Muskegon to hire sharpshooters to kill up to 30 deer in western Michigan parks

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 16, 2020

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A Lake Michigan community has voted to spend $20,000 to kill as many as 30 deer at two parks in western Michigan.

The unanimous vote by the Muskegon City Commission is an effort to control growing herds, although there are different opinions among residents. The Muskegon Chronicle reports the cull by sharpshooters must be completed by March 31.

“It's an action, not an ultimate answer. We know that,” Mayor Stephen Gawron said Tuesday.

Residents in favor of a special kill have talked about damage to vegetation and concerns about tick-borne illnesses.

Critics “do not live with the deer. They do not deal with them on a daily basis,” said Mike McFall.

Marilyn Singleton Magnuson, who operates an inn, said she sends guests to Beachwood Park for an easy hike and Lake Michigan views. She predicted a loss of business if deer are killed.

“In the past, Muskegon’s had a difficult time identifying its assets and preserving them, and I believe this is one of them," Magnuson said. "These deer have been called a nuisance, but I refer to them as an asset.”