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Michigan city to consider killing urban deer to reduce thriving herd

It could soon be killing season for deer in Ann Arbor, Mich., where local legislators unanimously voted to direct city officials to evaluate the city’s options for controlling the thriving herd.

The city’s administrator will now have until the end of July to consider options following the Monday vote by the Ann Arbor City Council. And while there has been talk of using contraceptives to stem what some say is an overpopulation problem, the solution will more likely involve bow hunters going after the animals, Council Member Stephen Kunselman told MLive.com.

"We have to face the fact that we are going to be culling the herd," Kunselman said. "And the best way to cull the herd is with bow and arrow, with hunters up in tree stands pointing down so that arrows don't go off far away in the distances and cause any fear."

Many hunters in the city would volunteer for such an effort, said Kunselman, who urged city officials not to spend too much time or resources studying the issue.

An aerial survey of the Marshall Nature Area in northeast Ann Arbor during late last year indicated a deer density of 76 per square mile. That’s far too many, according to Council Member Jane Lumm, a co-sponsor of the bill who claims significant health concerns propels the need for such a solution.

“This resolution is just the first step,” Lumm told MLive.com. “It does not presuppose any outcome, but instead just recognizes a real growing problem and kicks off a process to address it.”

There have been 39 traffic crashes per year on average in Ann Arbor involving deer, according to a local watchdog group. The numbers of car-deer crashes involving personal injuries, meanwhile, are much smaller, with just two reported in 2012. None have been fatal, MLive.com reports.

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