Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MICHIGAN NEWS: Deer Cull Approved for Rochester Hills

With approval given by the Rochester Hills City Council Monday night, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office snipers will be used to thin the deer population throughout the city.



The council voted 5-2 in favor of the controversial measure for the service, which will be provided by the sheriff’s office for free to the city and will allow up to 200 deer to be culled initially. It’s estimated that there are at least 1,000 deer in the city.

Councilmen Jim Rosen and Ravi Yalamanchi voted against the issue, which would not allow culling on private or commercial properties.

Residents on both sides of the issue spoke out, with opponents expressing concern about the danger of having sharp shooters in the city.

“I don’t want our city to become a target practice range,” said Agnes Domanska, 32, of Rochester Hills. “I do realize the sharp shooters are skilled, but accidents can happen to the best of us.”

The council plans to review the results of this winter’s culling in June 2009 to determine its effectiveness. It’s unclear whether the sheriff’s office would continue to provide the service for free each year.

Lance DeVoe, the city’s naturalist, said culling is more effective when it’s done over multiple years.

Along with the culling, the council also approved seeking grants to improve signage, add reflectors or fencing to roadways and continuing to educate residents about the deer population. As well, the meat from the deer killed will be processed free of charge by Safari Club International and the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger and donated to local food banks, DeVoe said.

The council also enacted a feeding ban in September.

Rochester Hills resident Jean Teschendorf, who has deer passing through her yard every day, is in favor of culling the deer. She said she’s concerned that deer can carry Lyme disease or that a buck could charge through the back windows of her home.

“I have more fear of the deer than anything else,” Teschendorf said.

For months, the council has considered several ways to control the deer, which caused 219 car wrecks last year, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

“I’m very fearful that there are going to be continuation of accidents and more problems,” said Councilman Vern Pixley. “My feeling is, and the research that I’ve done is, if there are fewer deer, there will be fewer accidents.”

DeVoe said the city is also mailing out informational pamphlets about the deer and is looking to improve signage alerting drivers to high-population deer areas.

He also said putting reflectors on roadways could cost up to $14,300 for a half-mile area or $28,600 for a mile.

DeVoe said taking a multifaceted approach to the deer population problem is more effective.

“Deer are wild animals,” he said. “They’re not supposed to be eating out of our hand and getting names and recognizing every member of the family. They should be in the woods, behaving as wild animals are supposed to behave.”

Source: Detroit Free Press

10 comments:

giulia said...

City Council of Rochester Hills makes a very poor decision in reducing deer population

We were at the City council and many of us presented alternatives that could actually create a permanent solution as opposed to managing a problem and creating an excuse for the hunters. Not to mention the message we are giving our kids who are encouraged to participate, as DNR allows kids age 10-16 to hunt.

Enforcing the speed limit, better signage, reflectors (the city was offered $20,000 from private funding), sterilization of the boys -takes 5 minutes are real ways of reducing the population. But what population? We only have 1000 deer in Rochester Hills and by killing some will not solve anything. Some areas will not be affected at all. I say to the city: let us not call hunting a sport where family values are reinforced. Educate residents on driving. Learn to live in harmony with nature and do not divide our community in this town. We do not need a town to manage problems but to find permanent solutions. Those who use weapons to kill defenseless animals are not sportsmen, they are cowards.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that a few members in Rochester Hills City Council rushed to approve violence and killing without giving a chance to the alternative methods first. It is clear that they are clueless and just wanted to give the Oakland County Sheriff a chance to play with guns in Rochester Hills. Just to see how fair and open to alternative ideas they are, I want to mention that during the City Council Meeting, the council president, Greg Hooper, said the he always wanted to have the deer killed by bow hunting. What sick minds are leading this city!

NaturelovingRealist said...

