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Urban Deer Population

Updated: Sep 9, 2021
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White-tailed deer are an important part of the culture in Michigan. As white-tailed deer have expanded in number and adjusted to living in and around urban areas, they have taken up permanent or semi-permanent residence in many communities. With adequate cover and food available, deer successfully navigate sidewalks, traffic and backyard fences, appearing quite comfortable with daily interactions involving humans, dogs and vehicles.

j0262568The Department of Natural Resources plans to create an Urban Management Plan in the near future. In the meantime, keep these tips in mind: 

Deer enjoy a variety of landscapes, but avoid areas without cover. Removing covered areas may cause deer to relocate. Also, selecting unpalatable landscape plants can help. Careful plant selection for home and business landscapes may minimize damage due to deer browsing and make areas less attractive to deer.

Deer love to eat the fruit from your trees. If you have an apple tree, remember to remove the apples from the ground as soon as they fall.

Feeding deer can attract them to unwanted areas, especially during winter months.

Repellents can be used to reduce a plant's attractiveness and palatability to browsing deer. Contact your local garden center for more information.

Fencing may deter deer from specific locations.

Motion sensing lights may scare deer and keep them away from specific areas.
Remember deer are wild animals and you should never approach a deer or attempt to pet a deer. Find more information on the DNR's website.