Meridian Township wants bow hunters to take part in a managed harvest of deer on 21 publicly owned properties. The managed deer harvest is set for Sept. 21-22 and from Oct. 1 through Dec. 1.
"People are saying they used to be able to plant flowers and now they can't," said Jane Greenway, Meridian Township's Parks and Land Management coordinator.
Car-deer accidents also are up as the animals roam into streets and roadways in the Ingham County community, just east of Lansing.
Five years ago, the township recorded 85 crashes involving deer. There have been 135 so far this year, Police Chief David Hall said.
Michigan's whitetail deer population is estimated at more than 1 million. More than 55,800 were reported statewide in 2010. The animals are in rut and active in October and November, increasing the chances of accidents.
This is the third year of the township's campaign to control the deer population. Hunters killed 41 deer in 2011 and 92 last year. Officials hope to double the 2012 total this fall.
Hunting will be allowed on land owned by the county and township, but homeowners with large properties are encouraged to hunt on their own land or match up with a qualified hunter.
Qualified hunters must go through an approval process and attend an archery workshop.
The first deer taken by each hunter must be donated for its meat.