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DNR gauging public opinion on deer management with new survey

Courtesy Photo
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking public opinion on deer management with a new survey. The Department’s Deer Management Initiative created the survey with help from a Michigan State University social scientist.

The Deer Management Initiative was created to address the growing number of deer in Michigan. The deer population has ballooned to around 2 million. Reasons cited include a decline in the number of hunters and a lack of natural predators. In addition, warmer winters have led to fewer deer being culled by cold temperatures. And the growth of urban and suburban areas has driven deer populations out of legal hunting areas.

So the DNR wants to understand how the general population feels about deer management and deer in general. The deer survey intends to gather data for “additional insights for future discussions and subsequent recommendations,” according to a statement from the DNR.

The department said the survey can gather feedback from people it doesn't usually hear from. "We recognized our proficiency in surveying hunters but acknowledged a gap in gauging general public attitudes and views toward deer more broadly,” said DNR Deer, Elk, and Moose Management Specialist Chad Stewart.

The DNR encouraged all Michiganders to provide their opinions. The department said the survey should take less than five minutes. The survey is open from now through April 16 at

Editor's note: In the interest of transparency, we note the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is a financial supporter of WCMU.