© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

East Lansing’s deer cull to resume in January

The city of East Lansing is asking residents to take part in a survey of its deer management strategy.
Kevin Lavery
East Lansing has been participating in various deer management programs since 2011 to combat animal overpopulation.

East Lansing is set to resume its deer cull in January.

The city has been participating in various deer management programs since 2011 to combat animal overpopulation. In 2020, officials authorized a deer cull for the first time.

Since then, close to 200 deer have been removed.

Cathy DeShambo directs East Lansing’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Arts. She said the removal will occur in city parks and some private properties. The parks will close at night, where trained biologists and sharpshooters with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services will be stationed to shoot the deer.

“We give lots of notification to residents in that area, and we try to really minimize the impact by having them only go out for a handful of evenings to conduct the removal,” DeShambo said.

Next year will mark the fourth time East Lansing has participated in deer removal. Venison from the cull will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food bank.

Some residents have expressed concern with the program and urged officials to rein in the cull. In January, the City Council modified the program toend deer removal by the city's aquatic center.

At a meeting last month, councilmembers expressed an interest in collaborating with Ingham County to manage deer population. The council also considered a Michigan State University research project to partner with the city's deer management program in reducing the impact of tick-borne diseases carried by deer.

Officials submitted a permit to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that would allow them to remove as many as 80 deer in 2024.

DeShambo said the city is also educating residents about how they can manage deer on their own property.

“That can mean using deer repellents, planting deer resistant landscaping, and, you know, utilizing all the other non-lethal tools that are available as well,” she said.

East Lansing deer cull begins on Jan. 1 and may continue until the end of March.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!