Sixteen Ann Arbor parks and nature areas will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight daily through the end of January to allow professional sharpshooters to cull the city’s deer herd.
Sharpshooters with White Buffalo Inc. will euthanize up to 250 deer and pneumatically dart up to 26 female deer so they can be temporarily removed from the herd to be sterilized.
In addition, some University of Michigan and Concordia properties also will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight through the remainder of the month for deer culling, according to information on the city’s website.
The Humane Society of Huron Valley urged residents to be mindful of the sharpshooters in order to ensure people and animals don’t inadvertently wander into the culling areas. The humane society notes that dogs might be tempted by the bait piles being used to attract deer.
The city created its deer management program in 2014 in response to complaints about deer causing damage to landscaping and natural areas as well as concerns about deer-car crashes. The city has also worried about the potential spread of deer-borne diseases.
The 2018 deer management plan called for the city to mail park-closure postcards directly to residents adjacent to closed parks in Wards 1 and 2. Where selected private property owners have given permission, the abutting neighbors also will be notified prior to the use of the parcel.
White Buffalo will be doing its work between 3 p.m. and 5 a.m. in January. According to the city, residents might not even notice the darting activity because most of the work will be done at night, when deer are most active. However some darting will take place at designated bait stations during late afternoon hours, the city said.
Closed for deer culling
The following parks will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight daily through the end of January:
■Arbor Hills Nature Area
■Barton Nature Area (Foster area north of Warrington Drive only)
■Bird Hills Nature Area
■Foxfire West Nature Area
■Glazier Hill Nature Area
■Huron Parkway/Braun Nature Areas
■Leslie Park Golf Course
■Leslie Woods Nature Area
■Narrow Gauge Way Nature Area
■Oakridge Nature Area (east of Huron Parkway)
■Oakwoods Nature Area
■Olson Park (dog park and parking lot remain open)
■South Pond Nature Area (only the area in the vicinity of NAP office at 3875 E. Huron River Dr.)
■Stapp Nature Area
■Sugarbush Park (north of Rumsey Drive)
■Traver Creek Nature Area
Source: city of Ann Arbor