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Up to 300 deer to be killed during culls in East Lansing, Meridian Township

A female whitetail deer eats leaves in the forest.
Robert Woeger
A female whitetail deer eats leaves in the forest.

East Lansing and Meridian Township are planning deer culls this winter following concerns from residents about the animals being overpopulated.

Some East Lansing parks will be closed intermittently at night so biologists with the
United States Department of Agriculture can shoot up to 100 deer between Jan. 3 and March 31.

In Meridian, township police will kill up to 200 deer overnight in township parks and on private land with permission between Jan. 1 and the end of February.

Both Meridian Township and East Lansing also carried out deer culls in 2021, and East Lansing Parks Director Cathy DeShambo says the controlled hunts are part of a long-term deer management plan.

In East Lansing, officials say deer are involved in more than 40 vehicle crashes each year. And residents have complained about too many deer in certain areas of the city, prompting worries about tick-borne Lyme disease.

"We don't have people calling in complaining ... about deer nibbling on their hostas," DeShambo said. "That's really something that I think most people have a lot of patience for. But what people are really concerned about is when you see 10 or 12 deer in your backyard."

Venison from the culled deer will be donated to local food banks with costs for meat processing covered by Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.
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