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Non-lethal (non-violent) methods

There are numerous non-lethal methods for managing deer. In fact, nearby Rochester Hills has implemented many of them, and has decreased the number of deer/vehicle crashes as well as reduced the number of citizen complaints about deer.

Stop feeding city deer


They're cute; we know -- but feeding deer corn or other goodies not only isn't good for you -- it's also not good for them. Ann Arbor City Council just banned feeding in the City.

Use smart roadside signage
& cut roadside brush


Minnesota's Department of Transportation used lighted deer crossing signs that reduced deer-vehicle crashes 57% in the first year. Rochester Hills says a key to their deer management success is analyzing vehicle and deer information and adjusting signage on a regular basis. Reducing brush can also improve visibility

Use humane barriers​ 


Physical barriers around our roads, properties and gardens help keep people and wildlife safe. Traditional fencing, netting, chicken wire, and hardware cloth where feasible keep deer from going off limits. (And the City is open to changing existing rules on fencing!) Placing chain link fence on the ground keeps deer out of your garden.

Use safe, effective deterrants


In addition to physical fencing, there are wireless fences, and "Liquid Fence" which gardeners swear by. Other commonly used deer deterrants are mothballs, blood meal, and floodlights.

Naturalists know that human urine and hair can scare deer. You can also chop bars of soap and hang them around! Just be sure to change it up every 10 days, as deer can get acclimated to some deterrents. Read more here.

Plant plants you like


Deer steer clear of many plants that are fuzzy, coarse, spiny, bitter, or scented. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has an online resource for finding deer-resistant plants -- you can sort by region, light requirement, soil type-- even bloom time. 

Get a dog... or two


Deer are naturally fearful of dogs. Their scent (urine, hair) deters deer, and not only private homeowners report success using dogs as deer deterrents, but farmerstree nursery owners, and towns do, too. May we suggest adopting from your local shelter, like the Humane Society of Huron Valley? :)

Help each other


Rochester Hills' city education program provides residents with information on fencing, deer-resistant plants and repellents and more.  Their city administration logs citizens' complaints regarding deer, and they report complaints have been "greatly reduced" since they put their non-lethal deer management plan into place.

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