Assistant City Manager Sam Janson said the survey was conducted last year. The city didn't receive the report until this past August.
“According to research, we’re seeing an increase in the amount of deer in the city during survey times,” Janson said. “We’re continuing to see that trend increase.”
A total of seven trips were made throughout the city to find the deer, and surveyors also spent time counting deer in pockets of areas.
The study indicates that there are 49 deer per square mile on citywide routes, and about 104 deer per square mile on the pocket routes.
“We were really good at finding them on Harbor Island,” Janson said. “That is where we saw most of the deer.”
Councilman Bob Monetza said he rode along during some of the deer counts.
“You see what you can see on the back of a truck,” he said. “It’s an interesting process and gives us good data.”
While city leaders have noted an uptick in the number of deer, one thing they don’t know is what the deer are doing.
“We don’t really know what they are doing,” Janson said. “The ones we’ve seen, we count — and we go out the next day to see what we can find.”
Janson noted that the GVSU researchers indicated that there could be as many as three or four herds roaming the city.
To help get an idea on the herds' movement, officials are proposing to do more research to see what parts of town the deer frequent.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.