“We finished our deer count in mid-October,” said Sam Janson, assistant to the city manager.
Routes consisted of nine different dates — four on a city-wide route and five on pocket routes that took people to areas that are, according to city officials, “high-quality deer habitat.”
Based on results of the count, there was an average of 28 deer sighted in the city-wide route, leading to a calculation of 32.075 deer per square mile. For the pocket routes, researchers spotted an average of 30.5 deer, with an average of 47.27 deer per square mile.
According to officials, these new numbers show an increase from counts conducted in the spring and fall of 2010.
In spring 2010, the four counts yielded 18.25 deer sighted, leading to 21.7 deer per square mile. In fall 2010, pocket route surveys over seven days found an average of 25 deer sighted and an average of 38.76 deer per square mile.
Fall 2010 city-wide routes conducted over four days found an average of 24.75 deer sighted and 28.35 deer per square mile.
During this year’s pocket routes, GVSU researchers conducted a second level of analysis in three areas: Harbor Island, Mulligan’s Hollow/Duncan Woods/Lake Forest Cemetery, and the Industrial Park and airport.
“Fifty-eight percent of the deer we saw were on Harbor Island, and the numbers go down from there,” Janson said.
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