Park May Hire Sharpshooters For Deer

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

It's a backyard view most people would cherish, but the baby deer in the back of Jeanine Mathein's house on Probert Road are the same ones who are chewing through her garden.

"They are lovely animals but we're not happy to have them," she says.

A DNR study of the 2 square miles around Ella Sharp Park in Jackson says there are somewhere between 200 and 300 of them there. DNR says 40 deer would be appropriate.

"Because of that, the deer are no longer a nuisance. They are a public safety issue," Ella Sharp Park superintendent Eric Terrian says.

Summit Township, which borders the park, reports of 541 total accidents there last year, more than a third were deer-related. After years of complaints, and months of debate, the probable solution is hiring sharp shooters.

"We're not looking to eradicate the deer. All we want is to get the deer back to acceptable levels," Terrian says.

The specifics are not in place, but the park board voted last week to move forward on a plan to hire professionals. Neighbors, for the most part, overwhelmingly agree.

"They are beautiful animals and I hate to see them die but in the long run, I think it's better," Mathein says.

"They don't bother us," runner Joe Page says, of the deer.

Park regulars like Page we spoke with don't feel the need as urgently like neighbors, but also don't oppose the plan to kill deer.

It would need approval from Summit Township, city of Jackson, and the DNR before Ella Sharp Park can put deer sharp shooting in its "cites."


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