Another deer cull planned for Grand Haven

Some residents want cull, while others don't approve of killing the deer

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — There is controversy again in Grand Haven over killing deer to control the population.

The request for a deer cull came from residents who are complaining about deer eating their plants and damaging property. The city council approved moving forward with it, but it the vote was a tight 3-2.

Residents are also split. Some think deer are cute while others think they’re pests.

Christine Urry loves to watch the deer from her backyard, which backs up to the dunes. For the past 10 years, she has enjoyed their visits.

“I feel very strongly that they shouldn’t be killing them,” she said.

Instead of the killing the deer, she thinks the city would dart the deer with a form of birth control.

Monday night, after about an hour and a half of discussion, city council members decided otherwise. Those in favor of the deer cull said there were a “significant” number of car crashes involving deer, damage to people’s property and overgrazing on the dunes.

“The majority of elected officials felt it was incumbent upon us to protect a fragile dune ecosystem and private property owned by our residents above the needs of the deer who have taken up residency in our woods and our backyards,” said Councilman Josh Burgger, who voted in favor of the cull.

“They were here first,” Urry argued. “I have to say, I get frustrated like everyone else when I go in my backyard and flowers that were in bud are this big,” she continued, holding her fingers a couple of inches apart, “but I’ll still love to see them.”

The city still has to figure out when and where the cull will take place. Those details will be worked out in the next few months.

Currently, there are 30 deer per square mile in Ottawa County, which exceeds the recommended 28.