State Looks to Ban Deer Sterilization Programs

A bill has been introduced in the Michigan legislature that would put an end to a controversial deer sterilization program. The bill is sponsored by Triston Cole and Peter Lucido and is in response to the city of Ann Arbor’s deer management program. The city has been capturing deer and removing their overies and returning them to were they were caught.

According to Bridge Michigan, congressman Cole pulled out a baggy of smoked venison backstrap ate it and then laid out his plan. He contends that the hunters are being excluded from the cities management plan and that it is costing too much money.

“When you have too many deer in Michigan, you shoot more deer. You don’t put them to sleep and take their ovaries out and let them go again.”

“I’d venture to guess you’d have a waiting list of sportsmen that would like to come to urban areas to help with the overpopulation problem,” he said.

Cole offered a simple alternative for limiting deer in dense neighborhoods: Kill more deer where shooting is allowed to keep them from wandering into urban sanctuaries.

Some experts say that wouldn’t work, at least not in communities like Ann Arbor, where many neighborhoods sit far away from open lands available for shooting.

“Female deer are very fixed on where they were born,” William Porter, a professor at Michigan State University who specializes in behavior ecology and wildlife population dynamics, told Bridge. “More than 95 percent of them stay where they were born for life.”

The cost of rem0ving the ovaries from a single doe cost the city $1200. They have already set aside $370,000this year to continue with the program. That is a very expensive program and they have a long way to go. Population surveys put the deer density around 100 deer per square mile in certain parts of the city.

City officials claim it is the only way to deal with the problem as a lot of the areas effected are not suitable for hunting. This may be the case but that statement seems questionable. If they are able to dart and capture deer they should just as easily be able to lethally remove them for a fraction of the cost compared to sterilization. It seems that the city officials do not have the political backing to use lethal methods and would rather spend exorbitant amounts of money to appease a bunch the bleeding hearts.