I'm a nature lover but a realist. No doubt deer are beautiful animals. I've had a few fawns born in my yard and I live in the more urban part of the city. However we have a growing landlocked herd that lives in the residential areas causing all sorts of property damage not to metion the serious risks from car / deer accidents and Lymes disease. The deer situation in Rochester Hills \has hit a critical mass and is out of hand. It is a public health and public saftey issue that needed to be addressed. This is a common issue in many communities around the U.S. and they always come to the same conclusion...cull the deer...Why? Because the alternatives do not work!! This program will make good use of a God given resource instead of it being wasted in a car crash.The risk of injury from the bullet of a sharpshooter in the AM of mid winter is just paranoia and hysteria. The risks for residents is practically ZERO compared to the high risks of a car / deer collision. This was a WIn/Win solution. Bravo!!

Jim in Rochester, Michigan said...

Such drastic action of shooting deer with assault rifles within the city of Rochester Hills should have been on the ballot. Oakland County is running a deficit, yet they are paying sheriff deputies to play cowboys and shoot animals that they have lured to a bait pile. Oh they must be so proud of themselves. Many of these deer are pregnant. Are they harvesting the unborn babies as well? Some of these deer being shot were just born this past March and aren't bigger than your golden retriever. That reminds me, you better keep your pets away from the bait piles. These trigger happy deputies just might kill your dog. Notice how the city, the sheriff nor the naturalist is saying how many deer car crashes there were in 2008. That's because the number is way down. A virus killed hundreds of deer along the Clinton River this summer. That was Mother Nature doing the culling. Please stop this nonsense

Jim in Rochester, Michigan said...

Such drastic action of shooting deer with assault rifles within the city of Rochester Hills should have been on the ballot. Oakland County is running a deficit, yet they are paying sheriff deputies to play cowboys and shoot animals that they have lured to a bait pile. Oh they must be so proud of themselves. Many of these deer are pregnant. Are they harvesting the unborn babies as well? Some of these deer being shot were just born this past March and aren't bigger than your golden retriever. That reminds me, you better keep your pets away from the bait piles. These trigger happy deputies just might kill your dog. Notice how the city, the sheriff nor the naturalist is saying how many deer car crashes there were in 2008. That's because the number is way down. A virus killed hundreds of deer along the Clinton River this summer. That was Mother Nature doing the culling. Please stop this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

FIND OUT THE TRUTH. GO ON THE CITY'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE AND WATCH THE VIDEO ON THE MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 26, 2009. Do not give up. Please show up for the city's meeting on February 9th before 7.30pm and speak up. We need the power of the people otherwise we will let others decide for us.

Jim in Rochester, Michigan said...

I did watch the council meeting Jan 26th on the internet. I was amazed at how well prepared the 30 some citizens were speaking out against the "culling." Yes, I will be there on February 9th. After watching the meeting, I wrote letters to all 7 councilmen and also to the mayor. I received a phone call from one councilman. I do give him credit for calling me, but he and I did not agree on anything. I asked him point blank if the council was going to revisit their decision to kill deer. He laughed at me saying it just a friggin deer. He asked me why I liked them so much, as if there was something wrong with me. So the answer is no, they are done with it. The killing will go on as planned. I would like to join up with the protesters. I believe that there are some things that we can do. Perhaps making a lot of noise at a kill site to scare off the deer? The one idea he gave me by accident is that council cannot conduct the business of the city with all these crazy people wanting to only talk about deer. Well, maybe that is it. We show up at every council meeting and parade up there one by one and ask that the killing cease. Eventually council will have to call for a truce in order to do other business. I am open to anything. I told him that the passion will only get stronger as the killing continues. People like me are late coming to the party, but I am here now. Surely there are others like me. Please let me know how I can help our cause going forward. Perhaps we can enlist the help of PETA?
Thanks for the reply.
Jim in Rochester Hills

Anonymous said...

Jim was in favor of killing the deer and using his position on the deer committee in order to get elected to the Rochester Hills City Council. FortunATELY, HE WAS NOT ELECTED.

Anonymous said...

This is a safety issue for the residents. The sharpshooters killed about 20 deer for the 200 deer targeted. Where did all of their stray shots go? We do not need people killed or injured by these "sharpshooters."

jonnyD Ninny Cheese said...

wow! I live in rodchester hills!! if i ever I see a sniper dude skulking around my yard, i'll know what cause that dude is for!! great article!!!!!