Deer Doctor will virtually visit Ann Arbor in April

ANN ARBOR, me. – Are deer coming into your garden yet?

On Saturday, April 17th at 10am, Sandy Baker will host a free Zoom seminar entitled “How to Protect Your Garden” for residents of the Ann Arbor area.

The hour and a half presentation, hosted by the Human Society of Huron Valley, includes solutions to deer-related challenges and a customizable 5-step plan for using nature to keep garden plants safe.

Baker, known as the Deer Doctor, is an author, conservationist, and advisor to the United States Humane Society. She has offered deer protection seminars in the U.S., educational programs, and backyard consultations.

“We are delighted to host the nationally recognized Deer Doctor,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, CEO and President of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. “We have heard from so many people who love deer and want to live peacefully with wildlife. And even for those who don’t like deer, there are plenty of inexpensive and environmentally friendly tools that people can use without resorting to shooting. “

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The seminar is free and open to the public. Join the guest list here.

The city of Ann Arbor has spent $ 750,000 on deer management since 2015 when the Ann Arbor City Council approved a four-year deer management plan, according to HSHV.

Referring to a city supplier payment list, the Humane Society said $ 469,700 of the amount was earmarked for contracted snipers who count the deer population annually.

A 2020 aerial photo revealed 137 deer in the city, down from 224 deer in 2019, HSHV said.

“We applaud the city for their website promoting non-fatal solutions. And we hope that the expensive and ineffective culls will not return, ”said Hilgendorf in the press release.

“Scientists and wildlife biologists confirm that Ann Arbor is not overpopulated by deer. And now as we approach the sixth year of a 4 year plan, we have seen that trying to fix the problem is expensive, ineffective, controversial, unsafe and inhumane. The problem is that there are some deer in places that some don’t want. The most effective and inexpensive way to address concerns is to do site-specific damage control. ”

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When the city surveyed around 2,200 residents in 2015, just over 900 residents reported deer damage to their garden plants or their landscape. In those responses, 700 said they had not taken preventive measures against deer and 73% said they were happy to see deer in Ann Arbor, the HSHV said.

“We want to help. The urge to club originally came from frustrated gardeners. With better education and strategy, we can help those suffering from frustration, prevent further frustration and save money for the city’s taxpayer so that it can be directed where the majority of the Ann Arborites really want, ”said Hilgendorf.

“We also believe that our community and our officials have far greater priorities over an expensive and highly controversial deer cull.”

The 2020 winter deer cull, which was hotly debated in Tree Town, was temporarily removed from the city budget as part of the budget cut for the next financial year.

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Those interested in the free seminar with the Deer Doctor can visit hshv.org/gardenwithdeer.

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