The DNR Let Ann Arbor Sterilize Your Deer

In a year when deer issues threaten to divide the hunting community, the Department of Natural Resources just did something that ought to unite it, and not for a good reason. The Michigan DNR - the agency that you fund with your hunting, fishing and trapping license dollars - just gave the City of Ann Arbor the go-ahead to sterilize free-ranging whitetail deer which you have entrusted the DNR to manage. Every single deer hunter in Michigan - no matter what your views are on APR's, baiting or the one-buck rule - ought to be united in condemning DNR leadership for caving to the anti-hunting interests like HSUS who have pushed sterilization.


Photo by MUCC: Ann Arbor fawns like these won't get to be born under the city's DNR-approved sterilization plan

According to the Ann Arbor News, the Michigan DNR approved the City of Ann Arbor's plan to sterilize does in some parts of the city while culling deer in other parts of the city, all by White Buffalo, Inc., the same company behind the plan to give vasectomies bucks on Staten Island, New York. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been pushing communities and state agencies around the country to adopt sterilization as a way to prevent urban bowhunting or future culling. All it would take to stop them in Michigan is for DNR leadership to simply follow its own deer management plan, just updated and approved last month, and say, "No, you can't do that to Michigan's deer." But they didn't. 

Instead of "pursuing policies which encourage hunting, including archery hunting, in urban/suburban areas, to address urban/suburban deer issues," and upholding the public trust we place in the DNR to manage our resources, they're allowing an independent company to implement the number one anti-hunting strategy for eliminating deer hunting. What's next? Allowing insurance companies or farmers to sterilize deer under the guise of "research" to address traffic accidents or crop damage? We didn't spend the last century restoring deer herds so they can be sterilized. In Michigan, when there are more deer than the habitat can support, we hunt them and eat them: We don't waste the resource. 

If you're as upset as we are about this, consider signing up for public comment at the Natural Resources Commission meeting on Thursday. We will fight this with everything we have. We're going to invest staff time and resources in making sure this travesty never happens again in Michigan. Help us protect your deer and your deer hunting heritage by making a donation at

Showing 9 reactions

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  • commented 2017-01-15 19:05:35 -0500
    why not issue free Buck condoms to the folks in Ann Arbor so they can distribute them
  • commented 2017-01-10 01:25:47 -0500
    Time to drain our dnr swamp, what we have here is," failure to communicate " with your common sence michigan hunter,s !!!!
  • commented 2017-01-09 12:40:22 -0500
    Tyler, according to one poster who responded to this on Facebook and contacted the DNR, the DNR did not want to do this as this is not part of the herd management plan but the HSUS threatened a lawsuit. I guess the DNR agreed to do this on a limited basis because of this threat. If we want to make a difference we need to be at meetings and be more vocal than the HSUS! So many people have complained about this being a waste of money but what the DNR is doing may actually be saving money vs a lost lawsuit that will then set a precident whenever the HDUS cries. Also, the DNR is not the sole organization who sets rules. They have input but it is the Natural Resources Commission that has the clout.
  • commented 2017-01-08 13:32:38 -0500
    I can’t believe the DNR would allow this to happen when the people who want this spend no money supporting Michigan’s management of our wild animals and hunting heritage. I would also like to make sure that no monies from our license fees is spent on this fiasco. I believe that they have allowed sharp shooters in a couple of cities in the UP of Michigan and it just takes a few years for the deer to repopulate these areas. I think the DNR is making the same mistake the Democrates made in this past election listening only to the people in the big cities, and insurance companies, maybe it’s time for a change. Another option is if they want to spend that kind of money maybe they should live trap the excess deer and take them to the UP where the deer herd is way down and your lucky to see a deer while hunting, after all the DNR is supposed to protect our natural resources not turn over the management to outside sources. I do believe in the end this will come back to haunt the DNR.
  • commented 2017-01-08 11:58:21 -0500
    HSUS should have no say in anything animals.
  • followed this page 2017-01-07 15:17:26 -0500
  • commented 2017-01-07 06:44:02 -0500
    Al, the reason this should put you up in arms is because the DNR allowed another private organization to minipulate the deer herd. These are WILD animals, which means that they do not receive vaccines or birth control. Also, These deer do not just stay in the city, so the impact of the birth control could over reach the environmental impact study(if there even was one). It may concern you more if it was close to you but this could open the gates to the Anti-hunting groups pushing this to other cites and even counties in Michigan. This is a real issue that doesn’t put meat on Michigan tables but limits our opportunities to do so.
  • commented 2017-01-06 20:33:59 -0500
    This is the most ridiculous waste of time and money yet. Many of us hunters would pay to be allowed to hunt these animals and feed our families.
  • commented 2017-01-06 14:01:35 -0500
    I am a deer hunter. Tell me what is wrong with sterilization in more populated areas where hunting may not be the best option?