Meridian Township cull aims to reduce deer-vehicle crashes

Associated Press

About 200 deer are expected to be culled as part of a deer management program in a Lansing-area community.

The cull in Meridian Township was expected to start Saturday and run to Feb. 28, the Lansing State Journal reported.

It will take place in select township parks, land preserves and on private property where consent is given by the property owners.

Police officers will use firearms for the deer cull during evening and overnight hours when parks are closed. Parks will remain open from dawn to dusk. Sites are pre-selected due to their suitability for a safe and controlled deer herd culling, according to the township.

The deer will be processed and venison will be donated to local food banks.

The program is an effort to protect people from injury and property damage in vehicle crashes that involve deer, Meridian Township Police Chief Ken Plaga said.

“Our community has a number of hotspots in this regard," Plaga said. "We anticipate that a targeted culling of herds along these areas will greatly reduce the danger of injury to people in our community and costs resulting from property damage due to these crashes.”

The culling plan was developed after resident complaints about deer-related incidents and to support biological diversity in natural areas.

The deer management program was developed in 2011 to reduce the overpopulation of deer within the township.