in North America, an animal responsible for maiming and killing hundreds of humans each year, an animal that wipes out whole forests along with most of their fauna.

Lyme Disease is here in Washtenaw County

In the foreground is a tick on a bed, courtesy of the dog in the background. Deer help spread the ticks that entered the house with this pet.

Reports of Lyme Disease in Washtenaw County

May 2014 was declared Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.

Highway accidents and deaths

There were over 1000 documented car-deer accidents in Washtenaw County last year-- that's almost 3 EVERY DAY!

If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, AAA recommends you slow down and release your foot from the brake before impact; this will raise the front end of the car during the crash and increase the likelihood that the animal will go underneath the vehicle instead of through the windshield.

Write City Council

A Deer Management Report- NOT plan-- was delivered to City Council on August 14th. It acknowledges some of the problems with deer and the growing deer population in Ann Arbor, but does not provide any immediate action items to relieve this problem. Read the Report and Resolution.
Do you have comments to share about deer in the city of Ann Arbor or in Washtenaw County?
Ann Arbor OKs $20K to Create Deer Plan
Read more in the August 18, 2014 Ann Arbor Chronicle at

  • View the video of the meeting.
    Note: the topic of deer control starts at minute 14:00 and goes through 25:50; the clip that captures the Council’s deer management resolution discussion and vote starts at 02:35:41 and ends at 02:50:30

From Status Report: Deer Population Trends and Impacts in County Parks, February 2014, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation

Deer are a normal part of the forests and fields of Michigan, but their numbers have grown to unnaturally high levels due to lack of predators. The deer population in Washtenaw County has been steadily increasing over the last 15 years.

Scientists have shown that habitats and deer are most healthy when deer density ranges between 15-20 deer per square mile. Recent aerial studies have shown the density in Ann Arbor to be up to 76 deer per square mile. When the number of deer exceed the "healthy" density level, the plants they depend on begin to disappear. Deer pose a direct threat to the diversity and sustainability of wildlife habitat within Washtenaw County Parks And Recreation Commission natural areas.
From An Evaluation of Deer Management Options, Northeast Deer Technical Committee, April 2008

In the absence of predation or hunting, this kind of reproduction can result in a deer herd doubling its size in one year. This fact was illustrated on the 1,146 acre George Reserve in southern Michigan where biologists at the University of Michigan have been studying the deer population since 1928. The deer herd grew from six deer in 1928 to 162 deer by 1933. More recently, the George Reserve herd grew from 10 deer in 1975 to 212 deer in 1980.

We have talked to City Council members, met with County Commissioners and the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission, and we are available to talk to your group. Please send us a request at

To join us and subscribe to our email list, go to: \