Since 2011, the City of East Lansing has focused on deer management in and around residential areas in the community to address urban deer issues. The City has formed beneficial, ongoing partnerships with USDA Wildlife Services, the Michigan DNR and Michigan State University to analyze deer population data in East Lansing. Learn more about the Deer Management Timeline here.
- Why is the City of East Lansing (City) reducing the deer population?
- How has the City reduced the deer population?
- What happens with the venison from the removal?
- What is done to ensure safety?
- I didn’t think that hunting with a firearm was allowed within 450 feet of a residence without written permission of the owner. How is the City able to perform this deer removal?
- Are there other communities in Michigan that have removed deer by firearms?
- Will deer removal be an annual activity in East Lansing's parks?
- How many deer have been removed each year?
East Lansing Residents' Deer Perceptions Survey - 2022
Community members can share their feedback on the deer population in East Lansing by taking the East Lansing Residents' Deer Perceptions Survey (posted on Dec. 7, 2022).
To request a mailed copy of the survey, click here Version OptionsDeer ManagementHeadline.
Deer Feeding Ban
Did you know that it is illegal to feed deer in the City of East Lansing? Feeding deer does more harm than good. It often disrupts their natural behavior and causes them to linger too long outside of their normal habitat, leading to an increase in the possibility of disease transmission and the overbrowsing of neighborhood landscapes. Feeding deer can also lead to enterotoxemia. On July 8, 2014 the East Lansing City Council approved Ordinance No. 1334, prohibiting the feeding of deer in East Lansing.
Chronic Wasting Disease
The MDNR first identified Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state's free-ranging deer herd in spring 2015. Since the initial infected deer was found, 123 more CWD-positive deer have been discovered (as of September 2019). Several of these infected deer have been found locally in Ingham and Clinton Counties. The DNR asks for the public's help in reporting deer that are unusually thin and/or exhibiting unusual behavior (i.e. acting tame around humans). To report a sick deer, call 1-800-292-7800 or report the deer online. Please also report all deer-vehicle collisions to local police departments.
Leave Wildlife in the Wild
It is important to remember that many species of wildlife “cache” (hide) their young for safety, including deer. These babies are not abandoned; they simply have been hidden by their mother until she returns for them. The MDNR asks community members to resist the urge to help seemingly abandoned baby animals. Learn more.
Protecting Landscapes from Browsing Deer
In response to feedback from residents, the City of East Lansing has adapted helpful tips from the MSU Extension and the MDNR websites on protecting landscape plants from deer.
Community feedback is an important part of the deer management discussion. Feedback can be shared by submitting an online form.